It’s hard to put it any plainer than that, particularly when our esteemed local publication has just been caught digitally altering photographs for the sketchiest of reasons. The offered explanation - that the newspaper simply doesn’t run photographs of candidates running for office - boggles the imagination. Since when, one wonders. Of course the more likely explanation is that the newspaper and its owners weren’t interested in doing anything that might benefit the particular politicians that were excised from the photograph; it’s hardly a secret that the newspaper’s ownership uses the Dominion Post as an organ for their own political beliefs whenever they see necessary.
To put that another way: the family that owns the newspaper is one of the biggest landholders in Monongalia County. Whenever a school levy funded by a slight increase in property taxes goes on the ballot, the Dominion Post manages to always report how much that slight increase is going to hurt the county’s senior citizens. They never acknowledge that it’s actually going to take the most out of the pocket of the newspaper’s ownership. Funny how that works.
Of course, the Dominion Post’s real crime aren’t these blatant conflicts of interest - anybody ought to be able to connect the biased coverage to the ownership’s political beliefs - but rather, the slavish attitude they take toward the local political establishment. Take, for example, this wishy-washy editorial in which the newspaper lectures the Woodburn neighborhood to quietly accept whatever decision is made regarding the proposed consolidation of Woodburn and Easton Elementaries. To read the newspaper’s account, the decision will have been the result of a fair process that weighed equally all of the available possibilities. Here’s what the Dominion Post wrote:
Though many may disagree, now, and possible more later, we believe the BOE has made a good faith effort to reach the best decision on where this new school is located.
Rest assured that any decision involving people like Clarence Harvey and Nancy Walker was never made in “good faith.” Neither know the meaning of the words. Any reasonable person can see that this entire process was almost certainly rigged from the outset to arrive at one particular conclusion: consolidation. How can they know this? Because this isn’t playing out any differently than the closures of Wiles Hill and Central Elementaries did 10 years ago, and the closer of 1st Ward and 2nd Ward did 20 years ago. The communities object, the school board ignores them, and then the school board decides to do whatever the hell it had wanted to in the first place.
The Dominion Post’s editorial finishes with this:
That’s important, but more important is that we all remember this decision is the duly elected board’s to make - not the community’s, not these schools’, not the state School Building Authority’s, not the Morgantown City Council’s and not the architects’.
They could have added, “So don’t judge the school board, for they’re only doing what’s best for all of us. Don’t question or criticize or object.” Of course, if you believe any of that, I’ve got a photograph that’s just perfect for you.