The Elecpencil gets the Warren Tribune delivered to his humble abode. I like getting the local newspaper and I realize many people who don’t live in big cities make fun of their local newspapers as being kind of podunk. The truth is most of those suburban and rural newspapers are corporate owned. One needs to look at a newspapers editorial page to really judge where a newspaper is coming from. Looking at the “Tribs” editorial page you will see mostly right-wing syndicated columnists.
The Tribune has two African-American syndicated columnists, Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell. What were the odds that they both happen to be right-wingers? Sowell is a senior fellow at the conservative think tank, the Hoover Institute. Hoover’s agenda includes wiping out public education, dismantling affirmative action, privatization of social services, tax cuts for the rich, deregulation of industry and dismissing environmental concerns. Hoover Institute played an influential role in developing President Bush’s economic policy. That in itself should show you that having one of its shills like Sowell on your editorial page makes you a joke. On the other hand the joke is on us if we think of newspapers like, the Warren Tribune of being a small town paper focusing on community news. Most of our small town papers are owned by the same corporations that fund right-wing think tanks like the Hoover Institute.
Hoover isn’t about academic thought it’s about being a self-servicing venue for it’s funders Chrysler, Ford, GM, Exxon, Archer Daniels etc. Thus Sowell is a corporate lackey promoting corporate interests over national interests. Along the same lines the Warren Tribune’s editor and his editorial page’s syndicated columnists serve the corporate interests of Ogden Newspapers which owns the Tribune. The Nutting Family owns Ogden Newspapers and has newspapers in 12 states. The company is headquartered in Wheeling, West Virginia. The family also owns the Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania and the majority interest in the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team. Almost all members of the family are substantial contributors to the Republican Party.
Here’s a colorful story on the Nutting family
Warren Tribune editor, Frank Robinson doesn’t seem to care that this area is working-class and union oriented. The only time Robinson is patting unions on the back is when they are giving concessions and bending over to screw workers and benefit the CEO’s. The Tribunes editorial page features right-wingers: Sowell, Williams, Pat Buchanan, George Will, Cal Thomas, Bill O’Reilly, Dick Morris and Michele Malkin. Malkin has written a book in defense of interning Japanese Americans during WWII. Malkin even says, that many of those interned liked the experience. Such a book makes Malkin a joke and any newspaper that features her columns thusly turns itself into a comic book. To balance these right-wingers out the Tribune features, leftist columnist, Andy Rooney. Ever turn on 60 Minutes and see Comrade Andy in a Che t-shirt? No, me neither.
To be fair if you write a letter to the editor of the “Trib” odds are 6 out of 10 times it will get printed in Sunday’s (the only day that has letter’s to the editor) Tribune. If your letter has a right-wing bent odds of it getting to print are 9.8 out of ten. I have found that if you send a letter to the editor criticizing something the editor himself has said, it probably won’t get printed unless you are some local official.
A case in point is on February 7, 2009 when the Saturday Tribune’s editor feature his weekly Saturday column, Orchids and Onions. He calls news events he approves of orchids and things he chastises onions. In that days column he featured this gem: “ONION: Or a Duh? to Gov. Ted Strickland’s stipulation is his budget bill to ban statewide corporal punishment in schools. Does he not know corporal punishment has not been used in years? He calls these sweeping education reforms. Wow.”
I penned this the same evening and e-mailed it to the Tribune: Dear Editor~ In the Warren Tribune on February 7, 2009 an onion is given to Gov. Strickland. The editor gives him an onion because Strickland’s education reform includes banning statewide corporal punishment in schools. The editor says, “Duh doesn’t he know corporal punishment has not been used in years.” . A limited ban enacted in Ohio in 1994 prohibits spanking and other forms of physical discipline unless a school board follows several procedures before voting to allow it. Parents in those districts may refuse to have their children paddled. With this loop hole there are still school districts in Ohio that use corporal punishment. The Governor’s ban will eliminate that and join Ohio to the list of 29 states that have now banned it including the nearby state of PA. So duh, if the editor did more research instead of using political bias he could have found the facts.
I got an e-mail confirmation on Monday that my letter was received. If it was to appear it would have appeared Sunday Feb.14, 2009 but it did not. As in the past when I have corrected the editor’s misinformation my letters have not gotten into the Tribune. Granted the “Onion” I corrected was not a big deal but if I could find out the facts with 10 minutes research why didn’t the editor spend the same 10 minutes? I say it’s because the conservative editor saw a cheap shot he could take at the governor.
The Elecpencil is just trying to say corporations aren’t buying up hometown newspapers just because they care about your community. If you take a good look at a papers editorial page the agenda isn’t really very hidden.
Kevin Ayers May I
Keep in mind, the news media are not independent; they are a sort of bulletin board and public relations firm for the ruling class–the people who run things. Those who decide what news you will or will not hear are paid by, and tolerated purely at the whim of, those who hold economic power. If the parent corporation doesn’t want you to know something, it won’t be on the news. Period. Or, at the very least, it will be slanted to suit them, and then rarely followed up. ~ George Carlin