BRIAN PERRY/On Minor Errors

I have a lot of respect for the journalism of Bill Minor. For nearly thirty years he served as a watchdog on Mississippi government reporting news and deciphering the politics of the day with courage and wit for the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Later he was editor and publisher of the now defunct Capital Reporter. Now his writing focus is on his weekly syndicated opinion column.

Some criticize Minor’s columns for dwelling on the past. But the man is in his early nineties, a Navy veteran of World War II with over sixty years of Mississippi political context to share. In fact, I particularly enjoy those flashback parts of his column. As a Republican, I take a certain amount of pleasure in reading about the fights between staunchly segregationist Democrats and mildly segregationist Democrats. History can be a safe diversion when you’re not living through it, like he did.

But I don’t particularly care for his political columns of late – and by “late” I mean the past fifteen years or so. It isn’t that I disagree with his ideology and partisan slant; I find many columns from other writers I disagree with compelling and thought provoking. It’s just that he isn’t particularly good at it anymore. Minor was an astute journalist; but he is terrible at political hackery. His factual errors – not in supporting details but in his foundational arguments – discredit his positions.

Madison County Journal