Over the years, your Gleaner has mocked and belittled the Las Vegas Review-Journal -- the phrase "right-wing masturbatorium" may have surfaced once or twice. And rest assured the R-J will be mocked again.
But credit where credit's due. The R-J's series on area law enforcement's shoot-first-ask-questions-later culture is exactly the type of enterprising and investigative reporting that the penny-pinching paper traditionally has shied away from, probably because it's too expensive.
This time the paper went all in, and the result may be the best thing the R-J has ever published.
Yes, yes, the R-J's interest in police gunning down the citizenry wasn't truly spiked until cops shot that white middle class guy at Costco. The victim had a concealed weapons permit, and the R-J brain trust won't be happy until all good Americans are packing at all times, so you can see why that particular shooting raised eyebrows at the paper.
And yes, it being the R-J, there is a distinct possibility that the series will conclude by blaming law enforcement's trigger-happiness on Obamacare and the onerous tax and regulatory burdens shouldered by "job creators."
But if Sunday's first installments are any indication, the series is as fascinating yet troubling as the issue itself, exhaustively detailing
...an insular department that is slow to weed out problem cops and is slower still to adopt policies and procedures that protect both its own officers and the citizens they serve. It is an agency that celebrates a hard-charging police culture while often failing to learn from its mistakes.
It's a devastating look, and of course one hopes the series sparks a public outcry that is so loud and so strong that even county commissioners, whose relationship with Metro is characterized chiefly by fawning approval, can't ignore it, and finally we'll get some genuine, meaningful reform.
So, since who knows when the opportunity will again present itself, if ever, without further ado: Hooray, R-J.