And yes, maybe the second one – in which I rebuked Mace for her recent “opportunistic” spat with socialist lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – was more than “somewhat critical.”
Mace, longtime readers will recall, is a former business partner of mine. She is also a friend (or at least I hope she still considers me a friend, despite the recent criticism).
Recently, I got a call from a Mace ally in Washington, D.C. who took exception to these two columns. According to the source, the first article – which accused Mace of reversing her rhetoric on former U.S. president Donald Trump – was unfair because the first-term lawmaker never changed her position on Trump’s impeachment following his alleged role in inciting a deadly riot at the U.S. capitol on January 6, 2021.
“She was against it then she is against it now,” the source told us, citing Mace’s vote against the House impeachment resolution against Trump on January 13, 2021.
That is certainly fair … and certainly more than can be said for some GOP members of the South Carolina congressional delegation.
Another Mace ally recently took me to task for suggesting she was somehow to blame for the media obsession over her dust-up with Ocasio-Cortez.
“I don’t make the rules for what gets trending or what gets buried in news and social media,” the source told us.
Which is also fair …
Perhaps I was a bit too hasty in criticizing Mace, although I certainly wasn’t alone in taking note of her rhetorical roundabout in the aftermath of the capitol riots. And I maintain the basic premises of the two columns were valid.
Worth pointing out? I did say that I expected Mace to become “a consistent pro-liberty, pro-prosperity vote” – which is what matters as opposed to impeachment-related theatrics or made-for-cable-news “nontroversies.”
But I see where Mace’s allies are coming from …
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Most importantly, I wasn’t at the capitol that day … meaning Mace had a perspective on the events I could never have had. That’s something I probably should have taken into account better as she processed the fallout from what she witnessed early on … especially seeing as I gave her colleague Tom Rice the benefit of the doubt on that score.
I don’t always get it right … something I’m sure many of my readers would have no trouble affirming.
All of which leads to my point: While I very much enjoy putting my views into the political bloodstream, the purpose of this news outlet is to serve as a marketplace of ideas. Which means making room for other perspectives. And making room for criticism.
I will always extend my microphone to anyone with an intelligent take on an issue … no matter how it aligns with my editorial views.
What will I never do? Hold back.
Friend or foe, I call it like it I see it.
As I was texting someone earlier today, pulling punches is far too commonplace in my industry. The media is (sadly) full of what I refer to as “access whores” – reporters who place a premium on exclusivity over objectivity. They would rather spike negative stories (and keep getting tips) than – gasp – write anything that might hold those in power accountable for their failures.
Many of these reporters work at outlets which receive big-dollar advertising contracts from government agencies – or which benefit from tax exemptions not available to the general public.
And they have the audacity to invoke their “journalistic integrity” in comparing themselves to me?
Also, the last time I checked neither Mace’s congressional campaign nor her Washington, D.C. office had ever given my news outlet a tip … so it’s not like I’d be losing any access or anything.
Still, Mace’s friends make good points … and I am grateful they reached out to share them with me. I would encourage all of our readers to do the same, and better yet, to grab the microphone for themselves and speak to our readers directly.
As I have always said, “my mic is your mic …”
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Will Folks is the editor of the news outlet you are currently reading.
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