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« Your Newspaper

Draw a line between Traficant support and Traficant news

By Todd Franko (Contact)


Published August 11, 2009

Youngstowner Tyler Clark writes in his blog next to mine that the “Sunday Vindicator deployed a deplorable amount of front-page ink in the recognition of ... Jim Traficant.”
Clark then proceeds to blather on about us and Traficant at a length that chews up more words than our original story did on Sunday.
He digs into seven-year-old editorials.
And he creates links to those editorials.
If the extent to which we reported is “deplorable,” then Clark’s efforts are "atrocious" or "heinous," since it is pretty easy to throw around colorful language on these blogs.
He chides us: “Front page? Seriously?”
To which I ask: “Blog? Seriously?”
When it comes to Traficant, Tyler’s like most of us in regard to the imprisoned politician: embattled.
We love to hate Jimbo.
We want to ignore him.
Yet we know others love him.
And regardless of it all, we will have to deal with him.
Clark is not alone in this.  
A new subscriber from Boardman just started his paper, and just canceled it — due to our Traficant story.
We’ve taken other calls since Sunday’s story. And we took the calls in the spring when Jimbo’s prison release clock started ticking faster.
I’m boggled that people have a hard time distinguishing our role.
We report news stories.
Some stories can be about more pleasant topics. But there are also stories we do not enjoy reporting.
It’s just our job.
We are not making a statement by what we choose to report.
But we are, certainly, making a judgment as to how relevant, how vital, how engaging a given news event is.
Traficant — like him or not — will be an engaging news situation for all the reasons people love and hate the guy.
Our job is simply to bring that to you.
We have never supported the guy for office.
We have never attacked the federal investigators who brought charges on him.
Bertram DeSouza’s columns have been as derisive toward Traficant as they’ve been to the many, many things Bertram dislikes.
I hope, as the weeks unfold, readers will see a distinction in what we report vs. what we support.
It’s one thing for a group like the Mahoning Valley Scrappers to host a Traficant-themed event.
It’s another thing for us to let you know such an event is happening.


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