The editorial voice of the AJC is both a blessing and a curse. For liberals who like to see their views passionately argued in print, it’s a blessing. It’s a curse, however, for liberals who want anybody else to actually listen to them. Its viewpoint is so predictable that the newspaper is reviled and ignored by outstate legislators.
Cynthia Tucker has shaped that voice for years. The Pulitzer winner’s abrupt re-assignment to Washington is a bit of a puzzle. So is her removal, and Jay Bookman’s, from the editorial board. This leads the New York Times to write in Sunday’s edition that “an Atlanta editorial voice may move to the right.”
Of greater import, however, is the fact that the newspaper’s editorial board will be led by Andre Jackson, a guy who has lived in Atlanta for less than a year. Ken Edelstein has covered this issue quite well in his blog. An Edelstein post last week apparently sparked the NYT piece (though quoted in the piece, Edelstein might understandably lament that the NYT declined to name his blog). Edelstein, the onetime editor of Creative Loafing, is covering politics and media in Atlanta Unsheltered. It’s a new addition to our blogroll on the right.
Edelstein told the NYT “it’s definitely a move to the right.” The hand-wringing invariably goes back to Ralph McGill, the crusading Constitution editor who helped break the white logjam against civil rights. But times have changed. McGill’s voice and newspaper mattered much more in the 1950s than they do in the 21st century version of the AJC.