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Press Stuck in Time Warp in Rick Weiland Coverage

The press here in South Dakota and abroad regularly shorthands Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Rick Weiland as "former Congressional staffer" or "former Daschle staffer."

Don't résumés usually operate in reverse chronological order? Wouldn't it make more journalistic sense to refer to Weiland as a Sioux Falls restaurant owner (something he's been doing with his wife for four years), or maybe as former CEO of the International Code Council, a job he held for most of the past decade?

Isn't headlining Weiland in terms of the job he held two decades ago somewhat like headlining...

Writers may choose to highlight aspects of public figures' pasts for various reasons. What we choose as the headline description of a political candidate carries clear editorial import. Working for Tom Daschle was relevant and positive experience, but the purportedly objective press errs when it glosses over Weiland's wide and more recent experience to cast him solely as a Daschle staffer.


  1. Rick 2013.09.25

    His most recent jobs since 1996 (for lazy or jaded reporters):
    - Former Executive Director of South Dakota AARP.
    - Former Region 8 Director for FEMA.
    - Former CEO of the International Code Council.

    Or currently, Sioux Falls business owner. Good point, Cory.

  2. Douglas Wiken 2013.09.25

    SD news media must have a database that they click on before writing any stories to drag up every bit of trite crap they have used before that is remotely associated with the current story. I can understand a bit of history related to current news, but often there is more history and background than news.

  3. Kal Lis 2013.09.25

    I don't disagree with the central premise that media coverage is herd driven and generally lazy.

    In the case at hand, however, isn't it standard practice to refer to candidates running for office by the highest political title they have held and to refer to rookies by the job they currently have?

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.09.25

    That's an interesting question, Kal Lis! If that is a standard practice, do we apply that standard just to candidates who've held elected office? Or do we include Congressional staffer as a political title that trumps later and current experience in picking the headline?

  5. Owen Reitzel 2013.09.25

    "n the case at hand, however, isn't it standard practice to refer to candidates running for office by the highest political title they have held and to refer to rookies by the job they currently have?"

    I think it is Kal Lis but I think the press should emphasize the entire resume of jobs. Granted it can become cumbersome but in Weiland's case its important to show what else he's done since leaving Daschle. Like owning his own business to counter some of the stuff from the right, his experience with FEMA and so on.
    Obviously to put in that somebody slung burgers when they were a teenager who be ridiculous.

  6. Charlie Johnson 2013.09.25

    Rick also played on a undefeated little league team(Athletics). I should know -he was the third baseman and I was the center fielder.

  7. interested party 2013.09.25

    Troy: the CDB youtube clip to Jammer is from me.

  8. Chris Francis 2013.09.25

    I can see the republican commercial now in the biting narrative voice so often used: Daschle staffer and beltway insider Rick Weiland and 'organic' farmer Charlie Johnson played for the same team and denied others the opportunity to win and prosper. Can we really trust someone who is referred to as a 'third baseman' and just how many corn-dogs did they consume after their big game? Rick Weiland, Little League Champion and corn-dog pusher.

  9. Kevin Weiland 2013.09.25

    You are right Charlie, I was the Bat Boy........Saw it happen. Chris, fortunately, corndogs were not invented yet, but this may explain the unprecedented rate of childhood obesity since their creation.

  10. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.09.25

    Charlie, Kevin, you guys have me ready to update my journalism style book and refer to Rick as undefeated third-baseman Rick Weiland.

  11. Roger Cornelius 2013.09.25

    The media that continues to use the Weiland/Dashle connection are likely the same ones that used the Obama/community organizer reference.
    It is intentional.

  12. twuecker 2013.09.25

    I think Kal Lis' point about standard practice makes sense. Even by that standard, though, doesn't Region 8 FEMA Director trump Daschle staffer? Maybe there's some argument to be made that being in D.C. trumps being in Evergreen, Colorado, but the Region 8 Directorship is Presidential appointment territory.

  13. Douglas Wiken 2013.09.25

    No doubt Weiland knows a bit about "small government" Republicans clamoring for aid from Uncle Sam.

  14. Rick 2013.09.25

    The media is painting the Daschle label on him because they want the election to be about a defeated incumbent Senator whose name became a political epithet (thanks to puppet master Wadhams) instead of the man named Rick Weiland whose resume grew and grew beyond 1996. The objective from the jaded reporters is to marginalize Weiland. This is not an oversight; it is intentional. The lazy ones don't care nor do they know what they're doing.

  15. interested party 2013.09.25

    wow, rick: ya think? Democrats: get pissed or go home.

  16. Douglas Wiken 2013.09.28

    Sometimes the SD Media seems to be like lemmings jumping of the same cliff singing the same old song.

    A few days ago, Gary Ellenbolt when discussing the two girls who disappeared 41 years ago said that a man had been prosecuted but let loose on a "technicality". That "technicality" happened to be the fact that the state's witness was a perjurer with a completely invented story and a phony recording of David Lykken.

  17. Curtis and Vera Mann 2014.11.05

    Didn't know you were running for an office. Sorry the Sorry the results were as they were. We saw the results while watching the TV election night. Knowing you, you would have made a good's S.D.'s loss. I've now been retired for 3 years after working 40 years with the City of New Orleans. Good luck to you in your future endeavors, be it politics or whatever.

  18. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.05

    Thanks for joining us, Curtis and Vera! I'm sure Rick appreciates your good wishes. I hope you're enjoying your retirement!

Comments are closed.