Reason in journalism is apparently dead.
I was amused at the reasoning put forth in the March 24 opinion piece titled “New Orleans should settle Confederate monuments issue, not micromanaging state bureaucrats.”
The premise behind the entire argument is legislators have better things to do than meddle in New Orleans’ mayor and city council’s efforts to remove three monuments to Confederate leaders and one monument to an attempted coup during the Reconstruction period from the public square.
The lead reads, “With the state budget hemorrhaging hundreds of millions of dollars in red ink, you’d think lawmakers would have their hands full just trying to staunch the bleeding. But remarkably, state Sen. Beth Mizell, a Franklinton Republican, has found enough time on her hands for a pet project — running the city of New Orleans.”
As a New Orleanian, I think the lead would make more sense if it said, “With two consent decrees, rising crime rates, crumbling infrastructure and firefighters owed tens of millions, you’d think Mayor Landrieu and the City Council would have their hands full just trying to staunch the bleeding. But remarkably, the mayor and council have found enough time on their hands to solve the world’s racial problems — by removing heretofore benign monuments to Confederate leaders.”
It’s the city of New Orleans’ elected officials who are taking on a pet project, despite plenty of more pressing needs and a lack of support. Kudos to Mizell. If the state Legislature passed a law protecting monuments of all sorts, particularly those in question in New Orleans, it would be the one governmental body actually reflecting the majority of Louisiana citizens on this issue.
But courting headlines is more important to the mayor and council than following the direction of constituents.