What really matters

I tend to find most election seasons humorous rather than serious in many ways. So, I enjoyed reading about the latest issue injected into the gubernatorial campaign – the AJC’s alleged anti-UGA bias. Yep, Gov. Perdue wrote a letter defending the honor of the flagship university from a non-flattering headline about Saturday’s loss.

Other cities celebrate the successes and mourn the losses of local businesses, individuals and sports teams. The AJC takes the opposite position and — instead of boosterism — criticizes, investigates and ridicules all things Georgia.

(by “Georgia” I assume that the Governor is discussing the University of Georgia [Update] See comments on this post, the Governor meant the State of Georgia) The AJC acknowledged the letter – “Georgia can’t win every game, and we can’t get every headline just right,” said Journal-Constitution Editor Julia Wallace. “Fortunately, our avid readers, including the governor, help keep us straight.”

Nobody would argue that the AJC has the right to print what it wants to print and as a Tech student I barely have a dog in this hunt (I’m a grad student and only sort of care about the football fortunes and follies of our two schools). But I do understand the frustration with sports coverage. I never like when the Braves are on national TV because the announcers are so anti-Braves that it sickens me. I remember times in the mid-90s when Maddux would throw 8 strikes and 2 balls in the playoffs and the announcers would talk about how he was on the decline. Please. Local coverage of sports is so much more friendly to the local team. I’m inclined to agree with the Governor that it ought to be as well. This is the one place where a news organization can routinely be very openly biased. Frankly, it probably sells more papers being biased than it would otherwise.

There is also the issue of whether this matters at all in the scheme of what affects life. My base opinion is that right or wrong, in their hearts, Georgians probably care more about UGA football than they do about most of the other issues of the day. It probably affects them on a daily (or, I suppose, weekly) basis a lot more as well. You can say that this is some way of quelling the masses, but I think it still matters to people. I mean, besides Gasper the Beluga getting better (hopefully!), what else is there that we all really care about?

7 Comments so far

  1. EA (unregistered) on October 10th, 2006 @ 3:46 pm

    So true about the anti-Braves bias. I remember in 1991 when we first started doing well…we always turned the TV on mute and listened to Skip on the radio instead.

    As for the anti-UGA bias? Please. The school gets an entire section every weekend, as does Georgia Tech. Try being an alum of Georgia Southern–a little school that doesn’t matter since it’s 1-AA. No, I’m not bitter!

  2. George Burdell (unregistered) on October 10th, 2006 @ 4:05 pm

    By “Georgia” I assumed that the Governor is discussing the State of Georgia, and that his note extended beyond the negativity towards the football headline, but every negative headline the AJC seems to love.

  3. Greg Mohler (unregistered) on October 11th, 2006 @ 8:21 am

    It does sound to me that Perdue was upset with the AJC in general, and the negative article on UGA’s football team was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I like how the governor sees the roles of newspaper and PR department as interchangeable. Criticize? Investigate? Heaven forfend!

  4. Jim V. (unregistered) on October 11th, 2006 @ 10:09 am

    Chalk this up to another sign[s] that you have a 20-point lead in the polls. Stuff like this plays really well with Perdue’s base. Why address criticism when you can trash the media, and pander to UGA fans all at once?

  5. Eric (unregistered) on October 11th, 2006 @ 10:27 am

    What I took from this letter is that the Governor is trying to paint the AJC with a bias much like Bush has done with the national media. You can take it to mean Georgia as just UGA. However, when you read it as the State of Georgia and that the AJC is always being negative it lets him waive off criticisms in the paper as just another negative comment from the unsupportive local media.

  6. abby (unregistered) on October 11th, 2006 @ 11:12 am

    He meant state of Georgia, rather than university of. He said he just didn’t like the AJC “glee” about things like when BRAC decided to close military bases in GA, when NASCAR decided against the Atlanta museum, when Tech dominates at football but headlines say things like “Tech Staff Fumbles Ball’s Vast Promise.”

    He was on 790 the zone this morning, clarified himself a little bit.

  7. Justin in McDonough (unregistered) on October 16th, 2006 @ 2:22 pm

    Go dawgs…

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