Carmel Whine Cone

Mrs. Toy and I have noticed that the Carmel Pine Cone's editorials have grown more whiney over the last few years. Their August 15th editorial entitled The Front Page confirms that and then some.

Their subject of the week was media bias, which, apparently, they felt was important enough to justify a half page editorial. They began with a primer defining what media bias is and why it is inescapable. As proof that media bias is rampant and unavoidable, they offered as an example the fact that very little press attention was ever given to 9/11 conspiracy theories. Reporters who report from the "American perspective" can't help but assume that anything so silly as the American government master minding the 9/11 attacks is just that, silly. So I suppose that, technically speaking, American reporters are biased against anything that is ridiculous on its face.

But the Pine Cone extrapolated that sort of bias into proof that all reporting is biased in some way, that such bias is usually political, and then went on to conclude that the Monterey Herald has a liberal bias.

As proof of the Herald's alleged liberalism, they presented Exhibit A. No Exhibit B, C, D or anything else. Just one little example which made their case conclusively. It was the Herald's placement of the John Edwards sexual affair story last week.

Apparently the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times placed the Edwards story on the front page. ABC, CBS and NBC each opened their newscasts with this same story.

But the biased Herald, OH-MY-GOSH, put the Edwards story on an inside page. "This," the Pine Cone concluded, "was the Herald's way of saying it thought the story wasn't very important." Then the Pine Cone stated that "the informed reader surely understood it to be a political statement - in effect, that despite his failings, in the Herald's view, John Edwards is still a good guy."

WOW! That's a lot to read into a simple story placement. Perhaps Pine Cone Publisher Paul Miller can also read tea leaves and sees images of the Virgin Mary in the skid marks his agile mind leaves behind him.

Let's apply the Pine Cone's logic to their own paper.

In that same issue the Pine Cone reported on state and local officials who are assessing the potential for erosion and mudslides in Big Sur next winter due to the loss of vegetation from the recent catastrophic fire.

The Herald had a similar report, on the front page. The Pine Cone's story was buried deep inside on page 9.

Apparently this is the Pine Cone's way of saying that potential mudslides, which could close Highway 1 this winter, and isolate Big Sur residents, are nothing to be concerned about.

An absurd conclusion? Yes, but perfectly reasonable using the Pine Cone's standards.


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