The issue, I suspect, is as old as the invention of the printing press. Maybe even older.
What do you do when you don’t like something you see in the newspaper?
Do you throw out labels? Claim the daily fish-wrapper is way too liberal … or conservative?
Or do you just throw out the newspaper, pretending if you don’t read it, what you may not like will just disappear?
Maybe there’s another, more reasonable option?
A nice note
A few days ago, I received an email asking about correcting a page on The Columbian’s website that may not have been working. It turned out to be working fine, but it was the “aside” in the email that I was more interested in:
“By the way, I try to never miss your Saturday column. I don’t always agree with you, but I usually get a smile out of it or something more to think about. I have a friend that won’t take The Columbian because she says you’re too conservative and sometimes I agree (you supported Jaime Herrera Beutler.)
“But on balance, I think you guys do a pretty good job of covering the bases.
“Keep it up.”
To me, it was a very nice note. She didn’t agree with me all the time, had a sense that I might lean in one direction (her view is her view), but in the end she reads The Columbian and enjoys it.
Really, we couldn’t ask for more.
And here was my response:
“Thanks. Although I sort of understand people who opt not to read a newspaper based on a perceived liberal or conservative bias, it really never made any sense to me.
“Folks should be tolerant of both (whom) they agree with and disagree with. So yes, we endorsed Jaime Herrera Beutler, but we also endorsed President Obama.
“I guess those two endorsements don’t cancel each other out! :-)
“Such is life, I guess.”
Truth is, I don’t consider myself a conservative or a liberal. I also don’t think The Columbian is conservative or liberal.
We get about an equal number of people complaining that we are too liberal as we do who complain that we are too conservative.
Labor unions think we’re biased and therefore too conservative. And we have a blogger out there who thinks we’re so liberal he refuses to call us The Columbian when he rails against us.
We’re The Democratian to him.
If anything, I try to look out for the working stiff. Does that make me a liberal? Or a conservative? You tell me.
If anything, I’m wary of what the government does and how it spends our money. Does that me make a liberal? Or a conservative? You tell me.
Essentially, we try not to be anybody’s friend or anybody’s enemy. That, of course, reminds me of one of the greatest quotes of all time from a movie.
And although it was a movie quote, it actually had been used by others, including some of my paisan friends.
The Godfather — Vito Corleone — told his son and soon-to-be godfather, Michael, to remember something very important:
“Keep your friends close … but your enemies closer.”
So if you consider us a friend, OK. And if you consider us an enemy, OK.
We, again, don’t feel either is true, but regardless:
Keep us close.
Lou Brancaccio is The Columbian’s editor. Reach him at 360-735-4505 or firstname.lastname@example.org.