Slight slant to the left

Question: I got a kick out of reading the letter that said The Spokesman-Review seems to list to the right, and wondered if it was due to the area and the large number of constituents who are Republican. The author of that letter also indicated he was Democrat, so my view will be different. I am a conservative living in North Central Idaho, and I feel that your paper does a pretty good job of appealing to all political stripes, with perhaps a slight slant to the left.

The only two aspects of your paper I disagree with are the editorial cartoons by Toles and the op/ed pieces by Molly Ivins. I know you do not write these yourself but as a conservative I feel they reflect badly on your paper. I am sure there are many people who like them so I don't expect to see them go away, but I just wanted to voice my opinion. Sorry if this is more of a opinion piece than an actual question. -- Aaron Kin, Moscow, Idaho

Answer: In all honesty, which way we list frequently depends on the side of the boat from which you're watching. I had a recent phone conversation with a man who called me a communist, followed within minutes with another call from a reader who implied that our letters policy was designed to protect President Bush.

I don't subscribe to the theory that being criticized by opposing sides is necessarily evidence that you're right on track. Nevertheless, I think it's important to have commentary that reflects a variety of positions. Toles and Ivins have strong followings, as do conservatives such as cartoonist Michael Ramirez and columnist Thomas Sowell. One thing to keep in mind about cartoonists, they tend to be scolds. Ideology aside they poke fun of whoever occupies the White House at the time. -- Doug Floyd, editorial page editor

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