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BLOG: Advice to our critics

Tom Jackson • Jun 20, 2012 at 3:47 PM

My boss, managing editor Matt Westerhold, has been getting some heat from our more conservative readers for the column he wrote for our editorial page a couple of weeks ago criticizing Fox News, the right-leaning cable news channel and Web site. Some have threatened to cancel their newspaper subscription.

As everyone knows, most journalists are Democrats. And many of these journalists think that the obvious pro-Obama, anti-Romney slant of the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR and, yes, the Sandusky Register, is normal. When they see a news outfit such as Fox with an obvious anti-Obama, pro-Romney slant, that seems odd to them.

Roughly half of the population leans Republican, however, and there's obviously a market for a news organization that caters to them. If Fox News disappeared tomorrow, somebody would make a lot of money filling the gap.

I'm also not clear on how Fox News really differs from MSNBC, which has an obvious left slant.

But for Matt's critics, let me make a few points:

(1) Nothing is more boring than an opinion piece that fails to express an opinion and then defend it. The only opinion piece worth reading is a provocative one that forces you to think about the argument. That's why Rufus Sanders is always worth reading. Sometimes I agree with Mr. Sanders, sometimes I disagree, but I have to think about what he's saying.

(2) Our letters to the editor space is open to everyone, including our critics. If you think we've missed something, pick up a pen.

(3) It's simply an objective fact that the Sandusky Register is an aggressive, hard working newspaper that fights constantly to obtain public documents and get the news out. Yes, we are human and sometimes we make mistakes, but it's not a coincidence that the paper wins so many awards.

If you've ever read a lazy local newspaper that settles for whatever the local authorities are willing to hand out, you'll know what I mean. You may not agree with everything we've ever published, but if you skip the Register, you are missing an essential source of local news.

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