Saturday, February 18, 2006

An open letter to The Wellsville Reporter

While the Daily Reporter does an outstanding job of reporting on local and area news that keeps us up to date with what is going on hereabout, I do have one long standing gripe. Over the last few years the editorial cartoons published are really heavy left, often to the point of hateful. In fact the last few Cheney toons have really crossed the line from satirical humor to expressing outright hate for a fine man. I wrote to the paper about my concerns last year and while they did not publish my letter I was able to talk with John. I was told that there were very few ed-toons available from the only MSM (read "we hate Bush") souce they used so they printed what was available. Therefore, I gave them some alternative sources for conservative ed-toons to balance the page and while things did get a little better for a while, the situation is now worse than it ever was.

Over the last few months I have again been tracking the ed-toons and they are running 10 to 1 anti-administration. Now I know that the paper's readership does not run 10 to 1 in the "we hate the President" camp, it's probably closer to a 4 to 6 ratio. I also know that there is a debate in journalism as to whether the editorial page is to reflect readership opinion or drive readership opinion and above all I understand that it is their editorial page. However, there should be at least a reasonable attempt to reflect the views of those of us that don’t hate our President (and Vice President) but believe him to be an honorable man that is doing the right thing. I hope that the Reporter will take these thoughts to heart and bring a bit of balance back to the paper.

I am again tracking the ed-toons and will be posting the results here from time to time.

This post was updated February 20, 2006


Anonymous said...

I agree with you that media at all levels has become more leftist in its opinions. While I have concerns about this administration's policies and decisions, I think they deserve a more balanced representation in the press. As an educated citizen, I find that it is harder and harder to get "facts" from the media. Every story is filtered through personal bias, much of that bias coming from the liberal contingency. Unfortunately, we have a large segment of the population that accepts what they hear without considering the source. If more moderates and conservatives expressed their opinions, as you have, we might see a better effort at equal representation for all schools of thought.

Anonymous said...

It's funny this. I have been a Republican for most of my life since the age of 17. (32 now) I consider myself to be a centrist and not at all associated with the far-right of the party that in my opinion is the antithesis of what the Republicans stand for, namely, individual freedom, support for small government and what is broadly classed a classical liberalism of the Adam Smith, Thomas Payne and, Hobbs, Locke schools, with some modern Political theory thrown in. It is a case that people or elements of the media a biased depending on your own person bias. I find that many American press outlets tend to be very right wing in many cases and lack even the smallest elements of editorial balance and is even more cases do not offer a proper analysis of events and policies. I believe in many cases this I driven by the view in many media centers, especially TV, that it is a business, “we need to give the population what they want” and not confuse things with differing opinions or view points” Of course this in an oversimplified argument but none the less remains the basis for my argument. Now this does very by program and station and reported but often TV news needs to be viewed as ‘news entertainment’ I often turn to overseas press for alternate views and analysis, chiefly South Africa, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Yes you do have som of these same issues here but in Print media they tend to more balanced and neutral (With the exception of The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph in the UK which offer a broadly Left and Right view respectively.)
On a quick note one reason I feel that the media is right with in many cases is their lack or analysis. They simply report and regurgitate government press releases and do not may much of an effort to look at then and offer real investigation into what is actually bing said, reported or offered as ‘truth’. True many believe that they have a duty to remain impartial but this does not mean they the media can divest itself of its responsibility to look at what is going on and for example say…”The President to day made a statement saying XYZ. The media should then look at it in context and seen if he is being selective in his outlook, or forgetting what he has said ion the past (i.e. contradicting himself or earlier statements. Or for example when statistics are used to justify an argument or point of view remind readers/views that 78.499% of statistics are made up on the spot and subject to a large degree of interpretation. Wow this could go on as it is a complex topic …. to change tacks slightly comments on the following?.. It is to regard neo-conservatism ( Ie Pres Bush, the VP, etc) as synonymous with the Republican right. In fact, its roots lie mostly on the left. The original neoconservatives - also nicknamed Socialists for Nixon - were anti-communist leftists and liberals who became alienated from the Democratic party when it endorsed the anti-Vietnam war candidate George McGovern for president in 1972. Appalled by what they saw as the refusal of liberals to defend their values and confront totalitarianism in the guise of Soviet power, the neoconservatives drifted to the right, contributing to a broader political realignment that swept Ronald Reagan to power. Many took jobs in the Reagan administration and found a permanent home in the Republican party in the process. While some embraced the neoconservative label, others rejected it and insisted that they remained liberals. end. To this day the neocons even retain an outpost on the left in the form of Social Democrats USA, one of America's two affiliates to the Socialist International. This can be seen in many policies today where Republican policy is to centralize policy, laws and pass legislation that in the view of many restricts and controls the population to a much greater extent then ever before. I have even heard t said that American are less free now then at any point, including pre- independence. Awaiting the replays with interest! Oh and my discussion of the neoconservatives is a paraphrase of an article published, not by me so don’t quote or claim it is mine!