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Cleveland Plain Dealer Isn’t Racist By Hiring Terry Pluto

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I picked up a copy of Cleveland Scene magazine this week and noticed in the First Punch section of the paper this bit about the recent hiring of Terry Pluto to the Cleveland Plain Dealer‘s sports editorial staff.

Apparently Roxanne Jones, a vice-president at ESPN and member of the National Association of Black Journalists, was critical of the PD hiring Pluto, formerly a columnist for the neighboring Akron Beacon Journal, citing that the PD should look to hire more women and minority writers instead of more white males like Pluto.

Cleveland Scene magazine concludes that while the diversity at the paper may be lacking, that you can’t really fault the Plain Dealer for hiring Pluto. I couldn’t agree with Scene magazine more. The thing about the Terry Pluto hiring is that even if the Plain Dealer didn’t have an opening on the staff, and Pluto becomes available, you hire him. If you have to fire one of your other editorial writers like Bill Livingston, or Bud Shaw, it would be a shame, but you would have to make a tough choice.

Not that I want to play favorites, but Terry Pluto is by far the best sportswriter covering Cleveland sports anywhere. He is insightful, honest, and doesn’t play into unnecessary journalistic clichés at every opportunity. He merely talks about sports, chastises over-reactors, and provides the level of calm, cool sports analysis that a rabid city like Cleveland needs.

And he has been doing it at the Akron Beacon Journal for years now. On top of that, he used to work at the Plain Dealer before the ABJ opportunity arose.

So, don’t tell me that hiring Terry Pluto was racially motivated against minority candidates. It is just a situation that a guy who came available was worth hiring. It would work with a minority candidate as well. Trust me, if Jason Whitlock, the most excellent columnist for the Kansas City Star, wanted to move to Cleveland to write about Cleveland sports the Plain Dealer would gladly hire him too, even without an open position on staff.

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About Craig Lyndall

  • daryl d

    all types of affirmative action should be outlawed. I think any race based hiring should be considered a crime.

  • http://www.theidandi.blogspot.com Chris McVetta

    You would have to be a total moron to think that the hiring of Terry Pluto by the PD was nothing more than “a smart business move” on their part.

    Like him or not (and most readers like him), the guy has more awards and accolades than any of their current sports writers – combined.

    ESPN has done it’s best to incorporate black writers into their programming – look no farther than the struggling “Cold Pizza” – um, “First Take” (Now with 10% more black people!) – to spruce up ratings within a lacking demographic.

    But, unlike the outstanding ESPN talent like John Saunders, Tom Jackson and Michael Wilbon, a lot of the African-American writers on these ESPN shows are severly “lacking” in terms of actual sports knowledge and/or opinions. And, believe me, there are many WHITE sports reporters on ESPN that are not much better (if not worse) – Chris Berman and Joe Theismann (to name a few), anyone?

    It simply boils down to a question of talent – not color (in this case).