When you are the president and CEO of a midsize metropolitan newspaper, you can write an op-ed piece about whatever you damn well please. That is one of the perks of the job, just as you have the privilege of acting like an asshole when negotiating a contract with one of the craft unions.
Thus it came to pass that Reading Eagle CEO Peter D. Barbey splashed his "viewpoint" across the top of today's op-ed page, under the stark headline "Ill-conceived bill would strike at the heart of the republic."
What is this ominous threat that could spell the end of democracy, as we know it?
Might it be the consequences of Obamacare? NSA spying? UNIONS!?!
Not at all. Peter B. is railing against a pending bill in Harrisburg that would permit municipalities to post legal notices online, rather than in newspapers like the Reading Eagle, which currently collects your tax dollars from cash-strapped communities that are required to purchase such legal notices that nobody ever reads.
Forget Peter's florid purple prose. What makes this op-ed so monumentally awful and the worst such "viewpoint" the Eagle has ever published is that the hideous chief exec completely ignores the mercenary foundation of his bullshit and thinks the readers are too stupid to notice that he is not defending the republic, but the paper's bottom line.
The editors had the good sense not to post the piece online.
UPDATE: Barbey just got on the horn and ordered that his column go online so all can mock it. Read it here.