Ferguson prompts a new low for the New York Times editorial page

Over-the-top editorials have been a fixture in the New York Times for years, but it’s newest attempt to justify its opinions hit a new low.

An editorial in last week’s New York Times called for the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney, Robert McCulloch, to step aside or Gov. Jay Nixon should select a special prosecutor to replace him in the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, MO.

mcculloch

A key justification given for the paper’s position – “…more than 70,000 people have signed an online petition calling for a special prosecutor…”

So now one of the largest, most respected newspapers in the United States is advocating policies on the basis of an online petition? Good grief.

This one was started by Jamilah Nasheed, a Democrat who represents part of St. Louis City (District 05) in the Missouri Senate. It was put up on MoveOn.org, a progressive public policy advocacy group.

On Aug. 21, Nasheed presented 70,000 of the signatures to McColluch. “We’re going to demand that the governor do the right thing, and step up to the plate, and not play politics on the back of a dead man,” Nasheed said.

Nasheed, who accused the police officer who shot Michael Brown of “shooting down a man in the middle of a street, execution-style,” has inflamed the situation by threatening that if the police officer who shot Brown is not indicted, “the rioting we witnessed this past week will seem like a picnic compared to the havoc that will likely occur.”

As of the writing of this post, Nasheed’s petition had 78,129 signatures, That’s .01 percent of Missouri’s population and .0002 percent of the population of the United States. Definitely enough to drive an editorial position.

Meanwhile, a MoveOn petition, “Arrest and Try House GOP Leadership for Sedition” has 62,341 signers. Why isn’t the New York Times editorializing in support of this?

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