Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 153
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for August 22, 2002

The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.

If you read much history, you know that at one time newspapers were highly partisan. They did not differentiate much between news and opinion when advocating their candidates and issues. In the 20th century, a conceit arose that the Press should be non-partisan and even “fair.” However, there is plenty of proof that TV news follows its own agenda. As to newspapers…

Why is it? Daily newspapers throughout the state editorialize against arming commercial pilots, despite great support by pilot unions and the traveling public. It appears that the press is more afraid of well qualified individuals having guns in their possession than of the consequences of having our own fighter planes shoot down our own civilian airliner. Something is said about “distracting them from their duties” – the many former missile launch officers in our area weren’t distracted by wearing guns on alert, so why should pilots be?

Why is it? Speaking of guns, daily newspapers seem to be unanimously against allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed handguns. They raise fears of “wild west” shootouts, conveniently ignoring the fact that such shootouts haven’t occurred in “wild west” states that passed concealed carry. They ignore the relative crime statistics of states with and without concealed carry. And they ignore the fact that Missouri’s concealed carry laws are more restrictive even than New York and Massachusetts.

Why is it? Daily newspapers almost unanimously back every tax increase that comes along. Whatever the “public good,” tax rate increases require that government take an additional share of our resources. Every additional day we work to satisfy the demands of government is one day less that we work for our own benefit. That’s a fact that the editorial writers seem to ignore!

Why is it? Daily newspapers don’t report on how office holders live up to campaign promises. For example, almost all the successful candidates for the ambulance board promised that they would have an open mind about how the ambulance district should operate. Once elected, it became clear at the earliest meetings that a majority had already decided to set up a board-operated service, whatever the consequences to the taxpayer. Has that been pointed out to us?

Isn’t it time for daily newspapers and other media to admit their partisan and philosophical bias?

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