Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Newsitorials and their audience

[Please scroll down, or click here, to vote in the Conservative Slogan Contest. Your votes matter.] This showed up on the internet version of the front page of today's San Francisco Chronicle:

The accidental shooting of a fellow hunter by Vice President Dick Cheney, along with the White House's mishandling of the news this past weekend, underscore the secrecy under which the VP operates.
To me, this squiblet reads like an editorial, since both the bit about "mishandling of the news" and "secrecy" seem to be more the opinions of an insulted press corp than actual fact. Nevertheless, there it is, front and center on the news page. It's no surprise to read this kind of partisan "news" in the SF Chron, which has always been known for its liberal viewpoint. However, I'm wondering if it's audience is quite as extreme as its editorial board. The other day, its "Two Cents Column" (which asks topical questions of a regular group of Bay Area readers) asked who is worse -- Bin Laden or Bush? Interestingly, most of the question's responders had the sense to give the morally correct answer. For example, Karen Gerbosi, of ultra-liberal Marin, answered
Undoubtedly bin Laden is more dangerous. It is sad and disappointing that some people are willing to forget the carnage of Sept. 11 that bin Laden sponsored for the sake of their obsession with bashing President Bush.
At least two people were disgusted by the question. Thus, Robert Hallstrom, of slightly more conservative Pittsburg, said:
My jaw dropped in disbelief at this question. Everyone has their own reality. We see things differently. Some wear aluminum foil hats so others cannot listen in to their thoughts. Some converse with spirits. You guys have been reading your own newspaper for too long.
Likewise, Iren Jenny, of conservative Orinda, said:
You have got to be kidding! Has the Chronicle staff lost their mind, or is liberalism choking your brains? How can an American newspaper ask such a stupid question? Have you forgotten Sept. 11?
Even Barry Hirsch, who doesn't like Bush, took umbrage at the fact that someone would ask the question:
Easy there. I'm no Bush fan, and am an ACLU member -- maybe not prudent with our present government -- but the Bush presidency will pass without enduring damage to our republic. Bin Laden and Muslim extremism is a real danger to the United States and the world. Muslim extremists victimize innocent people like Jill Carroll, making this world very dangerous. Hopefully, in three years we have a better president who can find more effective ways to deal with this threat.
Sam Guiterrez, who lives in a more conservative pocket of the Bay Area (San Leandro) gave an appropriately hawkish answer, considering that we're at war:
I hope Bush is now feared as more dangerous than bin Laden, who declared full-scale jihad against us in 1998, three years before Bush even took office. If Bill Clinton had been as "dangerous" as Bush, perhaps we wouldn't have lost 3,000 innocent lives to Islamic extremists on Sept. 11.
But this is the Bay Area, so you also got Nida Khalil, who resides in affluent San Mateo, stating:
Well, who has killed more people? You have it: George W. Bush.
Score one for moral relativism. Likewise, Nancy Davis, of Albany (right next door to Bezerkley) knows real evil when she sees it:
I think George W. Bush is the most dangerous man on earth. He is powerful. He has no integrity. He has no respect for the citizens' right to privacy. He values only the lives of those with whom he agrees. He has the atomic bomb.
So does Carl Allen, out there in Ukiah:
It's a toss-up, tough to pick. Both are trying to destroy the America I know and love.
Anne Spanier, in Oakland (another Bezerkeley neighbor) also has no doubts about how evil George Bush is:
They are both dangerous for different reasons. Osama because he uses tribal religious fervor to stir up hatred and violence toward Americans, who are pretty clueless about his positions. Bush is dangerous because as the leader of the world's strongest military power, he uses it to dominate America's strategic oil interests. They are both short-sighted ways to run the world.
Although the majority of respondents -- even those who disagree with Bush -- are able to give common-sensical answers, the Chron relentlessly panders to those who hail from the furthest Left corner of the political sphere. It is true that the press is still effective in getting its message across (I think its relentlessly negative reporting about the War is showing in the poll numbers), but it seems to me that those bubble news rooms are more and more floating away from real people. I mean, it says something when the major paper in the most liberal pocket of America finds legitimate a question that its readers find preposterous even to contemplate. Hat tip re the Two Cents: Opinion Journal's Best of the Web Today Talking to Technorati: , , , , , ,