For those of us at a certain age, the radio broadcast “The Rest of the Story” with Paul Harvey reminds me a lot of the opinion stories on the op-ed pages of The Inquirer, The Daily News and Philly.com about the proposed Temple Stadium.
They are all anti-stadium, none pro.
Harvey’s stories presented as little-known or forgotten facts on a variety of subjects with some key element of the story held back until the end. The broadcasts always concluded with a variation on the tag line “And now you know the rest of the story.”
The truth is that you won’t know the “rest of the story” on any opinion pages of your newspaper because the other side isn’t allowed to opine.
I found that out first-hand the last couple of weeks.
I first reached out to former Inquirer editor Bill Marrimow—a good guy who used to stop by my desk and shoot the breeze when I worked there—and he agreed with me that there should be varied opinions published:
Hi Mike – Because I am no longer working in the newsroom, you would definitely fare better if you submitted your piece on your own. By the way, I agree with you that it would be worthwhile for us to publish some opinion pieces in favor of building the stadium at Temple to provide another point of view.–BIll
So I did and this is the response I got from an editor at Philly.com named Erica Palan (her words in bold):
Can you say something about how the community members don’t have a right to weigh in on whether or not Temple builds a stadium because they don’t own the land?
Are there other points of confusion between the neighborhood people and Temple? If so, explain what they are and why Temple is in the right.
These are the edits I was asked for and provided:
- The community absolutely does have the right to voice input on the project. They do not, I believe, should have veto power over it.
2, The stadium should be built not for older graduates like me, but for the 12,500 students who live in and around the current vibrant campus now. When I went to school in the 1970s, there were no more than 1,000 student residents and the rest of us were commuters. These students deserve the same kind of experiences that students of other universities surrounded by dense residential areas have, like those at Boston College and Georgia Tech. Having football stadiums on campus at those schools help bind those students closer to their universities while in school and create a more active alumni base once gone. Those Temple students and the university as a whole deserve advantages other similar urban schools with stadiums in residential footprints enjoy.
It has still yet to be published and I do not expect it to be.
Something tells me the vitriolic anti-Temple Stadium op-eds we see on the pages of the Inquirer and Daily News are not held to the same rigid editing standards nor should they because they are opinion pieces and those holding an anti-stadium opinion deserve to voice their side of the story.
The same latitude should be given the pro-stadium opinions and the fact that we haven’t seen one yet published is, sadly, not accidental.
And that’s the rest of the story.