How Appropriate

The McClatchy chain of newspapers is in bankruptcy. The chain includes such newspapers as the Sacremento Bee, the Miami Herald, and The State (Columbia, SC). Closer to me they own three of the ten largest newspapers in North Carolina including The Charlotte Observer and the News and Observer of Raleigh. While I can’t speak to the non-NC parts of McClatchy, their NC papers tend to be very anti-gun.

New Jersey-based Chatham Asset Management, a hedge fund, is their largest creditor and has won an auction to buy the chain. The auction results must be finalized by the bankruptcy court.

From the N&O:

“From the outset of this voluntary Chapter 11 filing, our aim was to permanently address both the company’s legacy debt and pension obligations and strengthen our balance sheet in order to provide greater certainty and stability to the wider group of our colleagues and stakeholders who benefit from a restructured McClatchy,” Craig Forman, president and CEO of McClatchy, said in a statement Sunday.

“We’re pleased that Chatham and the supportive secured first-lien creditors believe in our business and our mission and are helping to achieve these goals.”

When McClatchy, the nation’s second largest local news company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February, its restructuring plan called for Chatham, which has been an investor since 2009, to emerge as owner. The company, whose stock had been publicly traded, would be under private ownership.

After the pandemic disrupted the economy in March, McClatchy added a second exit option, putting itself up for sale.

Chatham owns a couple of other newspaper & media companies: Canadian based Postmedia Network and American Media.

American Media was the parent company of the National Enquirer until April 2019 when it was forced to sell it by Chatham. It was erroneously reported by the News & Observer that they still owned it. Nonetheless, they retained such paragons of journalism as US Weekly, the Star, and inTouch.

As the conservative-leaning Carolina Partnership for Reform noted:

Just think… if you didn’t believe the news from these papers before, now you’ll have a reason to say why. And if you like scandal and sensation, you won’t have to go to the grocery store checkout aisle to get it.

When you consider it, the pairing of the News and Observer as a sister company to the American Media offerings is quite appropriate. While they are now piously progressive, as a student of North Carolina history, it is hard to forget their role in advancing white supremacy on behalf of the Democratic Party. Whether it was editorials attacking miscegenation or their scurrilous cartoons, the N&O (and the Charlotte Observer) was more sensational in its earlier days than even the tabloids are today.

As I said in the headline, how appropriate.

Ah Yes Except The NRA Did Issue A Statement

I picked up a story this morning from a website called .Mic. It is a website devoted to, among other things, bashing the NRA and gun owners. I guess this plays well with their intended audience of “educated Millennials”. In a story written Friday by Emily Cahn for their “Policy.Mic” section headlined, “NRA Responds To Dallas Police Sniper Shootings, But Completely Ignores Philando Castile”, she noted the NRA release regarding the Dallas murders. Ms. Cahn then wrote:

But missing from the NRA’s response was any reaction to the death of Philando Castile, a black man who was killed by police officers during a traffic stop in Minnesota, after he informed them he legally had a gun in his car.

The lack of response to Castile’s death is perplexing, given that the NRA staunchly defends Americans’ right to lawfully own and carry firearms.

The group has even helped defeat gun control legislation in the wake of the Orlando shootings that would prevent suspected terrorists on the FBI’s “no-fly” list from purchasing guns.

I would be troubled if the NRA ignored the shooting of Mr. Castile in Minneapolis. However, they didn’t. While not mentioning Mr. Castile by name, they issued the following statement on Friday.

As the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights organization, the NRA proudly supports the right of law-abiding Americans to carry firearms for defense of themselves and others regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation.

The reports from Minnesota are troubling and must be thoroughly investigated. In the meantime, it is important for the NRA not to comment while the investigation is ongoing.

Rest assured, the NRA will have more to say once all the facts are known.

Given that the NRA statement and the Cahn article were both published on Friday, I don’t know which came first. Even assuming the Cahn article was published before the NRA released their statement, journalistic ethics demand that a correction or clarification be released acknowledging the NRA statement on the Castile shooting.

Ms. Cahn is a graduate of George Washington University and has worked for papers including the Houston Chronicle, the Washington Post, The Hill, and CQ Roll Call. She is currently .Mic’s Senior Political Reporter. Given that background one would have hoped she learned something about journalistic ethics along the way. Sadly, it appears she hasn’t.