UPDATE, a note to the humor-impaired: it seemed pretty damn obvious to me that the notion of opinions being removed from the minds of newspaper staff through a supernatural means fell into the genre of SATIRE. But a few reactions from people on social media indicates that some are taking this post seriously. Which makes me wonder: has someone removed a sense of humor from the minds of certain readers of this blog? I may need to expand the reach of this story...
Breaking news: I'm hearing reports that staff at the Statesman Journal newspaper in Salem, Oregon are shellshocked by the abrupt absence of opinions from their psyches.
When asked to confirm this, Ryan Kedzierksi, President of Statesman Journal Media, said "I don't know what to say. Like everybody else here, I don't have an opinion... not just about this, about everything."
Evidence that opinions have disappeared from the minds of the 32 remaining staff at the newspaper has been accumulating since the sudden firing of Editorial Page Editor Dick Hughes last Tuesday.
Since, the Statesman Journal has had no opinion section on three days, and merely a collection of letters to the editor on one day. No pieces by national or local columnists. No editorials or other opinions written by newspaper staff.
My sources are telling me that suspicion is falling on Hughes, who may have more magical powers than was previously suspected. Many readers of Statesman Journal editorials have wondered how Hughes conjured up conclusions from an absence of facts, but this did not involve the sort of supernaturalism now suspected to be in Hughes' bag of journalistic tricks.
"Newspaper staff suspect that somehow Dick Hughes deleted the capacity to opinionate from the minds of all remaining Statesman Journal staff," I was told by a highly anonymous source. "Of course, they don't feel strongly about this, because they no longer can feel strongly about anything, lacking opinions."
Subscribers who have been wondering, Where's the damn opinion section? I'm not getting my money's worth!, now have a plausible explanation for the absence of a significant part of the newspaper -- especially for anyone who embraces the possibility that a disgruntled ex-Editorial Page Editor could remove the capacity to opinionate from the minds of remaining Statesman Journal staff.
Whether this is part of a plan by Hughes to get his job back, or just spite, is unknown. Stay tuned to Salem Political Snark for updates on this breaking story.
We'll do our best to figure out why, with less than two weeks before Election Day, nobody at the Statesman Journal has been able to manage an Opinion Section after the Editorial Page Editor was laid off -- not the remaining members of the editorial board, nor anybody else.