If you have been following the impeachment process, almost certainly it hasn’t been in the pages of Th e Facts. There is no grand conspiracy theory for that; it’s all about the priorities we set as a community newspaper.
It would go too far to say we don’t care about a president being impeached; regardless of the politics involved, it is a historic event. It’s just we care about many, many other things more.
For instance, in space we could have devoted to news about the impeachment proceedings, we put stories about the accused Santa Fe High School shooter being sent to a state mental hospital and 70 inches worth of community calendar information about upcoming events, photos about food drives at Northside Elementary and Angleton Christian schools and 37 local students finishing fast-track courses to get well-paying jobs in the area.
We haven’t completely gone without impeachment coverage, but it has been minimal and tied to the biggest of events. That isn’t going to change.
In my almost 18 years at The Facts, I have emphasized many times how local coverage is what will be given priority in our pages. One of my go-to phrases is people can put us in the same category as The New York Times when the Old Gray Lady starts covering Lake Jackson City Council meetings.
It’s also true that, in this particular impeachment process, there is no middle ground in the discussion of its merits. When one side would forgive the president if he shot up a school and the other would investigate him for bribery if he gave a dollar for a candy bar to a first-grader, no approach to coverage will be considered fair.
And that is a pathetic testament to the state of American politics.
Looking back to the last time we impeached a president, I was in North Central Ohio as the assistant managing editor of a community newspaper when Congress passed the articles of impeachment and put Bill Clinton on trial. Our approach back then wasn’t much different than the course we’re taking at The Facts.
Until the actual articles of impeachment were passed, the story didn’t sniff the front page. Even throughout much of the Senate trial, we bumped its coverage to inside pages and reserved the front page for items about local school district news, economic development projects and other things our readers were not going to find anywhere else. Clinton’s acquittal made the front page — at the very bottom.
There is one major difference on a personal level. Twenty years ago, I would be glued to the cable news channels watching the Clinton proceedings. This time, beyond generalities, I couldn’t say much about the case against President Donald Trump. So little of the discussion I have seen involves things that can be considered facts, it is a waste of time to tune in.
America deserves better, but it is living in the political outhouse it has spent most of my adult life building.
We hope the introduction of the Your Town pages several weeks back is meeting with readers’ approval. The intent is to provide another avenue to highlight the goodness of local residents and put the spotlight on community events that might escape news coverage.
Anyone who would like to highlight activities by their church, school, nonprofit organization, civic group or just people being neighborly is encouraged to send us photos and information at email@example.com or through our Facebook page. Please be sure to include as much information as possible.
We have dedicated Your Town pages to run three times each week. On Tuesdays, we focus on Brazosport and the coastal communities; Thursday’s page is for West of the Brazos; and every Friday will spotlight Angleton, Danbury and Rosharon.