CLEVELAND (TDB) -- Newspaper columnist Connie Schultz, whose husband Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is just settling into his new gig at the Capital, is supposed to return to work at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland next week. And now the senator's wife knows how it feels to have her name incorrectly spelled in the press -- in this case The Plain Dealer, Ohio's largest newspaper with about 436,000 subscribers.
It came out "Shultz" not "Schultz" in an ad her newspaper printed about the imminent homecoming. Here's the tale by Michael K. McIntyre, who writes the weekly Tipoff column, about an alert reader who spotted the mistake: "She called Tipoff back after The Plain Dealer ran an ad Thursday trumpeting next week's return of columnist Connie Schultz. The ad used 'it's,' the contraction for 'it is' when it should have been 'its,' the possessive with no apostrophe, she said. She got us there. But even the teacher didn't catch the ad's most glaring error: 'Connie Shultz returns.' It's Schultz."
There is a link to Connie at the paper HERE, and an article in a journalism trade industry publication about what she's been up to recently HERE.
Connie and I exchanged e-mail this week and she said she was finishing her book about the campaign. She wanted permission to use a note I sent her and Plain Dealer editor Doug Clifton in December 2005, when Brown was running against Iraq War veteran Paul Hackett in the Demo Senate primary. Hackett eventually dropped out. But there was a lot of angst about bias by PD'ers before he quit. I was still with the Plain Dealer and upset that she was campaigning while working as a columnist. I thought there was a potential conflict of interest that opened myself and other PD reporters covering the race to the complaints of bias. I wondered if she, as a journalist, should mix politics and family.
Connie eventually left her job, taking a sabbatical for the election. A classy move on her part. But I wonder how The Plain Dealer will handle her role as a Democratic senator's wife and columnist in the future? To me, it looks like a minefield. Republicans will always be watching for signs of favoritism. Even the shortest sentences will be scrutinized and probably found to be full of Demo dogma. Maybe the paper should hire LYNNE CHENEY, the wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, to write a column from the other side. She's an author married to a politician.