Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sinking Liberal Newspapers Throw Readers Overboard, & the Chicago Sun-Times as a Case in Point

The decline of American newspapers appears relentless – shrinking readership, dropping ad revenues, and mounting losses as former readers increasingly look to the web for their needs. But as their businesses sink and with water up to their knees, the liberals in charge blissfully carry on.

Although newspapers have a long tradition of taking sides politically, in recent years liberal newspaper writers have increasingly promoted the myth of the “objective” journalist – balanced and fair, just reporting the news. This myth in reality has been nothing more than a great lie to brainwash inattentive readers to the increasing one-sidedness of their product.

But now, faced with a downward spiral with no end in sight, one would think that rational newspaper people would recognize that now they cannot afford to alienate any potential readers with extreme political ideologies, and that offering a product balanced and fair in reporting and commentary would be the best chance at survival. One could think that, but then one would be wrong.

Why would the ultra-liberals who have taken over most newspapers (and all of the wire services) increasingly force conservatives and Republicans, a big portion of potential readership, away from their product? Well, to start with, liberals in the media don’t see their work as a business – they see it as a mission to promote the liberal agenda among the malleable proletariat, the ones with all that false consciousness. And like the scorpion that stings the frog giving it a ride across a pond, thus drowning them both, liberals just can’t help themselves, even if they wanted to.

Case in point – the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper. As it sinks, it veers left. Here are just two examples of the depths to which the Sun-Times has sunk – from two articles I clipped, both from the same day in the paper, March 8, 2008, on consecutive pages:

(1) Article on page 14 regarding Vice-President Cheney’s graduation address at the Great Lakes Naval Base in north suburban Chicago: Big headline: “It Took Him 8 Years To Get Here”; Sub-header – “Cheney visits base for graduation, though Iraq veteran not impressed”. While stating that 4,000 were present for the graduation ceremony, the author focuses essentially the entire article on the anti-Bush and anti-Cheney comments from just one man, a training officer. How representative was that one man’s sentiments of the entire audience? Not very, I’m sure, but that’s not the point when your role as a “journalist” is to be an ultra-liberal advocate in every “straight-news” article you write.

(2) Article on page 15 regarding the special election to fill the seat of retiring U.S. Rep. Dennis Hastert, pitting Republican Jim Oberweis, a man with interests in a financial services firm and a dairy company, against Bill Foster, a physicist: Big headline: “Physicist vs. Ice Cream Man in Rare Saturday Election”; the last paragraph reads “Obama and 28 Nobel Prize winners have endorsed Foster. Hastert and Republican John McCain have endorsed Oberweis.”

Now I have my share of criticisms of these Republican politicians, but smears and dripping condescension at every opportunity in what are supposed to be non-opinion, straight news articles are tiring and pathetic, and drive away readers. But this has become common in the Chicago Sun-Times. And as for its commentary, their columnists are no different – the paper prominently displays ultra-liberal featured writers who provide cheap shots and invective rather than reasoned arguments. The sports pages are very good, though, and are now the only reason to buy the paper.

So how is the Sun-Times doing these days? The paper is the primary asset of its parent company, the publicly-traded Sun-Times Media Group, which also owns many small local suburban newspapers. The company just reported that in the most recent quarter it lost over $168 million. That’s 168 million dollars. The last closing stock share price – 6 cents.

John Michael Greco

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