In journalism schools across the country they should create a course called “How to Write Snotty Editorials,” and use The News & Observer as the prime miscreant of this kind of journalistic malfeasance. There are certainly plenty of examples to fill out a semester-long syllabus.

Today’s editorial on incoming Wake County Schools superintendent Anthony Tata reaches new heights in snottiness:

Tata’s appearances on TV and his blogs tend to lean toward the Republican-conservative philosophy. He also has made pointed criticisms of President Obama, explaining that he wanted to exercise his right to free speech. Such criticisms are permissible on the part of a retired general officer, but they’re not likely to be helpful coming from the head of North Carolina’s largest school system, a nonpartisan post. And it’s as a school superintendent that Tata’s duty now calls.

Just what would a former brigadier general, and a key administrator in the administration of one of the nation’s best reform-minded school superintendents, do without The News & Observer‘s professional chin-strokers and cluck-cluckers to tell him how to do his job?

This condescending and insufferable approach to editorial writing is nothing new to the N&O, but it has reached new heights since the voters of Wake County elected a Republican majority to the Wake County School board. That must be as hard to take for the N&O as Republicans taking over the legislature for the first time in a century.

After all, the N&O editorial writers have stuck by Democrats through many permutations, including the party’s white supremacy period, decades of corruption, and its current nanny-statist rendition, so it’s hardly surprising they would do the same during this latest bit of inconvenience.

My guess is the general’s affiliation with Fox News has more to do with putting the editorial writers’ BVDs in a bunch than whatever blogging he might do. As my colleague Rick Henderson pointed out the other day, it’s the height of hypocrisy for the N&O’s editorial page to be lecturing anyone about partisanship and political bias.

It’s probably not a problem, anyway. Somehow, I don’t think a retired Army general will give much credence to the sage advice coming from South McDowell Street. At least I hope not.