Notes on the Star

by David Safier

I have given the Star a heaping serving of praise lately — especially considering the source: someone who scours the paper daily and often criticizes it for its lacks and excesses. My only criticism of late was more about its owner Lee Enterprises and the corporation's virulently anti-union stance.

That being said, today's editorial cartoon is right on the money when it comes to Wisconsin, unions, Gov. Walker and the Koch Brothers.

Koch_bros_cartoon

The cartoon is from RJ Matson of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. The Dispatch is a union paper Lee Enterprises bought in 2005, so this is an in-house cartoon from an off-the-anti-union-reservation paper. Kudos to the Star for running it.

I'll end with some highlights from Fitz's column today. But first: I've been more pleased with the Star's national coverage lately than I usually am. It seems fairer. It seems to be covering the kind of stories it often ignores. I've found its headlines to be anywhere from acceptable to good — or at worst, nontoxic.

I hope this is a sign the paper is trying to do a better job of objectivity in its reporting of issues, local and national. I will withhold judgement, however, until I see its coverage when we get closer to elections, when it really matters.

Now, for some Fitz excerpts. It's so tough to choose just a few!

State Sen. Russell Pearce will be competing in the Tucson Rodeo. He will be riding illegal immigrants all the way to Congress.

[snip]

Needing lifesaving transplants, Tucsonans Courtney Parham, 23, and Benny Miranda, 39, have been sentenced to die by Arizona's Republican lawmakers. Former student Parham and former Target employee Miranda were both found guilty of being "poor while ill" and thus eligible for the death penalty and "death by disease." So far their appeals have been denied. As a legislator noted, "We have to focus on important things like designating the state gun and giving tax breaks to corporations." [T'ain't funny, Fitz. But all too true. All too true.]

[snip]

State Sen. Al Melvin and his colleagues are moving to kill AHCCCS. It's a health-care safety net that covers more than 1 million working poor and nearly half a million children. Said Melvin, "Billions in federal funds will vanish, hospitals will close, thousands of jobs will be lost, people will die and a health-care network will be destroyed. But I don't know anybody in SaddleBrooke who needs AHCCCS."

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