DNR Makes It Into CJR

JGFitzgerald -- May 21st, 2009

Some national notoriety for the DNR in the Columbia Journalism Review. The reference is to an editorial headline referenced in another thread earlier.

29 Responses to “DNR Makes It Into CJR”

  1. Renee says:

    Good. I hope the DNR gets in trouble for the racially inflammatory headlines and content their editorials often have.

  2. the state believes that cort kirkwood (managing editor and writer of the above editorial) has demonstrated either inexcusable ignorance or bold racism in this most recent example of unprofessional conduct.

    read more of our thoughts here.

  3. Renee says:

    I submitted a CNN iReport here:


    I hope the DNR gets called out nationally for their horrible editorials so they change their racist ways and start representing the city that they supposedly write for.

  4. Renee says:

    I keep thinking about this. Here are some choice comments from the DNR messageboard:

    “26. RE: Primate Obama
    Even as a lapsed Catholic, it outrages me that the DNR repeatedly writes editorials like this presuming that it is a legitimate voice regarding Catholic teaching and thought. Nothing could be further from the truth.
    This newspaper cherry-picks what it wants to from any source and bends it to its own perverse worldview. The history of editorial positions of this newspaper prove, without doubt, that it is antithetical to the vast majority of Catholic teaching but, when it comes to the issue of abortion, it’s conveniently aligned with it.
    Please leave it to Catholics themselves and the Church to speak regarding the array of positions taken on issues within the Catholic Church. Believe it or not, the laity doesn’t always agree with the hierarchy and that divergence of opinion does “count.” It’s repugnant for the DNR to presume to speak for Catholics or the Catholic Church.
    May 21, 2009 10:16 AM
    Staunton, VA”

    “Here’s another place you can find the phrase “primate Obama”. Might our editors have been moonlighting? Or just seeking inspiration?
    (Caution: link is more flagrantly racist than site you are now on.)
    May 21, 2009 10:32 PM
    Anne Lorimer

    “52. RE: Primate Obama
    What’s missing in all this back and forth sniping about who’s the enemy and whether Democrats are not real Americans, and that is the absolutely stunning magnitude of the editor’s stupidity. “Primate” used in common parlance to refer to church hierarchy is like calling someone “queer” and then saying that you only meant the fellow is a little odd. The only thing greater than the jaw-dropping dumbness of the headline is the deliberate misrepresentation of the President’s speech at Notre Dame. I listened carefully to the whole speech and the only thing I can ask the editor is this: Is it possible that you can’t understand English? Geez, you couldn’t have gotten it more wrong! What’s next–are you gonna turn the Sermon on the Mount into a call to arms? The only thing you accomplish with this kind of yellow analysis is cementing the already-firm perception that you are either a delusional paranoid or you’re just having a big laugh at your readers’ expense. May 21, 2009 7:18 PM

    and of course the loonies, including this guy that posted words containing KKK many times:
    “60. RE: Primate Obama
    I don’t want no blacKKK man for president. May 21, 2009 10:16 PM
    Joe Ebslap”

  5. Jon says:

    To be fair, the last guy (Joe Ebslap) is actually being facetious. He is not one of the loonies. Those would be Welder, RC, and Ken Gibbs.

  6. Renee says:

    On the iReport site, there were people coming to defense of the article saying that the writer obviously was only using the word ‘primate’ as Catholic terminology and nothing more, to which I responded:

    Of course they don’t directly call Obama a monkey. That is not the point. The point is that ‘primate’ is not a commonly used term to describe Catholic leaders (you had to look it up, right?) and it’s especially not a term that people in my community would be familiar with (notice in the comments on the newspaper page that there are even local catholics calling the paper out for pretending to represent their opinion).

    The DNR tends to pick and choose ’causes’ like this in order to bash Obama, not because they agree with the Catholic church on anything. And they tend to use the thesaurus to find words that have dual meaning and could be offensive, but if used in a certain way could be defended, and they get away with it all the time.

    After having read the article, would you have selected the title “Primate Obama”? There is careful thought put into all newspaper headlines. They chose the word primate BECAUSE of its dual meaning – trust me, it’s a habit of theirs.

    It is a pattern of word choice (and topic choice) with the editorial writers that we are concerned with. Like I said, they have “toed the line” with racism often.

  7. Mayor Degner weighs in on the “primate” debate.

  8. Renee says:

    Thanks, Kai!

  9. JGFitzgerald says:

    A point worth reiterating: Cort Kirkwood, writing on behalf of the family that invented massive resistance, could have said “Bishop Obama” or “Cardinal Obama” and made his point more clearly. That he chose to use the more ambiguous “primate” pretty well proves his intention. Coarse Cracked Corn says he’s unsubscribing. So are Deb and I.

    Anybody else?

  10. Lowell Fulk says:

    Certainly a consideration. Unless one is steeped in Church tradition and governance, one wouldn’t know, huh? I certainly didn’t… Dianne and I had this very same conversation earlier this evening.

  11. Dave Briggman says:

    Cort is Libertarian…I don’t know of too many Libertarians who are racists…I’m willing to grant him the benefit of the doubt unless someone can prove otherwise.

    Lowell, while I don’t consider myself to be “too religious”, having been brought up in the Episcopal Church, upon reading JGF’s rant on Facebook, my first thought was the Archbishop of Canterbury…but then veered off to Obama’s appearance last week at Notre Dame.

    This type of “story” is created when you have mass quantities of liberals who have very small vocabularies.

  12. JGFitzgerald says:


    “Quantities” general refers to things measured in bulk: pounds of seed, gallons of water, etc. “Numbers” is used to refer to things that can be specifically, discretely counted, such as people. I realize most people don’t have that precise a vocabulary. Maybe you used “quantities” to make a point, even though another word would have been more accurate.

  13. Dave, I’ve spoken with Cort, and he specifically said he was not a Libertarian.

  14. David Miller says:

    I’d like to come up with a word that describes seething hatred for my political opponents like the Cons use the term Liberal. That way I could use their title/party affiliation as slander. I think Con would do it. Of course that would be considered name calling since I admitted to the offense in advance.

  15. I can assure you that Cort Kirkwood could care less if every Democratic-leaning reader in the Valley dropped their subscription. Kirkwood is in the business of pissing off Democrats. He’s promoting his hate to the Republican-leaning rabble. What would be far more useful would be to let all of America know what a bullshit newspaper the Daily News Record really is. DNR readers should know what the rest of America thinks of their “newspaper of record”.

  16. David Miller says:

    It doesn’t really matter anyway, unless someone wants to open up a competing/non-offensive paper/media of record.

  17. Bill says:

    Dave M- it wouldn’t matter, they ( the owner’s of the DNR) would just buy it like they have all the others. The DNR’s editorial judgement has a historic record of being extreme on on issues like this. There was a time, however, when the DNR would have remained silent on such an issue, but Mr. Mimms is no longer with us, and with his passing, there went decent editorial judgement. I feel ashamed that I subscribe to such garbage- but that will change when subcription renewal comes along.

  18. David Miller says:


    You bring up an interesting point about them buying their competition. I personally have decided to view their editorials as spectacle and only try to encourage better news sourcing/coverage. I think that they can grow in that respect and would prefer to encourage that they utilize their resources to do so.

  19. Dave Briggman says:

    I suppose it is splitting hairs, Brent, but aside from the fact that his name appears on Libertarian Party mailing lists, he has also written for Lew Rockwell’s website at lewrockwell.com.

    He maintains an archive on that site:

    So while he may not be active within the Party, he at least leans toward Libertarian.

  20. Dave,

    There are libertarians and there are libertarians. Lew Rockwell is of the racist branch of libertarians, those who are really into advocating that business owners should not be forced by the wicked government to hire blacks or serve blacks, that people should be able to form gated communities that do not rent or sell to blacks, and can build private highways that they can keep blacks off of. Rockwell may be the honcho of the Mises Institute, but it is likely Mises is rolling over in his grave at some of the stuff that goes on there now, with its deep pockets funding from hardcore, Old South racists. I could go on at much greater length on this last point (and I know that there are plenty of libertarians who are not racists at all, more likely to follow Hayek than Rothbard or Hans-Hermann Hoppe).

    So, let us consider Kirkwood himself. What is his most linked-to column at LewRockwell.com? Try http://www.lewrockwell.com/kirkwood/kirkwood49.html, a real honey. This is the one in which he blames Abu Ghraib on feminism. Uh huh. The man has some truly sick attitudes towards women. He has one book called _Real Men_ and another entitled _Cowards, Bullies and Killers: Feminization of the Western Man and the Christian Church_, which one can pick up from store.Catholicism.org, an outlet for far-right Catholic cult books.

    Sorry, but Kirkwood has a history of associating with racists and publishing truly sickening material about women. He is a disgusting shame and, as Brent Finnegan has reported, not a libertarian at all, except maybe on some economic issues. Otherwise, he is all for the government to keep women in their place and blacks down.

    This was no slip of the pen. The man is getting sicker and more disgusting by the moment. The Byrd org needs to figure this out and fire the scumbag.

  21. I officially retract my use of the terms “scumbag” and “disgusting shame” in the previous posting. This was name calling, and I am not a fan of that. I have met Kirkwood, and he is civil in person.

    However, I do not retract my characterization of some of his writings, especially the one I linked to.

    Also, the Mises Institute does have some real scholars associated with it, such as Joseph Salerno who edits the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, which is based there. However, there are also some other characters associated with the place, such as Ralph Raico and Hans-Hermann Hoppe, whose “paleo-libertarian” views are as I characterized them, strong on the liberty to discriminate against other people and groups, with Hoppe supporting monarchy over democracy. Rockwell is also closely associated with this view personally. So, it is no defense of Kirkwood against charges of racism to note his association with Rockwell and company.

  22. Emmy says:

    I just noticed that the DNR is going to start charging people to put their wedding and engagement announcements in the paper. Somewhat unrelated I guess, but it’s not something I’d pay for in that paper.

  23. The News Leader in Staunton tried charging for weddings and engagements, and it flopped. It was as if people stopped getting engaged and married, so few were the announcements.

    The Staunton paper went back to publishing regular-sized notices for free. I think folks still have to pay if their announcements go beyond a certain word length.

  24. JGFitzgerald says:

    The economics are pretty simple. A newspaper is selling space and credibility. Under the circumstances, they have to charge more for space.

  25. Renee says:

    The headline didn’t seem to take off in the media, but we should keep an eye out to see what they have to say about Sotomayor.

  26. Renee says:

    Interestingly in the DNR today, there is an opinion article reflecting some of the things we said about Steele:

    And apparently the lead editorial is a 4-sentence blurb about… Alec Baldwin? Really?

  27. ms.griffin says:

    When I was 16 or 17 I remember returning to my car from a lunch in downtown Harrisonburg with a friend and finding a KKK flyer on the windshield. We felt violated and couldn’t quite believe it. It was 1994, not 1894!

    After I read the “primate” editorial, I had similar feelings. It truly hurts my heart to see something like that written anywhere, but in my hometown paper?

    And to say that the word was chosen for its religious meaning is ludicrous. That argument is not just ignorant (without knowledge) but also unintelligent (without mental capacity). I am shocked at the lack of character demonstrated by the editor. If one must be devious in making an argument, their case must not be very authentic.

    I sincerely hope this is a misrepresentation of the community, and more importantly that community doesn’t stand for it.

  28. lbj23 says:

    has anyone else noticed that the DNR Leadership award -a scholarship given to 4 area seniors (one from each school) has been reduced by half? For the last few years, they gave each senior $10,000; this year each student receives $5000.00

  29. Peter F. says:

    I thought all media was liberal! At least that is what Hannity and Limbaugh tell me.

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