Is That a Change of Tone We Detect?

The first day of Todd Culbertson’s oversight of the RTD editorial pages arrived Thursday with no marked fanfare, just a change of names in the newspaper masthead . . . and also, it seems, a change of tone in the paper’s unsigned editorials.

Today the RTD doesn’t just criticize Frank Hargrove’s “get over it” barb; it also notes that Jews and people of color (“those who have endured history’s persistent discrimination and abuse”)  are most often the targets of contemporary smears, and argues that the “refusal of ancient sentiments to die emphasizes the need for public vigiliance.”

In other items, the RTD also calls the notion that Christmas is under attack “pathetic”; notes that it is finally now “possible to question progress in Iraq without being soft, faint of heart, or even anti-American”; and provides an informative preview of Gov. Kaine’s upcoming trip to India. It even includes an item gently mocking the obsession of some neocons with the notion that the U.S. and China are destined for military conflict sometime later this century.

To be sure, the RTD takes a shot at an old familiar whipping boy, liberal Hollywood, but even here the substantive point made is quite fair: that the the moral authority of the film industry to comment on environmental issues would be enhanced if the industry took a greater leadership role in minimizing its own environmental impact.

Obviously, we can’t leap to conclusions after just one day, but today’s batch of editorials provide reasons to be hopeful that the RTD’s editorials might just move in a more moderate direction, with respect to both content and tone,  in the months ahead. Stay tuned.

Published in: on January 18, 2007 at 3:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

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