Press-Republican

Columns

December 9, 2012

Multiple options in media varies political views

I enjoyed Colin Read’s Nov. 4 Press-Republican column where he points out that technology has contributed to a vanishing centrist view in politics. 

In the past, when newspapers were the main delivery medium for news, editors had to be careful not to skew the facts too far to the right or the left as the readers were sure to contain citizens of both persuasions. As a result, the news was nudged toward the middle of the political road if, for no other reason, it would outrage fewer readers and was certainly the best choice in terms of the bottom line.

Now most everyone has the Internet and cable TV, both of which can provide the type and slant of news most any individual desires. In addition to cooking, pet and golf channels, Fox caters to the right, and MSNBC is left of center. This tends to polarize the politics of our nation and could certainly be a significant cause of our gridlocked government that, like the weather, everyone complains about, but no one seems to be able to change.

However, that said, I must respectfully (there’s a word you don’t hear very often anymore) disagree with my colleague. Newspapers, even in their heyday, were divided into right, left and center politically in their editorials and even their choice of headlines. I recall back in the ‘60s, a headline from the Manchester Union Leader stating: “UN Mercenaries Invade Congo.” Of course, this was the opinion of the owner (Loeb) of the publication, but the people who regularly purchased this paper were also the choir he was preaching to. This seems very similar to what Fox and MSNBC are doing when they broadcast the opinions of Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow. Actually, Fox and MSNBC are being more intellectually honest and transparent with us as they do not claim that Hannity and Maddow are newscasters but are merely commentators. And as commentators, they can vent their biases to their bases rather freely. The issue is, however, when you sit down for a meal, do you want your soup with one flavor overpowering all of the others or would you rather they all work to complement each other?

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • clute_cropped.jpg When children are put at risk

    Adults who deal drugs, commit domestic violence and other crimes with kids present are guilty of yet another crime, writes columnist Penny Clute.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • little_mug.jpg There's no saw like an old saw Kaye and I laughed ourselves silly the other day as we tried to top each other with our own sayings from childhood, columnist Gordie Little writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Denenberg_Stu1.jpg Privacy concerns make a comeback

    There's a growing concern amongst the millennials, columnist Stu Denenberg writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Several options exist for downtown

    Pedestrian mall just one idea that could be good for city's economic future, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Government can't create success on its own

    It takes a grass-roots community effort of people working together to assure future accomplishment, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time