I try to give most journalists and even editorialists the benefit of the doubt. It's a difficult job, and everyone hates you all of the time no matter what you do.
That said, come on, Barb. Make an effort to be fair and honest. I mean a tiny effort--not a huge one--no one expects that much.
The piece she wrote--this one for the Pitch (it in the trash), is titled "It Hasn't Been Mary Pilcher-Cook's Year--and Her Opponent Vicki Hiatt Knows It." It should probably have been called "Stompy Editorialist Hates Conservative Legislator" or something along those lines. But... that's not the headline the Pitch went with.
Now, if this was just your typical hit piece filled with innuendos and no effort to contact the subject of the hit, meh. It wouldn't be worthy of comment. Barb Shelly has always been stompy angry at conservatives, and there's probably no amount of common sense or even common decency that's ever going to change that. However, Shelly went out of her way to act as if she was writing a "news" piece about the state of the race in Shawnee. Um. Yeah right.
How do I know this? I have the email exchange. Shelly sent Pilcher-Cook an email requesting an interview. Pilcher-Cook sent an email in return saying she'd answer emailed questions--probably knowing that Shelly has a virulent contempt for people who think differently than she does. So, Pilcher-Cook answered the questions. It reads almost like a candidate questionnaire. Innocuous enough--you can read it at the link here.
Note that Shelly says she's writing a "story" not an editorial. She's interested in Pilcher-Cook's thoughts on "your school financing vote, your opinion of your chances in the upcoming election and other matters."
That would reasonably lead a person to believe the "story" would at least attempt to be unbiased, right? That's not how the story reads. It starts by lambasting Pilcher-Cook for being a conservative--this isn't a secret. Pilcher-Cook doesn't pretend, which is actually refreshing if you ask me. We've got a whole lot of folks where you kind of have to take a wandering guess about where they'll wind up on an issue. (And don't even get me started on the so-called mod Republicans, who are probably voting for Hilary and asking George Soros for funding while pretending to be Republicans. I can't even...I have a lot more respect for the people who own the fact that they're Democrats by affiliating with the Dem Party.)
I'm all about a well-timed editorial explaining why your own opinion is right and everyone else is a fool. But it undermines the journalism profession when lines like this one "That bodes poorly for Pilcher-Cook, who would much rather talk about rifles and the unborn than about her support for income-tax cuts and the education of actual Kansas children" end up in a news story.
Um. Show me that in the answers to the questions, please. Oh wait, you can't. Because no one said that--not that Pilcher-Cook was actually asked what she'd rather talk about.
The state of journalism today is pretty much in shambles. It's no wonder most people of good conscience refuse to believe half of what they read. Just be honest about who you are and what you stand for. The Pitch shouldn't be calling that piece news, and neither should the person who wrote it.