As a regular reader of at least two daily newspapers – you know, the “liberal” mainstream media, also known as “fake news” to twitters – a recent editorial position came as no surprise to me.
“Sadly,” the Cleveland newspaper editorialized, the “administration increasingly is failing … with its excessive secrecy and resistance … and deficient oversight.”
Furthermore, referring to a current “corruption probe,” the newspaper asked, “Having failed, based on the evidence, to implement adequate controls against possible self-dealing,” did this administration try “to mask its failures by seeking to shield information from the public?”
Is it any wonder then that this same newspaper, at this critical crux for American democracy, is called out by letter writers for having “almost no conservative voice left,” or presumably worse, “beginning to look more like the New York Times”?
Actually, yes, it is. That recent editorial took the administration of Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, a liberal Democrat, to task for its lack of accountability and transparency.
That’s what good editorials do. They hold public officials to account, regardless of their political affiliations, because responsible media are accountable to the American people and to democracy, not to politicians who would tear it apart.
It probably comes as no surprise to most citizens that Ohio’s three largest newspapers all endorsed our current Republican president’s Democratic opponent in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election, as did the vast majority of newspapers across the land. What factually challenged citizens don’t want to know is that the Cleveland paper had endorsed 14 Republicans in the previous 19 presidential elections; the Columbus paper hadn’t endorsed a single Democrat for president in the previous century; the Cincinnati paper hadn’t endorsed a Democrat since 1936. Similar histories are shared by newspapers from coast to coast.
“Liberal” media, my you-know-what!
Then again, the right to know facts, as opposed to “alternative” whatever, has become associated with liberalism.
But don’t tell that to the Washington Post’s George Will and Jennifer Rubin, two of the nation’s best syndicated columnists. They are among many true conservatives who happen to be among President Donald J. Trump’s harshest critics for various reasons, not the least of which are his aberrant behavior and his usurpation of Republicanism.
During my 40-year newspaper career, I was privileged to work with too many excellent journalists to name, true patriots devoted to the pursuit of true news and facts. Some of them called themselves Democrats. Some called themselves Republicans. Mostly, though, they didn’t identify with either political party. They were loyal to the Constitution and its First Amendment, the epitome of freedom and democracy. None of them were the “enemy of the American people,” as our president would have it.
I also have been fortunate to work for newspaper publishers who, regardless of their personal political leanings, were committed to the pursuit of truth by their editors and reporters. That includes my early years as editor of the Geauga Times Leader, which was owned by the Rowley family, good Republicans.
The Chagrin Valley Times, where I spent most of my career, was founded 48 years ago by a group of Republicans, including the late David Griffiths, who for 30 years was the Chagrin Falls GOP ward leader. Those founders sold the Times to the Douthit family, although they were not Republicans, because of their reputation for fairness and journalistic excellence.
It was the late Dorothy Portz, a Republican former Solon mayor, who urged the Douthits to establish the Solon Times in 1979, because she valued their papers’ balanced reporting.
People like the Rowleys, the Douthits, David Griffith, Dorothy Portz and so many others who fought for freedom of the press are the ones who made America great and will continue to do so – despite the current political perversions of reality.
Mr. Lange is the retired editor of the Chagrin Valley Times, Solon Times and Geauga Times Courier