I had a great big laugh reading the whinefest in the Virginian-Pilot written by Editor Don Luzzatto. Seems he is disgusted by the way districts are drawn. Too partisan, giving lopsided victories to most candidates.
He doesn’t like polarization in politics. But he LOVES it on editorial boards.
Since Don Luzzatto took over the helm, the Virginian-Pilot has not endorsed one Republican for statewide office. Not Bill Bolling. Not Bob McDonnell. Zero.
Luzzatto’s Board is overwhelmingly liberal, no surprise, but increasingly rife with hypocrisy. They hate the SOLs and their reliance on standardized tests, but when it comes to endorsements, they give a standardized test to every candidate. A long list of issues, in which they have taken Democrat positions, and they ask the candidate “agree or disagree.” And I giggle every time they administer an SOL to candidates while asking them if they would support ending the SOLs.
And that list has not a conservative position in the bunch. They don’t ask “Will you cut taxes” or “Does government over-regulate.” They ask a myriad of questions about abortion and gay rights, and then they write an editorial about how Republicans focus too much on social issues. Read their editorials. They applaud Republicans only when they agree with Democrats. (Luzzatto’s definition of bipartisan, I guess).
I used to appear on TV roundtable programs with Luzzatto the Liberal. For years. He never sided with Republicans once. Vivian Paige agreed with me more than Democrat Don, and she admitted her Party identification. Luzzatto still says he’s not a “registered Democrat” – no big claim in a state that won’t allow registration by Party.
If Luzzatto wants bipartisan redistricting, how about some some bipartisan redistricting of his own Editorial Board? If he truly believes that ideology is bad and pragmatism is good, why doesn’t he practice that? If Luzzatto thinks lopsided partisan districts are bad, why does he lead a lopsided partisan editorial board?
Here’s the really funny part. Luzzatto ends his “won’t practice what he preaches” column by bemoaning how Republicans and Democrats should get along better, after his newspaper spent the election season not just disagreeing with Republicans, but personally attacking them, not for their issue positions, but in some cases for even running at all.
Case in point, they attacked one Republican for having the gall to run simply because he had run for office in the past, and to make their point, they endorsed the Democrat who ran for City Council last year and lost.
Here’s the point. None of the Pilot’s editorial liberal bias really bothers me. I know it going in. I know that they take their politics personally, and when they oppose a candidate, they will be nasty about it. I know that before their vaunted “interview process” their minds are already made up and they seem to tell everyone they talk to in advance who they like and don’t like.
This isn’t Dennis Hartig’s Virginian-Pilot anymore, and that’s a sad thing. Dennis was not without his biases, for sure, but he was professional when he disagreed and left the door open always for the possibility that he didn’t know everything and evidence could change his mind.
He wasn’t an ideologue.
He also wouldn’t write a column demanding bipartisanship while refusing to practice it.