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UPDATED Learning more about the Press Herald's "customers"

Let me join the social-networking buzz commending Justin Ellis's eloquent, impassioned takedown of Press Herald editor/publisher Richard Connor's ill-conceived "apology" for a well-written, beautifully photographed article on the Eid festival marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Yes, the story ran in print and online on September 11.

I echo everything Justin said. I would add just a few observations.

1) When he bought the paper, Richard Connor said he would consider his readers, advertisers, and employees all as "customers." I noted back in July 2009 that such a view might be problematic. Indeed, it seems to have been in this instance. Some - by no means all - of his readers objected to the coverage as insufficiently sensitive to the 9th anniversary of 9/11. Perhaps some advertisers did too, seeing something sinister in the publication of perceptive, interesting coverage of Muslims on 9/11. And so Connor threw his entire staff under the bus.

It seems unlikely that his employees will ever again consider themselves his "customers." Rather, they will know their decisions - even well-made ones that are not only intellectually but also morally ironclad - are subject to Monday-morning quarterbacking of the worst kind.

 

and 2) We now know which customers hold the reins at Press Herald HQ. And it is, I am sad to report, the wildly incoherent and madly intolerant ranters who seem to dominate the PPH's online comment boards. Those raving lunatics and their foul-mouthed, sharp-tongued/-fingered brethren clearly have an audience in Connor.

 which leads to 3) Richard Connor is clearly as unfamiliar with Maine today as he was when he arrived after more than 40 years away.

Can't wait to see what comes next.

 

 UPDATE: Cartoonist Rob Tornoe at PineTreePolitics has a pointed take.

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