March 9, 2019
Pete Manning, 89, died Feb. 21 at his home in Edenton. Before retiring, Manning worked more than 50 years at the Chowan Herald, most prominently as publisher.
As prosecution of Edenton Seven lurched forward, members of the local “Believe the Children” cohort grew wary of the news media. Early on, however – before seeing themselves on “Frontline” — they had actually sought the spotlight.
Jack D. Grove, managing editor of the Herald, recalled that short-lived era to journalist David Loomis:
“I was approached by several influential businessmen who clouded up and rained all over me for putting a [Little Rascals] story on the back page. I said, ‘Go tell Pete Manning, don’t tell me.’ These businessmen, almost all parents of Little Rascals children, went into a closed-door meeting with Pete. We never again had a story anywhere but on the front page after that.”
Unfortunately, the Herald’s front-page coverage was painfully passive at best.