Wednesday, February 4, 2009

If they lean any farther left, they'll fall over

A few things struck me funny when I read this story in the Helena Independent Register. Apparently there is a group that feels that the media, including a Montana public radio station, do not lean far enough to the left.

Members of the Helena Peace Seekers feel that the programming on Helena's public radio and TV stations do not accurately report the news. I tend to agree that public radio and TV has a decided slant, but it isn't to the right.

Now, I know that Montana is a "Red" state, but come on. This sounds like a thinly veiled attempt at imposing the fairness doctrine without saying it. They will deny it, but there were a few quotes that tipped me off.

“The better informed the public is, the more well-functioning the democracy will be,” Boland said on Tuesday, “Information is power. It means people make better decisions in their political life. You have to trust that if you believe in democracy.”

This one is my favorite. You can always tell a liberal is feeling repressed when they pull out those phrases. If conservative ideals are held back, it's always "the people have spoken".

What’s currently offered by the three stations caters to the middle and right of the political spectrum, he said. As such, it lacks balance and neglects the left, which he said hinders the democratic process.

Balance...Hmmm...Helena must not have an ABC, NBC, or CBS affiliate. They must not have access to CNN either.

Boland disagreed, suggesting that Montana PBS, Yellowstone Public Radio, and Missoula Public Radio were trying to control the message received by their audience.

It took nearly the entire article, but the accusation of conservative censorship came through. Of course, if it were a conservative accusing one of the major networks of the same thing, you can imagine the screams we would hear about that.

The entire article wasn't a total fluff piece. The quote from the director of Montana's PBS station was a good one.

“We’re traditionally accused of being left-leaning,” Pruitt said, fending off Boland’s criticism that the station caters to the middle and to the right. “When you start getting it from both sides — from the left and from the right — we start thinking we’re doing something right.”

That's what journalism is supposed to be about. In this day and age when everyone has an agenda if you are making both sides upset and nervous, you are on the correct path.

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