Bless their hearts …

The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper had a big “exclusive” political scoop in its pages this weekend. In fact it was so exclusive, the paper’s copy editors wrote “EXCLUSIVE” in all capital letters in the story’s headline.

The big scoop? The impending lieutenant gubernatorial candidacy of Lowcountry real estate developer Pat McKinney, an ally of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley. According to reporter Andy Shain, McKinney “plans to announce Monday that he will seek the GOP nomination for the job of lieutenant governor, a post currently held by Republican Glenn McConnell.”

Yet while this is big political news here in the Palmetto State, it’s only “exclusive” – or “EXCLUSIVE” – if you’ve got a time machine.

How come? Because this website broke the news of McKinney’s candidacy two months ago – and first reported on Haley’s efforts to recruit him two months before that.

Shain’s “EXCLUSIVE” story in The State didn’t mention any of that … which is pretty weak.

When other news outlets break stories (nationally or locally) we give them credit for doing so. Not only that, we provide our readers with links to their websites. It’s common courtesy … a sign of professional respect even if there are differing ideologies at play.

It’s also good karma for us … not to mention a sign that we’re not afraid of a little competition in the marketplace of ideas.

Best of all? It’s an opportunity for our founding editor to mock The State and its reporters on social media in his own particular (idiom, sir?) … idiom.