Monday, November 06, 2006

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and the New York Times

Lots of conservatives in Wisconsin like to criticize the Journal-Sentinel's editorial page as "biased." I don't. While it is true that a majority of the board are liberals (although there are at least two conservatives), editorial boards are supposed to have opinions. The key is whether they let the other side have a say. The paper makes an effort to run good conservative commentary. Patrick McIhleran is a wonderful columnist - intelligent, funny and succinct - and I think they have attempted to keep balance among their community columnists. I have written between 30 and 40 op-eds for the paper and they changed precisely one thing in all of that work. (They asked and I agreed.)

I want to constrast what the Journal-Sentinel and New York Times did yesterday. Everyone in town knew the paper was going to endorse Doyle. But they decided to give equal prominence to opposing views, running, for example, my endorsement of Mark Green at the top of the page. Moreover, (and I realize that this is immodest of me), they set out to find people who would do a good job of countering their endorsement.
I could have told you from the moment that I heard what they were doing who the other writers would be.

Let's compare what the national paper of record decided to do on the Sunday before the midterms. They said that they just set out to find four writers to comment on races in four key states and, what do you know, they all turned out to be liberal Democrats. We heard how about how mean-spirited the Republicans are in Minnesota, how the Republican incumbent in Montana just ain't a man of the people, how we should fear that the GOP is about to steal the election in Ohio (no reason offered), and how it'll probably be racist if Harold Ford loses in Tennessee (although it's apparently ok for Michael Steele to go down in Maryland.)

I have to confess that I really enjoy the Sunday Times (preferably on my deck with a glass of wine) but current management is ruining the franchise. You can accuse me of sucking up to Ricardo Pimentel but I still think the comparison is worth noting.

272 comments:

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steveegg said...

You must be a masochist to keep reading the New Sedition Slimes. Speaking of them, did you catch this little gem from their editorial pages (I caught this in the predictions thread on Hot Air) -

"On Tuesday, when this page runs the list of people it has endorsed for election, we will include no Republican Congressional candidates for the first time in our memory. Although Times editorials tend to agree with Democrats on national policy, we have proudly and consistently endorsed a long line of moderate Republicans, particularly for the House. Our only political loyalty is to making the two-party system as vital and responsible as possible."

Heck, even the Jourtinel managed to choke in a few Pubbie endorsements.

elliot said...

As much as it pains me to admit it, you're right.

While the opinions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board ARE unrepentantly liberal, they do a fairly good job of balancing their opinion with outside columnists.

However, I will not apologize for wishing that the only remaining major newspaper in Milwaukee leaned more conservative in its editorials (as it seemed to after the merger of the two papers and BEFORE Pimentel showed up).

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