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CURRENT STORIES


Hearing from all sides

by John G. Miller

Managing editor

In the past week or so, I've received a few letters from friends who have very differing perspectives on the world of politics and the media's role.

One, who is liberal, said that he gets upset when radio hosts and newspaper columnists criticize singers or actors for trying to run the country, but only when they are critical of President Bush.

He wrote in his e-mail, "I never hear you say the same thing about when singers like Charlie Daniels run their mouths off -- putting the rest of us people down who really care that Bush is running this country into the hole and spending us into bankruptcy. Not to mention causing us greater dangers by alienating the rest of the world's countries against us."

OK. For the record, I don't want Charlie Daniels, Toby Keith or Darryl Worley (who, by the way, all have recorded songs about using force to defend us) running our country.

They, and the Dixie Chicks, can just stick to making music and express their views that way.

But it is worth noting that if it ever does come down to having either Daniels, Keith, Worley or the Dixie Chicks run the country (hey, look at California), I'll take the former three, not the latter.

But just when I thought maybe I was getting too conservative, I got a letter from another friend who was wondering if we had all jumped on the liberal battleship headed out of the Clinton harbor.

He wrote, "The news media has taken a turn from truth and honesty to show their support for the Clintons who have proven time and time again they are unworthy as the kind of people to represent themselves as public officials in the country.

"The God-fearing people are becoming apprehensive because the newspapers, radio, TV and the many other individuals falsify the facts spoken by our President George Bush and his staff."

He went on to say that he hasn't found anyone who likes our editorial cartoons, columnist Helen Thomas, Sen. Robert C. Byrd or Sen. Teddy Kennedy.

He urged us to support President Bush and our other leaders to help find an end to the conflict overseas.

As for news media turning against Bush, I would say that the media is just reflecting the president's declining popularity. During his days of high poll numbers, the media was accused by liberals of trumpeting Bush and making him a hero.

Thus, as his popularity declines, more columnists, both liberal and conservative, have taken Bush to task for some of his failed policy. Of course, they still praise the administration for its successes.

The bottom line is that election season is coming up and both sides are trying to gain the upper hand. Liberals are becoming more outspoken (if that's possible), and conservatives are working to make sure they maintain the edge they've had in the past two elections.

As for my friends' viewpoints, I've got a liberal screaming foul and a conservative saying "no fair." Sounds like our goal of presenting all sides must be working.

Thus, from my moderate perspective, life is good.

Managing editor John G. Miller can be reached at 626-1473 or by e-mail at jmiller@exponent-telegram.com