Publisher Blasts Cal Thomas for Alleging Bias

March 22nd, 2006 6:40 AM
John Winn Miller

, publisher of The Olympian, is angry at conservative columnist Cal Thomas for saying that there should be "more conservative reporters and editors" to avoid a "consistently liberal point of view" in news reporting. (Thomas is a panelist on Fox News Watch.)

How mad is Miller?

Cal Thomas, you’ve made me mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore.

I’m tired of hearing radical columnists like you besmirch the good men and women who struggle daily to put out the very best newspaper they can.

Once again you’ve trotted out that stale cliche that newspapers like mine are undermined by what you claim is a liberal bias.

I know I can’t change your mind. But I’ll be doggone if I’m going to let your slander of my colleagues go unchallenged anymore.

Your complaint in a column that The Olympian ran Sunday is that journalists hold different values than a majority of Americans. Your cure? Have an affirmative action program to “aggressively seek out more conservative reporters and editors who will report more stories that reflect something other than a consistently liberal point of view.”

There’s a problem with your solution, though. You cited a recent survey of journalists that showed that only 6 percent of them believe that faith in God is necessary to being moral.

What you failed to mention is that the vast majority of self-described “conservative journalists” agreed with their liberal brethren about this in the survey by Project of Journalism Excellence. So adding conservative journalists wouldn’t fix what you perceive to be a serious disconnect between journalists and the public.

Miller gets testier towards the end.

One other thing you failed to mention, Cal. Despite all the perceived bias, the survey also found that a growing majority of Americans has a favorable view of the media in general, and a whopping 72 percent have favorable views of local newspapers like The Olympian.

The public appreciates what we do. That’s why I find your column so incendiary. By undermining the media’s credibility for your own political purposes, you chip away at one of the keystones of democracy itself....

We do not — we cannot — wear our religion or political views on our sleeves. That doesn’t make us less moral than you.

It does, however, make us better journalists.

How can anyone disagree with that reasoning? If you disagree with us you are chipping away at "one of the keystones of democracy itself."