Lately, I've putting myself in the shoes of a high school Journalism teacher and reading the Republic opinion pages in the same way that I would read final exams. My point is that there are basic standards of professionalism to which every Journalist should adhere and that in many cases the Republic violates these basic standards.
For example, vilification is not the same as argument. In fact, vilification has no place in an argument. That means that you really shouldn't compare someone who disagrees with you to a rapist. And you shouldn't compare a politician's vote to condoning or ignoring rape. In fact, if you are writing opinion pieces don't use rape as an example, because it both vilifies your opponent and makes light of the significance of rape. If you are looking for examples, you can scroll back a bit through the archives and see where EJ Montini compared Matt Salmon to one of the coaches who ignored Jerry Sandusky raping a boy in the shower.
If you scroll back a little farther, you will see Steve Benson portray the GOP as basement rapist Ariel Castro, or as a vulture feeding of the bodies of Benghazi victims. He's also portrayed Governor Brewer as Muammar Gaddafi. My point is that this type of behavior is simply unprofessional and if I were teaching an Intro to Journalism class, I would have a section on professionalism and civility in which I point out that vilifying someone by comparing them to rapists, dictators or vultures is not professional.
One step below vilification is name calling. For example, it's poor form and poor argument to call your opponents "kooks". Not is it unpersuasive to call your opponent a "kook", it's simply childish.
Step back and ask yourself this question. If you were asked to teach a college Journalism class and a student turned in a paper saying that the tactics Harry Reid used to pass Obamacare were like raping the American People and then identified several additional controversial bills and called the Senators who voted in favor of those bills "kooks." What grade would you give that paper?
How about if one of your students wrote an editorial about Obamacare and said that the people who opposed it were "Stupid." What grade would you give that paper?
Weren't we all supposed to learn in kindergarten that we have to wash our hands, not hit people and not call people stupid? I mean seriously, learning not to call people stupid is one of our earliest lessons. How can someone make it all the way to high school and not understand that using the word "stupid" is not only childish and rude, but is simply unpersuasive.
Que this morning's Republic