By: Mark Fitzgerald
Newspaper editorial writers, in the popular imagination at least, are ivory-tower figures pulling on their pipes while pronouncing sagely on everything from Afghanistan to zoning.
Wichita (Kan.) Eagle Opinion Editor Phillip Brownlee, on the other hand, can be seen on You Tube as a background dancer in “Brownback Girl,” a video that parodies the viral “Obama Girl” phenomenon by imaging a Church Lady-type in thrall to Kansas Senator and short-lived presidential candidate Sam Brownback.
Eagle editorial writer and columnist Randy Scholfield imitates Republican Fred Thompson’s rumbling voice on another video lampooning the young trophy wives of several presidential candidates, called “I’m My Wife’s Grandpa.”
The parody videos are “just another form for us to express opinion,” says Brownlee.
One video has already proved as effective as a print editorial. When Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius was refusing to take a stand about a proposed coal-burning power plant, the Eagle released a video parody of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” called “Coal-Loving Governor.” That very day, Brownlee says, Sebelius came out against the facility.