As an occasional (and conservative) contributor to this space I have read with interest the dueling letters about the amount of exposure given to submissions from the left and the right of the political spectrum. I offer the following observations on The Advocate’s Opinion pages.
• Family travel takes me often to Orlando, Fla.; Houston and New York. Orlando and Houston have pitiful excuses for newspapers, and nowhere is it more evident than in their opinion pages. Their local editorial is usually a single paragraph and often they have only one columnist in each day’s paper. The Advocate gives much more space to its own editorials, to readers’ views and to syndicated columnists. Baton Rouge readers get much more exposure to opinion from both sides of the political spectrum than do readers in Orlando or Houston. In New York, I buy the Post and ignore the uber-liberal Times.
• Conceding the first point, however, does not leave me entirely unaware of what I see as slanted viewpoint by The Advocate and its Opinion page staff. A good friend has kept meticulous record of the syndicated columnists (who can be clearly identified as left or right) carried since February of this year and finds that 65 percent of the columns published have been liberal and 35 percent have been conservative. This is from 14 liberal columnists vs. seven conservatives*.
• Michelle Malkin has disappeared from your pages since appearing once in February and once in March. I hope this is not because of a complaint by a reader that appeared about that time. No complaints by conservatives have any similar effect on the liberal lineup.
• Letters to the editor end up being representative of both sides, but a few regulars from the left seem to get repeated exposure at the expense of some friends of mine on the right who are repeatedly rejected.
*York, Will, Sowell, Thomas, Krauthammer, Lowry and Lopez on the right
*Lyons, Milbank, Goodman, Page, Cohen, Reeves, Harrop, Robinson, Dionne, Witcover, Marcus, Estrich, Brazile and the Robertses on the left