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Coverage of former President example of shift in Advocate policyThe Victoria Advocate's extremely thorough coverage of former President Bill Clinton's visit to Victoria is but another example in a shift in Advocate policy on political campaign coverage. This shift is welcome and refreshing.As others posting here have noted, Advocate editors have absolutely no reason to apologize for blowout coverage of the immediate former President visiting their city; indeed, while speaking, President Clinton stood about three blocks from the newspaper's building. Regardless of one's political leanings, and regardless of the reason for the visit to Victoria, the historical fact is that Bill Clinton served eight years as the 42nd President of the United States. Wednesday's Advocate listed the visits of national dignitaries to Victoria, and the list was very short. I said this represents a shift for the Advocate. I have also noticed that Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Representative Ron Paul (who is also seeking the nomination of the Republican Party for President) have been published on the Viewpoints page as guest columnists. In other words, our incumbent representatives in the U.S. Congress are allowed to speak in their own words. This is a sharp departure from previous Advocate political coverage policy. To wit, I recall one or two election cycles ago noticing a large (maybe full-page) advertisement that announced an October campaign stop for Congressman Paul at a Victoria hotel that also featured both U.S. Senators from Texas. I expected big coverage of the event in the Victoria Advocate. Not a word. A letter to the editor complaining about the Advocate's decision to not cover an event that featured all three members of Congress who represent the majority of Advocate readers was published shortly afterward. A short editor's reply to the letter basically said the event was "too political." Yet, how many days have there been when three incumbent members of the U.S. Congress were in Victoria, and in the same building? The list is probably shorter than the "dignitaries" list published in Wednesday's paper. No in-office President has ever made an official visit to Victoria (though George H.W. Bush passed through Victoria on his hunting trips to Berclair), but the Advocate ignored three incumbent members of Congress.The Advocate's coverage of Bill Clinton's stop in Victoria while campaigning for Senator Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party nomination for President was, and should have been, huge. In my opinion, the Clintons were and are bad for America, and I will have an opportunity to express that opinion further on Election Day. But "we the people" did place Mr. Clinton in the White House for eight years. He visited the Advocate's home city. And that is an historical fact that cannot be ignored.Thanks to the Victoria Advocate for the change of policy that allows for the news coverage an event merits, regardless of its political implications.
I do, however, have a complaint about the way this whole thing was handled. I understand that the weather didn't cooperate and certain security considerations were (unnecessarily) had to be taken into account but this was a fiasco.Obviously though that wasn't the paper's fault - but I'm sure you'll hear about it anyway. :)Ernie
Geez, Chris, I'm with the majority on this one. Why should you have to defend your decision - no, your *obligation* - to cover this obvious news event? The paper covered Dr. Paul's whistlestop here as you certainly should have as well. (I *was* a bit disappointed that you didn't put out a Special Edition with front page coverage for *that* event but I do understand we may not see eye-to-eye on all points. :-)I guess I'm not terribly afflicted with a bad case of star appeal. Having Ron, George H. or W., Barack or even John Wayne come to town is something of note I guess but not something I get especially pumped up about. Well, ok... maybe John. He's dead after all so that'd be something of an oddity - but you get the point. I can see 'em all on the tube from the comfort of my Lazy Boy and not have to fight the crowds - and the view is usually much better. They all put their pants on one leg at a time just like the rest of us. Or, I guess, in this case, take 'em off that way. :-) OK OK! Sorry! I couldn't resist..... Ernie
I guess if you want to keep your Republican readers happy, you could run Bush's latest speech alongside some quotes from Clinton's.Rumors of US bases in Africa are "BALONEY"http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/02/2...
I am not a supporter of the Clintons but I would be upset, angered, outraged if the local paper didn't cover his appearance. This is a huge day for Victoria! It is a shame you had to post this blog but I do believe you when you say you will recieve complaints. Great coverage so far, keep up the good work!
Very true VISDMom.
I agree with the other comments. I am not necessarily a supporter of Ms. Clinton or Mr. Obama, but the thought that any national political figure, especially a former president, thinks it is important to come to Victoria, Texas to campaign for a presidential candidate is phenomenol. The Victoria Advocate should not need to defend its coverage of this event. We as citizens should expect nothing less from our local newspaper.
A President of these United States is coming to town. That is news. Why wouldn't the Advocate cover it? It is just some sour pusses, with nothing better to do, but complain. The right-wingers in this town are that insecure? Lord help us, this town is peculiar!!
It's sad when an American newspaper has to defend its decision to cover a visit from a former president, regardless of who it is. Freedom of the press should include The Victoria Advocate, and I would expect the paper to cover visits from all politicians to keep me informed. I'm with you, I got a little pumped up when I heard about today's event. It's pretty awesome that a presidential campaign thinks it's important to make a stop in little ole Victoria!
Even though I am a diehard Obama supporter, i'm still excited that Bill Clinton is coming to town today. I mean, he's a former President of the United States of America! And he'll be here in podunk Victoria...that is great. Of course, i'll be carrying my Obama sign, so my chance of getting anywhere close to shake his hand are slim to none to not a chance in hell!
I would not get pumped up if GWB came to town ,but I would understand and expect blowout coverage.