Sunday, December 21, 2008

Did the Herald Sun mean to dis the President?

Under reporter Ray Gronberg’s byline, a story in today’s Durham Herald Sun begins - -

Hampton Dellinger hopes to rebound from an unsuccessful run this year for lieutenant governor by securing a presidential appointment that would make him one of the state's three leading federal prosecutors.

The Durham attorney is lobbying behind the scenes for an appointment as U.S. Attorney for either the Middle or Eastern districts of North Carolina.

President-elect Barack Obama would make the selection, in consultation with the state's new U.S. senator, Greensboro Democrat Kay Hagan. The appointment requires Senate confirmation.

Dellinger -- the son of Duke University law professor emeritus and former acting U.S. Solicitor General Walter Dellinger -- recently contacted Durham Mayor Bill Bell to ask Bell for help in securing the appointment. …

The rest of the story’s here.


The story goes on to mention a number of other individuals who hold elective or appointive public offices or are about to occupy one, as in the case of Walter Dalton, whom the Herald Sun identifies as “Lt. Gov.-elect Walter Dalton.”

On first reference the H-S used the public office title of all individuals save one: the President of the United States.

So we read:

Its present U.S. Attorney is Anna Mills Wagoner, a George W. Bush appointee who appears unlikely to retain her job.
”Mayor Bell,” “new U.S. senator, Greensboro Democrat Kay Hagan,” “former acting U.S. Solicitor General Walter Dellinger,” “Gov. Mike Easley,” and “Lt. Gov.-elect Walter Dalton.”

But merely “a George W. Bush appointee.”

I’ve praised Ray Gronberg’s reporting many times. I don’t know his politics, but I find it hard to believe he’d stoop to dissing President Bush by failing to use on first reference the title of the office he holds.

Even if Gronberg did, it’s something an editor should’ve caught and corrected.

I’ve left a phone message for the H-S managing editor and I’m sending Gronberg a link to this post.

I’ll let you know what, if anything, I hear back.


Anonymous said...

Possibly it was disrespect;it may have been he felt no need to identify GWB with an office.

Anonymous said...

All newspapers and wire services have style books. They ALL require full identification of a person at first reference. 'Nuf said.
Tarheel Hawkeye