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The Tentacle


July 23, 2012

Managing the Media-Bias

Steven R. Berryman

When the managing editor of The Frederick News-Post has to leave the boardroom to scribe his own editorial in defense of the “newspaper’s” accusations of media bias and of harboring a leftist agenda, you know something’s up.

 

I track these things daily in a Facebook page called The Frederick News-Post Ombudsmen, Just for fun. Since the paper can be too full of itself, left unchecked, I figured I’d help out, especially with the “Moderator” of comments working only at random!

 

The Sunday July 22 print edition of the News-Post was very good in overall breadth, substance, and composition compared to other weekends, thought I; but how strange to see the managing editor, Terry Headlee, respond so directly? You knew he was serious because his picture was included.

 

Looking for more clues as to why the impassioned defense was called for, I tracked back to find the day’s main editorial “Unmasking Influence” where it belonged in the upper left-hand column of the editorial page. Surely there was a connection between the unusual twin editorials of a Sunday edition, as they plan these things, you know.

 

As evidence, please note that the paper takes great pride in coordinating the political cartoons with the tone of the day as well.

 

“Unmasking Influence” discussed the longing for transparency-in-government, and included separate comments about the failure of the “Disclose” act in the U. S. Senate (concerning the Citizens United ruling), and also repeated the oft-requested demand for Mitt Romney’s tax returns, going back beyond the previous two years already released.

 

The implication on the “Disclose” act was that the Republicans in control were to blame; only later in the editorial is it mentioned that they were concerned with built-in exemptions for unions.

 

Mr. Headlee’s commentary claimed a fair balance had been reached by his paper over time; but the coincidence with the main editorial of the day was too good to pass up. In “Unmasking Influence,” the obvious balancing counterpoint to transparency in government and the bashing only one of the presidential candidates was to include some reference to President Barack Obama!

 

Just which presidential candidate ran on a platform of “bringing a new transparency to government,” then became derided for keeping a treasure of secrets himself? In fact, the first White House meeting to cover the issue of transparency was itself held behind closed doors, despite howls of protest!

 

Or, could the editorial have fairly included a paragraph on disclosure of the unveted past of President Obama? The press never pressed him on where his academic records were, or what subjects were the required papers written on? Who paid for President Obama’s freely-subsidized education, and what allegiance is owed to the known radicals in his past, some known to be sponsors?

 

No, I am not going to join Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio in continuing to question the president’s birth records! That would be piling on; and, with the above, is not needed.

 

The bias, Mr. Headlee, takes the form of what gets left out. The truth gets infinitely more obfuscated in this manner. The bias left more obscure…

 

It’s the “lies by omission” that constitute evidence of an agenda. Track this over time as I have, and you will learn why the paper does not employ an Ombudsman, as does The Washington Post.

 

It’s all about the appearance of evenhandedness.

 

srbmgr@gmail.com

 



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