A woman called from Charleston yesterday, worried that the long-empty POINT racks there meant the paper had died. The recent Oregon transplant said POINT helped absorb some of the culture shock she's been feeling. Happily, we are not dead. Just late. So late, in fact, that we are making this the July/Aug. issue. Just like that. (You want alternative journalism? You got it.)
The paper has been flying at half staff this month. Brett, who was writing the July cover story, suffered a severe back injury and spent a couple of weeks entirely horizontal. The good news is that he is better now -- a little bent still, but much improved. The bad news is that he was unable to finish the piece he was working on, at least not in time for this month's issue. We will run that story in September, when we hope to return to our original 20-page format.
This month we take a closer look at the Christian Coalition, which is in the process of reinventing itself. The group's founder, Pat Robertson, is being replaced, as is Ralph Reed. Nobody is sure yet what it means, but some who track the religious right worry that Reed, freed from the constraints of acting as front man for the Coalition, can flex his political muscle in a whole new way. Meet the men poised to take the reins.
The Coalition has unveiled its "Samaritan Project," which includes a strategy for minority outreach. The irony is lost on no one. The Coalition has a record of supporting policies and legislation that would hurt minority communities disproportionately. It remains to be seen whether anyone will buy the repackaged pitch.
Finally, a big thank you to the people who make this paper possible: our advertisers, our writers, most of whom get nothing from us but our undying gratitude, and our distributors, who sweat in brutal Carolina heat to put this paper out across the state.
Thanks to you, too, for keeping the faith. See you in September.