Ben Marrison is the most unintentionally funny editorial writer in Ohio. Today, he claims that his paper can be trusted to call Kasich out despite endorsing him in the election:
One student asked Dispatch editors how our coverage will change because our editorial page endorsed mostly Republicans and the GOP took control of state government in a landslide on Nov. 2.
As we explained to the students, the job of the news pages is not to offer support, but to provide objective reports.
Our mission is to help readers understand what is happening. Newspapers have an obligation to thoroughly examine the policies and decisions of any administration. No one gets a pass. And the political parties of people in power have no bearing on what we do.
I don’t deny that Marrison’s correct in saying that the Dispatch’s job is to “not offer support, but to provide objective reports.” But if Marrison thinks that’s what his paper has actually done, then well, he must not ever read it.
Marrison then tries to offer an example of them “taking Kasich to task:”
Today’s front page is an example.
The story by Catherine Candisky and Alan Johnson explains the daunting task of cutting Medicaid. Ohio has a budget hole of $8 billion over the next two years – about 16percent of state spending.
Our reporting on this political and financial quagmire is neither pro- nor anti-Kasich. It is news. But it’s even more relevant with Kasich taking charge because he has vowed not to raise taxes and doesn’t like balancing a budget using federal "one-time" money. Without a major influx of new money, the state will have to cut dramatically.
Of course, that article barely mentions Kasich at all except to include a bland quote that Kasich admits that Medicaid cuts, in some form, are “on the table.” In reality, Kasich has avoided any scrutiny at all from the Dispatch, especially since his election in that or any other story.
A week ago, when presumptive Republican House Speaker mentioned cutting Medicaid eligibility in half, the Dispatch buried that lede and instead made the story appear to be nothing more than political palace intrigue in what cuts may be coming.
Marrison, nor anyone else at his paper, have explained why they shouldn’t be viewed as being in the tank for Kasich even though they blasted Strickland’s education reforms right before the election, even though they endorsed those same reforms when they were introduced.
The Dispatch has not called out Kasich’s hypocrisy for opposing the $130 million it would cost to start the 3C passenger rail as “cost prohibitive” while Kasich promises to fit $824 million in tax cuts in the budget. There’s been not one story about Kasich appointing former Deters chief-of-staff Matt Borges, who was convicted in 2004 over public corruption, to be the Executive Director of his Inaugural Committee.
The Dispatch has yet to note in its reporting or in its commentary that Kasich came out in favor of school consolidation immediately after the election despite calling allegations of his support for it a “vicious smear” before it.
Not one story asking why John Kasich has yet to let Ohioans know what he plans on doing as Governor, especially now that he’s been elected.
Maybe, just maybe, if the Dispatch had done any of these things, Ben Marrison wouldn’t be asked about the perception that the Dispatch as being in the tank for Kasich by visiting college journalism students.
Maybe instead of waxing philosophically, Marrison should looked at his own paper, thought about what hasn’t been in it lately, and then, maybe, then, he’d finally understand why someone would ask him that kind of question in the first place.