This insightful piece was written by the former Live Free or Die blogger who did a little research that the Merrimack Journal just couldn’t manage…
All the opinion that’s fit to print
Letters to the editor are probably the simplest way for a publication to openly express its actual opinions on matters of policy. Opinion pages are popular. Using its editorial prerogative the paper can publish letters by “concerned residents” that might just happen to represent some of their own personal opinions without troubling themselves over the need for balance. They can simply ignore any letter that might rebut those “opinions” effectively, claim it was too long, too short, inappropriate, or that it was an attack on another letter writer, so that few readers ever see a lucid opposing opinion. The editors might excuse this practice with a perfunctory nod to some opposing viewpoint by publishing any number of badly written responses which could possibly strengthen the position the editor(s) favors while still pretending to offer the much sought after balance they claim to live for.
This recent item I pulled off the Merrimack Journal website, dated August 14, was posted at the bottom of their front page (today), and presents a political opinion that favors Senate candidate Jeanne Shaheen. I have no issue with that. My problem is that the Journal fails to mention that the author is not just some local Jane narrating a pithy yarn about her medical travails, but appears to be a long time, currently active, Democrat campaign worker, who was once (wait for it) the office manager for Jeanne Shaheen’s 1997 campaign.
The author, Anne McCann, is a dedicated political activist who has also campaigned for Dick Gephardt—where she appears to have been one of his delegates to the 2004 DNC convention, has spent ‘quality time,’ by her own admission with President Clinton, (not that kind of quality time), and VP Al Gore, and is currently swimming in the tank with Obama, actively working to advance his campaign here in Merrimack, in New Hampshire, and presumable the Whole Obama World™. That would be an impressive list for any average citizen but it cements Anne as a long time political campaign operative for the Democrat party. Her opinions about their platform cannot be separated from that relationship no matter how she connects them to her “personal” life, and failing to identify her as such seems grotesquely dishonest.
I can probably vet every letter-writer myself, since the Journal can’t seem to be bothered with telling me whose opinion I am reading, and I expect I’ll eventually know who they all are, (Like Fred Morse- Cabinet Press left wing letter writer extraordinaire) but anyone unfamiliar with the political landscape—(like most everyone else) who probably can’t be bothered to find out–will not know, and selling platform positions as the opinions of ordinary local citizens is just wrong.
Letter’s to the editor? Yeah, they’re in the Cabinet on the Left.