Best Local Media Mystery
Oh, to have been present at the brainstorming session that brought Philip Anschutz’s Examiner chain of local newspapers into existence. Here’s just a guess at the Eureka! moment: I know—why don’t we mix granular, responsible, up-to-the-minute local reportage with wingnut editorializing on national issues! Perhaps it didn’t go down just like that, but each day’s Examiner edition reflects that very sensibility. The paper provides indispensable coverage on D.C. politics, regional transportation, crime—all the rugged beats that a city daily should own. Then you turn the pages, through the national politics and the business. And you land on the opinion/commentary pages. It’s a strange lineup that’s preaching to one of the country’s most liberal jurisdictions. There are libertarian rants from John Stossel, always careful to plug his broadcasts on Fox; there are regular rants against gun control; there are near-daily slams on Obamacare. There’s even Cal Thomas, who recently crafted this lede: “As more Americans, especially the unemployed, come to rely on government to take care of them, we risk losing our independence.” If you didn’t know any better, you’d suppose that the paper’s local news coverage is produced locally by news professionals and that its editorial slant comes from some powerful guy who lives thousands of miles away.