Monday, November 19, 2012
The mindless reader vs. the "liberal media"
The reports of looming changes in the Plain Dealer's workaday world have ignited another round of attacks on liberal journalists as the culprits of the paper's troubles.
On cue, letter writers are hissing that the PD's "liberal" views drove away armies of subscribers. To where? They don't say. But those of us who labored for many years in newspaper offices have forever heard complaints about the "liberal media" from people in an endless snit about something or other. The newspaper industry is in retreat these days for several reasons, none of which can be traced to the liberal crowd in newsrooms.
I have twice worked for major newspapers owned by Republicans. That's where the corporate world will take you if you want to work in the business. No one was more conservative than Ben.Maidenberg, my boss at the Beacon Journal who found a way to tolerate me, and I, him. Otherwise, we were argumentative friends. Later, when my column was suspended at the Plain Dealer by a new editor (no longer on the premises!), I was told he considered it "too liberal".
So where's the liberal media? I've tired of asking. But now that the Plain Dealer, which tilts to corporate power over progressive pols and labor unions - unless a candidate like Josh Mandel gives them absolutely no room to endorse a Republican - the boo-birds are at it again.
Whoops. Almost forgot. The PD also endorsed President Obama. But also Republican Gov. John Kasich. Not that most readers pay that much attention to endorsements anyway.