Friday, January 13, 2006

The State Newspaper: A Liberal Rag?

So the Governor's Office thinks The State newspaper is nothing but a low-down, dirty liberal rag?

So says Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer, at least, who responded to the paper's inquiries about former Communications Director Chris Drummond's appointment to the SCETV Board of Directors by calling the paper out for a "liberal bias."

Everyone knows editorial page editor Brad Warthen's political views are slightly to the left of the love child of Barbra Striesand and Rodney King, but can the same be said of the newsroom? Or, in this specific case, political reporter Aaron Gould Sheinin?

While the answer is probably somewhere between "likely" and "yes," it's curious that the "L-Bomb" was dropped in this particular story - and on this particular reporter.

Honestly, a former governor's office communications dude (thankfully not our boy sic Willie) was hired to a board position in the industry in which he previously worked. So what? Last time we checked, the SCETV board didn't have a say in the network's content, and a FITS investigation has concluded the said employee isn't being paid a dime by either SCETV or the gubna's campaign.

Aside from Senator John Land - who probably thinks the governor is acting in a racist manner when flushing the toilet after going #2 - why is anybody really offended by this?

But since Sawyer decided to respond by procuring the launch codes and going nuclear on South Carolina's largest newspaper, let's take a look at the premise he's operating from.

The State is definitely tilted more to the left of the political spectrum than the average paper in our state. That's obvious. Just take John Monk's "News Columnist" position. Seriously, what is that? Are you reporting facts, or are you telling us your opinion? Usually Monk, despite his many endearing qualities, is telling us his opinion and using the facts that he thinks best illustrate that opinion. Trying to disguise that as "news" - which The State is most assuredly doing - is plain wrong.

There's also no denying that The State's newsroom had it out for Sanford's Medicaid waiver and school choice plan from the start, and that his income tax cut didn't get equal time in the paper whenever Sen. Hugh Leatherman pulled the string on his repeating doll (a.k.a. "state economist" Bill Gillespie), who bashed it mercilessly as a service-crippling, class warfare scheme.

The unfortunate part about this situation, though, is the reporter who's getting the high hard one from the gubna's press office is actually one of the fairer guys out there. Sure, Mr. Gould Sheinin has popped one off on Sanford from time to time, but he's popped one off on a lot of other people, too. On a day-to-day basis, Sheinin actually covers the issues surrounding the Legislature and the Governor's Office with as much fairness as the next reporter.

The State is up for sale, and so it'll be interesting to see how (if) new ownership decides to keep playing a left-leaning paper in a right-leaning state.

Until then FITS, would humbly recommend that a) readers of The State who don't already read between the lines learn to do so, b) Mr. Sawyer remember that "they got more ink than you got blood" and c) Chris Drummond get himself a new publicity photo. Honestly, you look like Howdy Doody, kid.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear if The State is sold that Warthen may be out of job because of his unyielding opposition to the two-party system.

8:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Billy-Will,

It's "StrEIsand". You don't use that 'i before e, except after c' rule on names, you know. Can't believe that one slipped by you.
Good to see you pounding away at the keyboard on the SC Blogosphere. But what's up with the multiple personalities thing?

Best wishes,
certainly Not Bored and probably Not Anonymous

12:54 AM

Blogger Laurin Manning said...

I agree 100% about the pic of Chris Drummond. Definitely doesn't do him justice! (IMHO, he should have been on the FITS Top 10, but maybe he'd already left the office by then...?) This pic looks like a mugshot, and, well, I'll avoid the obvious punchline. heh heh.

As for Mr. Sawyer, could someone explain this quote to me?

But Sawyer, Sanford’s press secretary, said “the fact that a story this absurd is being written means that what the letter said about the liberal media is certainly true about The State newspaper.”

What a tangled quote. Keep it simple, Joelly-Poo.

9:37 AM


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