We're not sure that David Pendergrass is reading this blog. I rather doubt it, given the Sand City mayor's current antipathy toward The Herald. But it might be useful if someone tips the mayor off about it so that the council and its staff doesn't waste a lot of time demanding that our Opinion page editor be terminated.
The mayor's dander is up over an editorial The Herald carried on Sunday suggesting that Sand City disincorporate itself.
This morning, during an interview on KNRY-AM radio, Pendergrass called the editorial atrocious and horrible, and demanded our Opinion page editor's head on a platter. He said the Sand City Council and its staff would be preparing a letter to the publisher, demanding Opinion Page Editor Royal Calkins be canned for expressing the paper's opinion. (The show's host had not read the editorial, but Pendergrass did a splendid job, without prodding, of trying to eviscerate The Herald and the alleged offending editor.)
The mayor's reaction is understandable; I can't imagine a mayor anywhere who would want to support the dissolution of the city he or she represents.
But calling for the termination of an editorial writer for doing his job smacks of Blagojevichism. As you might recall, the disgraced former Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich, tried to get the editorial writers for the Chicago Tribune fired for the Tribune's opinion-page criticism of the governor. Blagojavich tried to withhold state money for Wrigley Field renovations unless his demands were met, a real threat considering that the Tribune Company owns the Cubs. Obviously, Pendergrass couldn't hurt us that bad, unless he threatened to somehow withhold the jerseys from The Herald's softball team.
Anway, the council and the staff would be wasting its time with the letter seeking any terminations. Truth is, the thrust of our editorials are discussed and agreed upon by committee, and the committee includes Calkins, myself, Publisher Gary Omernick, HR Director Gladys Valenzuela, Circulation Manager Mazi Kavoosi and Graphics Editor James Herrera. We all debated the Sand City editorial before its publication, and we all came to the same conclusion.
Having said that, The Herald does invite Pendergrass to write a conterpoint to the editorial, to tell us why we're wrong.