Last week, Leigh Tauss interviewed George Knott, who is running for Raleigh mayor—even though he says he doesn’t want the job and has raised no money toward getting it—on a campaign rooted primarily in antipathy toward development, leaf blowers, and bike lanes.
Suzy Hooker tells us she “found the piece to be disingenuous at best, openly hostile at worst, and at its root, irresponsible journalism. Yes, Knott has some nontraditional ideas, and he might be funny, but his campaign is no joke. If Tauss believes her line of [the campaign being] ‘somewhere between a protest and a joke,’ why not ask him what he’s protesting? The answer could have been illuminating for readers like me who are tired of big money in politics, and even more weary of overdevelopment and gentrification under the guise of progress. By foregoing standard light editing for readability (a cheap trick) and choosing the silliest picture available on his website, Tauss attempted to paint Knott as an inarticulate and bumbling candidate. If she had asked him about his comprehensive non-discrimination ordinance, or his idea to incentivize the protection of old-growth trees from development, readers might have had a chance to learn about the true substance behind Knott’s campaign. Instead, Tauss chose to write an article that fit her preconceived notions.”
For what it’s worth, Knott told us he thought the piece was “great.”
Our cover story last week talked about the struggle of Duke graduate students to unionize. MaryBe McMillian, the president of the North Carolina AFL-CIO, took issue with the title, “Hollow Victory”: “Through their organizing efforts, Duke grad workers got the university to eliminate both the continuation fee for sixth-year doctoral students and the fee to use campus recreational facilities. And despite what the university administration says, union efforts clearly pushed the university to raise wages and extend family leave. Yes, there is still more work to do to ensure fair pay and economic security for all graduate workers on campus. While change may not always be as dramatic or rapid as we would like, any time working people take collective action and improve working conditions is a victory worth celebrating.”
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