Every once in a while The Shad finds it necessary to speak out on what could be considered an “inside baseball” issue. Such is the case when defeated Connecticut legislator-turned-columnist-and-blogger Kevin Rennie decided to attack award-winning reporter Mark Pazniokas for a story that appears on the news website CTMirror.com
At issue is a Pazniokas report about the reappointment of Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Richard Palmer to another term on the court. Rennie makes the accusation that the report was “a stunning example of advocacy dressed up as reporting.” Really? What exactly was Pazniokas advocating? The vote was taken. Palmer was reappointed. Then Pazniokas reported it. The only thing “stunning” is Rennie’s definition of “advocacy.” Most people know it happens before the fact.
Rennie went on to take issue with Pazniokas’ accurate and factual report that there was an issue between members of court in deciding a case about the death penalty—Justice Palmer and Justice Carmen Espinoza. Palmer criticized Espinoza as “bringing dishonor to the court” is a footnote in a death penalty case.
The unfair and cheap shot Rennie takes at Pazniokas has to with some other, phantom footnote. “No one produced the original Palmer footnote, not the one that appeared in the final opinion,” Rennie wrote. “The original Palmer footnote would have shed light on his unseemly attack on Espinoza…” Ok, Mr. Rennie. If you have this “original footnote” why don’t you produce it?
At a time when the word “McCarthyism” is tossed around with ease, it seems the definition of it is Mr. Rennie telling his readers, in essence, “Hey, there’s this footnote out there that hasn’t been published and I won’t produce it, but it’s really bad and would have spelled trouble for Palmer.”
Not content to leave his scurrilous screed to what’s described above, Rennie needed to take one last shot at Palmer and by extension, CTMirror.com. Rennie ends his ridiculous piece with: “Note: Palmer is a member of the board of directors of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, a CT Mirror sponsor.”
Mr. Rennie brings dishonor to journalism. Of course, that assumes we can make the very large leap that he is any kind of journalist.