Sacramento Bee Editors Deep-Six Haughty Editorial Criticizing Voters in Favor of One That Lays Into Those DAMN POLITICIANS!!!
This is good: Big Media editors accidentally publishing what they really think, and then whisking it away to hide the evidence . . . but not fast enough!!
We got a little glimpse into the minds of the editors at the Sacramento Bee today, when they accidentally published a draft editorial that was haughtily dismissive of the voters. Doug Ross has the whole thing at this blog post; here are some choice excerpts that convey the sneering, supercilious tone. You can label this version “What We Really Think”:
Good morning, California voters. Do you feel better, now that you’ve gotten that out of your system?
You wanted to show the state’s politicians just how mad you are at them. And you did. Boy, did you ever.
. . . .
[Y]ou showed those politicians who’s in charge. You. You’re now officially in charge of a state that will be something like $25 billion in the hole for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
So, now that you’ve put those irksome politicians in their place, maybe it’s time to think about this: Since you’re in charge, exactly what do you intend to do about that pesky $25 billion hole in the budget?
. . . .
You’ve got until June 30 to get it all straight.
That sounds a lot like work, you say? Sorry, no whining allowed. You asked for this job. Now you’ve got it, so get on it. Oh, and remember. The entire nation is watching to see how you do now that you’re in charge.
No pressure or anything. Just thought you’d want to know.
The comments are brutal, as you might expect . . . and the editors responded by whisking away that version, and replacing it with one that directs venom primarily at those damn politicians in Sacramento. Call this version “What We Are Pretending to Think”:
Good morning, members of the California Legislature. Good morning, Governor.
Feeling bruised and abused this morning? Well, you can’t say you didn’t see it coming. . . .
You can blame the voters for reacting with uninformed and misplaced anger.
Or you can look in the mirror and admit you had it coming. And you know you did.
. . . .
[M]ake Californians feel they are getting their money’s worth from the governments they pay for.
If that sounds difficult, well, it will be. You’re starting from a deep hole, one that you’ve dug yourselves.
The first step is to stop digging. Don’t blame voters, no matter how much you may want to. Accept their verdict with good grace. Acknowledge that even if they don’t have a mastery of all the details of the state budget, their judgment about your performance is not subject to your approval.
An editor’s note explains:
Many of the comments below refer to an article that was posted in error. That article was a draft prepared for internal discussion among members of The Bee’s editorial board. Such discussions are a routine part of our work, and frequently lead to editorials that are considerably different from writers’ first drafts.
That’s what happened in this case. After discussion, we decided that our initial editorial about the special election should take a different tack.
Indeed. You decided to replace “What We Really Think” with “What We Are Pretending to Think.” We get it.
Really. We do.
Thanks to Jim Lakely, who has thoughts on the original screed here. His thoughts on the walkback here.