Monday, February 20, 2006

Who says bias?

Let's just get one thing straight. The Baltimore Sun is completely biased in favor of Democrats or Republicans, depending on who you ask.

Usually it's the conservatives who think that everyone (in the media, at least) is against them. Today -- well, yesterday -- a letter writer to the Sun says it's really the Democrats that receive unfair coverage.

In over 30 years of participation in Howard County electoral politics, I have never seen a better organized event or a more enthusiastic crowd (described as boisterous in one article) than I observed at the kick-off for Ken Ulman's county executive campaign.

I thought the number of attendees filling the auditorium at Slayton House might have been noteworthy. If there was an article featuring this event and describing the speeches of Congressman Elijah Cummings, Del. Elizabeth Bobo, and County Executive Jim Robey, as well as several community leaders, I missed it. Where I did see it [in the Howard edition of The Sun] was in a couple of paragraphs on an inside page at the very end of an article about Police Chief [Wayne] Livesay thinking about possibly running for County Council. There was no photo of the diverse crowd -- all ages and races -- and no description of the excitement and energy of the attendees beyond the very loaded word "boisterous."

(I didn't know boisterous was a loaded word. How so?)

As with all newspapers, I think the Sun's real bias is writing stories that are actually newsworthy. Ulman's official announcement party, however well-coordinated and energetic, really wasn't news. For months we have known that he was going to run for County Executive, and nothing to that effect changed when he stood in front of hundreds of people at Slayton House to give his first official campaign speech. On the other hand, the Livesay story was actually a bit of information that most people didn't know about before the Sun reported it, thereby qualifying it as "news."

Anyway, let's just call a truce on the media bias B.S. It's just an excuse for whining, which, unlike media bias, is something we have plenty of.

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