Saturday, 7 January 2012

Sarasota Newspapers

In Sarasota we have a weekly “freebie” newspaper which is published in four editions: Sarasota, East County, Longboat Key and Siesta Key.  It is distributed on racks in various stores, and in our local libraries.  Thus I do not get to read it every week  - it all depends whether I happen to be in a store or the library towards the end of each week.

The editorial policy of the paper is drearily predictable.  It has a manifestly libertarian slant.
I read the December 29th edition on 5th January – the day on which I picked it up at a health food store.

The editorial had a “Wish List” for 2012 which included the following;

 That the right candidate is elected to lead the country and reverse the destructive, anti-American agenda of the present administration. 

That pissed me off.  So here is what I wrote to the editor.(I have masked the name of the paper since I have no desire to give it any free publicity).  Locals will know!

Dear Editor

I was unable to retrieve a copy of the December 29th 2011 S------- O------- until Thursday 5th January 2012, so this letter will probably arrive too late to be considered for publication.

Nonetheless I take issue with the part of your "Wish List" which refers to ".....the destructive, anti-American agenda of the present administration".

This may have been a "one liner" designed to appeal to those who support the radical agenda of the Tea Party and sundry Libertarians.  It may well provide grist for the mill for assorted "birthers" and "Obama is a secret Muslim" conspiracy theorists.  But it flies in the face of the facts.

The administration has continued the Bush-era policies of supporting American banks and other financial bodies - thus helping to avert what could have been a total melt-down of our capitalist system.

The administration enabled timely financial resources to "all-American" companies such as General Motors - thus helping to prevent what would have otherwise been disastrous bankruptcies.

The administration has announced a new defense policy, which as one conservative commentator described as "right out of the Donald Rumsfeld playbook".

The administration is enabling albeit slow growth in the American economy, and, to be sure an all too slow growth in jobs. This in itself is remarkable in the face of what is an international recession, and a nay-saying House of Representatives.

Only the most convoluted and obscurantist logic could describe any of this as anti-American.

We are fortunate to live in this beloved Country where differences of opinion are to be valued inasmuch as they often shed light on complicated or difficult matters.  But to slate this Administration as anti-American sheds no light. In fact it creates heat.  It is worthy of the "school of Joseph McCarthy type innuendo", but it is hard for me to recognise it as responsible journalism.  That leads me to wonder if the O-------  Group is so irresponsible in its editorial policy, can it be trusted to be responsible in its news gathering.

Yours faithfully,

J. Michael Povey

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