Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I Got Yer Balance Right Here, Pallie

I think some people on the left need to be reminded: your message, such as it is, is getting out just fine. It's just that most people think your message sucks.

I've noticed a little caterwauling over the Strib's recent attempts at op/ed page "balance" by throwing in a column by Jonah Goldberg or Mona Cheran every now and again. For instance, Smartie over at P-Lib writes:

Okay, Strib. Tell you what. You want to run columns by people like Mona Charen or Jonah Goldberg, fine. Just as long as for each one of those columns you balance it out with a column by Paul Krugman. I think that's a fair deal, right? It gives you your much sought after "balance", you know, the balance between empty sophistry and actual factual arguments. That is the balance you're looking for, right?

You guys are so darn cute!

Well, since I've chucked the edition of the Strib Smartie mentions, I'll use today's - which is pretty representative of the Strib's editorial content - for this analysis.

Let's take a look at the Strib's ideological "balance".

First you have the two reliably left-wing institutional op-eds. Today, this one bangs on the Prez's SOTU address (SHOCK!) and this one excoriates Republican Minnesota House Speaker Steve Sviggum for observing that there are a lot of "very, very liberal Twin Citians." And no, the non-partisan Jim Boyd and his crew are not ripping Sviggum for being Captain of the Obvious.

Lefties 2 - Righties 0

Then you have the "artistic" stylings of the unfortunately-named Strib cartoonist Steve Sack. Today's Shit of Sack is not available online right now, but it is captioned 'The State of the Congress" and depicts a Bush speaking in the House chambers in front of a bunch of elephant trunks sticking out of a sludge labeled "corruption."

Lefties 3 - Righties 0

Moving on to the Droolings to the Editor. There are 10 letters printed. 6 are flaming leftist drivel. Three...

...can best be described as ideologically neutral.

Balance score for the left page of the opinion section:

Lefties 9 - Righties 1.

On the opposite "Opinion Exchange" page there are 5 items. This is a somewhat pessimistic analysis of the future of American / German relations. However it eschews the typical thought-free "everything Bush does sucks, Q.E.D." style of lefties like Molly Ivins, and it also forebears the "defend my guy at any costs" Republican bobo type rhetoric. All in all, it's a solid - if boring - piece of analysis. I'll call it neutral.

Then there's this, which defies classification. It features a paragraph in which this piece of eco-speak nonsense:

Unfortunately, I already see evidence of this nature deficit disorder. As dean of the University of Minnesota College of Natural Resources, I see the changes we've already had to make in our teaching as a result of this decline in our experience with nature.

is immediately followed by this:

No longer can we assume incoming students understand why people like to hunt or fish, or why cutting a tree is a necessary activity that, if done well, can actually sustain our ecosystem.

Again, I gotta call it neutral.

Then, there's the Paul Krugman column.

Lefties 1,897 - Righties 1

Ha ha, just kidding there.

(Closed parenthetical to Smartie - The Strib doesn't reprint Krugman's columns online because the NYT has rights - and charges for access - to them.)

Finally, there's the two Short Cuts items. One is quote about the impact of the Hamas government on how the Israelis will deal with the Palestinians, and the other is a quote from Sen. Mark "Aiiiiiiieeeeeee!!!!!" Dayton (D - Neptune). Although the Hamas quote is arguable, I'll score the Short Cuts 1 to 1, just to make the Strib look better.

Final score: Lefties 11, Righties 2.

Now that's balance!

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