A Nashville blogger thinks he's spotted clear evidence of conservative editorial bias on the part of the Tennessean, Nashville's Gannett-owned daily. The evidence: the paper balances a slate of syndicated national conservative columnists with some local liberal columnists.
Every day, the paper runs a column by such stalwart, nationally syndicated conservative pundits as Charles Krauthammer, Cal Thomas, Mona Charen, Michelle Malkin, or Thomas Sowell. Nearly every one of these right-leaning columns sounds like something right out of Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly. There is a relentless, liberal-bashing bias to all of these columns. ... And how does the Tennessean balance these conservative screeds? What nationally syndicated columnists of equal stature does our sole remaining daily newspaper offer?
Well, let’s see: Every Monday, we have the very talented and erudite Saritha Prabhu from Clarksville. She typically writes about the American experience from the perspective of a naturalized immigrant. Or we get local columnist Dwight Lewis, who usually writes about local affairs from a racial perspective. Once or twice a week we may get the elegant Ellen Goodman, or Buchwald-wanna-be Rick Horowitz.
While it's true that the paper does run a healthier selection of nationally syndicated conservatives than it does liberals, the Nashville blogger has defined the equation too narrowly - he's left out the paper's own editorials, which consistently lean leftward on national, state and local issues.
And the Tennessean does not employ a local conservative political columnist.
The paper's roster of national syndicated conservative columnists masks the paper's liberal leanings. Strip away all the syndicated stuff, liberal and conservative - which readers can get online and from a myriad of other print sources anyway - and what you have left is the local editorial and commentary content. And it leans heavily leftward.