Reader wants 'even treatment'

Question: You haven't by any chance re-hired the headline writer intern who called the president of Gonzaga a nazi, have you? Past slantings have been outdone by the latest "Bush BOASTS of employment boom," when he was simply countering the constant criticism of an economy which by all past standards is doing great. This is one change this old codger isn't willing to accept blindly, even though I do have enough sense not to overspend my resources unlike your young target audience. Even treatment would have had your article on Kerry and the convention flap reading something like "Kerry says silliness of law won't stop him".

And how long before the political left leaning "Non Sequitor" gets put where it belongs, in the classifieds along with Trudeau? As to the new edgy "7," it proves my point when even the cooking column had to include a slam against the President of the United States. Do you have even a token conservative on the staff? -- Ellie Comfort, Rathdrum, Idaho

Answer: ...And when did I stop beating my wife? I think this communication illustrates the futility in trying to second guess the delight some readers take in discerning bias in the most innocuous places.

There is nothing wrong with the Bush/jobs headline. It reflects the essence of the story. It is neither pro- nor anti- unless one is looking sideways through the bottom of a Coke bottle seeking bias.

Further, I remain puzzled why a handful of readers see the debut of "7" and the demise of Weekend as some sort of political statement. Young people have the right to find items of interest to them in our paper. Now, it's true those interests may include music, sex, relationships, movies, video games and inexpensive dining. Where's the politics in that? And let's not insult young people by suggesting that those are the only things they're interested in reading. We know from our research that we have a larger proportion of young readers than most newspapers and like everyone else, they begin their reading with Page 1 and the A section followed by local news.

Lastly, how in the world can Non Sequitor, which I find particularly stupid, be viewed as liberal or conservative? Press bias is a serious issue. But it really deserves serious discussion. -- Steve Smith, editor

Useful links
About Steve Smith
About Gary Graham
About Ken Sands
About Doug Floyd
About Carla Savalli