On the T-D's explanation, the pastors' capitulation and Goldman's vacation...
Well, we got the closest thing to an explanation from the T-D on the Johnson story. It was an Editor's Note tacked onto the end of a letter to the editor ripping into the paper for running the story. It was a terse, boilerplate explanation:
News Department editors respond: The article was written because the School Board chairman is a public official who makes decisions that affect thousands of children. The Board sets policy related to both student and employee behavior.
Hmmm. What that explanation does not address is why the T-D chose to reveal this about Johnson at all. In no story it's run so far have I seen any reference to a Board policy that Johnson violated. In fact, the only way that his action has affected students (and you can very reasonably argue that it has now) is because it was made public. And that was the T-D's doing and no one else's. Had the posting and rumors of it been swirling through the community prior to the story I think it would have been a legitimate story. Still, putting it on A-1 was over the top. (Just like their customer service!)
Meanwhile, Richmond's God Squad — hellbent, so to speak, last week on removing Johnson — had a change of heart after, you know, actually meeting the man. This after they mean-spiritedly circulated copies of a supposed second posting of Johnson's, which he vehemently denies he did. (Anybody remember the Eighth Commandment?) Oops, they said, our bad! So sorry. They said they do appreciate Johnson's work* and will continue to help him and pray with him. Thanks so much.
*They wanted to make darn sure though that people do not think they actually respect Johnson. A correction ran today regarding yesterday's headline: "Pastors say they respect Johnson" saying the headline "overstated [the ministers'] sentiments about Johnson."
* * *
Oh, one more quick thing on another topic: Paul Goldman's suspension. The way I figure it, at $145,000 a year, Goldman brings in roughly $2,700 a week with benefits. His services cost the Tim Kaine campaign $15,000. That's about five and half weeks of his salary and he just received a six-week suspension. So basically, he got a six-week vacation courtesy of Tim Kaine!