WITH FRONT PAGE REPLACED BY AN AD AND MITCH ALBOMGATE, ONCE-MIGHTY PAPER SEES ITS CREDIBILITY SLIPPING AWAY
Go to the Detroit Free Press Web site and click under ethics policy. The first line nobly proclaims: "Credibility is the franchise of journalism."
Yet, while the missives set forth in the ethics policy are obviously devoted more to newsgathering, those five words also apply to the newspaper itself, whose publisher and editor Carole Leigh Hutton conveniently forgot them.
How else to explain yesterday's front page that largely contained a flag. What may have been initially viewed as a Memorial Day tribute was actually an advertisement for Marshall Field's.
Not to be outdone, the Detroit News, which has a joint operating agreement with the Freep, went even further with its version of the ad and labeled what would usually be the front page A-3.
But given the recent fiasco with Mitch Albom fabricating events in a column last month and getting nothing more than a slap on the wrist from his bosses, the Freep newsroom is looking at a steep optometrist's bill with all the eye rolling that must be going on.
I'll at least give the Freep credit for running letters lambasting this lunkheaded decision to desecrate the front page.
If similar objections were raised at the News, it's not apparent from the letters posted on the Web site this morning. Maybe the editors are too busy shopping at Marshall Field's.