The Honolulu Star-Advertiser launched yesterday.

Civil Beat editor John Temple posted his thoughts on the newbie in town on Civil Beat.

He has a very fair (we think) take on the first day’s paper: “It’s nicely put together — even if the comics are getting awfully small,” he says.

But what on earth was up with the lead story, asks Temple? It began:

“The merger of century-old rivals into today’s new Honolulu Star-Advertiser should bring readers a stronger newspaper, with more muscle for investigative reporting and a deep perspective on the state that both papers helped shape. By joining forces, the 128-year-old Honolulu Star-Bulletin and the 154-year-old Honolulu Advertiser finally have a chance to grow after having had to shrink their staffs and cut wages to stay afloat.”

That was written by Craig Gima, an experienced journalist whom I respect. But if that isn’t editorializing, I don’t know what is. Those are the kind of sentences that should have been written by the editor of the paper, not by a reporter. From the editor, I could have accepted them. From a reporter, I’ve got to ask a simple question: How could he know?

And if the staff of the new Star-Advertiser thought the scrutiny’d lessen after the first day, nah: “I like talking back to my newspaper,” says Temple.