Liberal-leaning opinion column misses mark

Published 6:26 am Thursday, March 23, 2017

Dear Editor,
This letter is in response to your opinion piece on Feb. 23 (“At long last, the stuff of journalism”) by Gene Policinski, Chief Operation Officer for the Newseum Institute.
It is initially interesting to note that the Newseum Institute and the First Amendment Center are creatures of a mainstream media giant – the left-leaning Ganett Company (which also owns the Louisville Courier Journal).
Gene Policinski was a founding editor of USA Today (owned by Ganett). Newseum Board member Phillip Currie is a former senior vice president for Ganett. Newseum Board Member Michael Gartner is a former senior vice president for Ganett. Newseum Board Member Peter Prichard is a former editor for USA Today. Newseum Board Member Madelyn P. Jennings is a former senior vice president for Gannett. Jack and Malcolm Kirchenbaum are lawyers that perform the heavy legal lifting for Gannett.
Taken together, the Newseum Institute is controlled by former Gannett officers and friends. As a result, their liberal bias is quite obvious.
Gene Policinski is, by all accounts, a far-left liberal mouthpiece for mainstream media. It is absolutely no surprise that his views paint a very liberal and wildly dishonest picture of journalism in our politically-charged environment. Virtually no American believes that the mainstream media makes even a minimal effort to present objective journalism. All legitimate surveys reflect that over 90 percent of all reporters consider themselves liberal. Most polls report that American citizens view journalists less favorably than members of Congress – hardly a ringing endorsement of Policinski’s views.
All of this being said, Policinski is correct in stating that our founding fathers intended journalism to be a public “watchdog” of government. For that very reason, our Constitution and our Supreme Court has properly given our media wide legal protections. However, what Policinski fails to mention is that our journalist “watchdogs” are obligated to be fair, honest and objective. Much of today’s media reporters miserably fail to meet even these minimal journalistic standards.
Policinksi must have been living in a cave for the last 50 years. His lofty, but sadly mistaken, observations on the “stuff” of journalism are simple ignorance and dishonesty. Contrary to the intentions of our founding fathers, readers and viewers are bombarde daily with totally fake stories, obvious distortions and willful underreporting of major events. These intentional commissions and commissions dangerously abuse and undermine the role of journalism as envisioned by our founding fathers.
The Interior Journal has my complete support for printing Policinski’s view of journalism in today’s America. On the other hand, The Interior Journal also has an obligation to provide readers with a more detailed recounting of his ideology, history and experiences.

Paul Osborne
Stanford, Ky