The Daily News-Miner has had its agreements and disagreements with now-former Gov. Sarah Palin at various points during her time serving the state of Alaska. We have tried to maintain respect for the office of governor and to be generally civil when discussing Mrs. Palin, her policies and the actions she took while serving as governor. The same has been true for the time since she left office.
Today I must apologize to Mrs. Palin personally and on behalf of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner for the choice of words used on the bottom of Wednesday’s front page regarding her speaking engagement in Hong Kong this week to a group of global investors.
We used offensive language — “A broad in Asia” — above a small photograph of the former governor to direct readers inside the newspaper to a full story of her Hong Kong appearance.
There can be no argument that our use of the word “broad” is anything but offensive. To use this word to describe someone of the stature of the former governor — who is also the former vice presidential nominee of the Republican Party — only adds to the anger that many people appropriately feel.
It wasn’t all that long ago that I wrote a column highly critical of Mrs. Palin for not agreeing to meet again with the editorial board of the Daily News-Miner. I used forceful language to explain my belief about why she would not meet with the editorial board. I did so, however, with civil language. It was a tough column; many people didn’t like it, though many others did. I bring up that column as a way of noting that there is a right way to disagree, a proper way to treat people.
There’s widespread belief that too much meanness exists in political discourse today. The media, already held in low regard, need to be extremely wary of that meanness slopping over into their own work. I am responsible for the content of this newspaper and need to ensure that our employees adhere to acceptable standards of decency.
I will say it clearly again now: We made a terrible mistake.
Mrs. Palin, please accept this apology from the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
And please accept it from me.
I also apologize to our readers, many of whom have been devoted to this newspaper for years and who deserve better.
Rod Boyce is managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner