Birthday Message from the Kansas City Star
On Saturday, the Kansas City Star (which started life as the Kansas City Evening Star) turned 130 years old. To celebrate the occasion, the Editorial Board penned a column:
The Evening Star will be absolutely independent in politics, aiming to deal by all men and all parties with impartiality and fairness, expressing its views at all times with entire freedom and fearlessness.
That’s in the first editorial written by this newspaper, back on Saturday, Sept. 18, 1880. On that day exactly 130 years ago, the original edition came with plenty of lofty notions, many still pertinent today. The No. 1 edition promised to be independent, enterprising, spicy, readable, truthful and entertaining.
We continue to aim to be as independent and fearless as our founders dreamed. And we do, as that edition also noted, continue to “labor for the interests of the people, and to wage war upon corrupt and extravagant tax eaters.”
When I read this on Saturday, I had a little chuckle. Anyone who reads the Star knows the Editorial Board leans heavily to the left.
Often, one can find leftward bias in their straight-news reporting, as well. A few examples come to mind. Once, they totally blew the lid off a huge oil-company scandal, which focused on temperature-adjusted pumps. Seems that you actually get less fuel when gasoline is metered more than 60 degrees F or so. As a result, the Big Evil Oil Companies were pocketing “billions” for selling “less” fuel during the summer months. Long story short, after weeks and weeks of dribbling out scandalous details, they finally let it known just how vast and treacherous they were, cheating you out of an average of half a tank per year! As I recall, this ‘expose’ was brought out first during the times of every Washington dill-weed screaming “Windfall Profits Tax!”
That’s the most glaring example I can recall from the top of my head about bias off the editorial pages. Usually, I must admit, they tend to be fairly good about their straight reporting, as long as one reads the entire piece, as well as what is not there.
As far as the Editorial Board goes, however, no one in their right mind can make the straight-faced claim they are “absolutely independent.” There is never a tax increase, liberal politician, or expansion of government at any level they are not whole-heartedly behind 100%. One of the few exceptions I can remember was the 2004 reelection of Christopher Bond to the Senate; the Democrats only put up token opposition, and Bond is good at bringin’ home the bacon in the form of pork-barrel earmark spending.
Here’s the thing: I don’t refuse to read the Star based on their known bias to the left. Actually, I sort of like the challenge to my own stands from time to time. Heck, I tune in to TV, radio, and internet sites all day (and half the night sometimes) with known biases, though to the right.
I don’t have a problem with the left-leaning bias; what I do have a problem with, however, is a left-leaning bias that claims to fall under “independent” umbrella. It’s one thing when one leans to one side of the political spectrum openly, another when they swear they don’t.
As you know me, I very come come down on the Conservative side of things. Given that, however, I like to think I try to give at least a fair representation of the opposing opinion, being the New Media Superstar that I am (hahahahaha!).
So how about a New Year’s Resolution, Star Board: Admit your leaning, bring out the opposition, and use logic and reason to dismantle our arguments against your causes. At least then, I think you might get a lot more respect from the good people of Kansas City.