In the last half of its editorial titled “Costly Compliment” (April 18), the Post-Gazette warns that the ensuing comments would come “at the risk of appearing churlish.” After complimenting President Barack Obama on his long-standing interest in Pittsburgh and his use of it as an economic model, the PG gives a nod of approval to his visit to the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center, where he pushed his job training program.
But then in the fifth paragraph of the editorial, the PG took a stunningly negative tone that had more than the appearance of being churlish. In the last four paragraphs it became carping and petty. One would think that a supposedly liberal newspaper would support the president’s visit and his advocacy of job training in a period of extended unemployment for millions. But the PG blasts the whole trip as a “grand publicity stunt,” thereby refuting what it said in the first four paragraphs about the salutary nature of the presidential visit.
It goes on to condemn the visit as unnecessary because no legislation was needed for the job training program (Congress had already appropriated the money). It even complained about wasteful spending in that the government sent two airplanes to transport the president and the vice president to our fair city (perhaps some government servant didn’t like the prospect of the two top officials of the United States being killed in a plane crash). Finally the editorial lamented the fact that classes were canceled for the visit to the college campus. Its snide parting shot was, “The cost of the visit would have funded a lot of job training.”
The editors seem to agree with Fox News and the right-wing media that presidential travel and advocacy are just a case of wasting taxpayers’ money for the self-aggrandizement of this black usurper. I was mystified when in 2010 the allegedly liberal PG endorsed Tom Corbett for governor. I suppose the PG was just taking the risk of being churlish.
DAVID W. SOUTHERN