Friday, September 21, 2007

The sensational motive

Throughout my weblog posts and "coverage of the coverage" of the Knoxville News-Sentinel's lawsuit of the Knox County Commission, I have held up the possibility that the paper has other motives aside from public transparency. The KNS editorial board all but admits that it supports metropolitan government in Knox County, and since the paper does wield more political power in East Tennessee than its Editor-in-Chief and Scripps would care to admit, Knox Countians had better dust off those voting machines, because a referendum is probably coming (for the fifth time).

The notion that News-Sentinel editor Jack McElroy has some other motives came up in court yesterday:

The exchange between Stackhouse, McElroy and his attorney, Richard Hollow, was much more brief but far more fiery.

It began when Stackhouse accused McElroy of filing the lawsuit to drive up readership and, thereby, push up advertising rates.

You mean the paper's lead editor might want to do something sensational to drive up the profit margin of the paper? No! Really?

McElroy denied the claim.

“I think a newspaper should step up and stand up for public access,” McElroy testified.

And a newspaper should not only create the news, but might as well create the lead story by bringing about what may be the most senational and precedent-setting civil trials in Tennessee history.

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