A Difficult Question to Answer

Instapundit (who else?) points to this, er, unforgettable quote by Vlae Kershner, SFGate news director since 1999, without comment. I have to comment.

We’ve undoubtedly lost some of our audience to Web sites that specialize in politically tinted news. Not that it hurts us that much, but it makes political polarization even worse if people only read the opinions they already know they’re going to agree with.

A lot of readers don’t believe there’s such a thing as journalistic objectivity and seek out news sources according to politics. During the Iraq war, some readers from outside our market area wrote to thank us for being an antidote to the TV networks’ pro-war coverage, and I’d have to write back and say thanks, but as a news Web site we don’t take sides. We reflect San Francisco’s attitudes with colorful liberal columnists like Mark Morford, but we have conservative columnists too.

I suspect that print newspapers are also losing readers to overtly political Web sites and places like Fox News.

So, is Mr. Kershner:

A: Your average liberal journalist blind to the “political tint” of SFGate’s daily reporting, as Bernie Goldberg et al. have suggested?

B: Quite aware of the “political tint,” but dismissive of it because that position is so obviously correct that it represents the mainstream? (Arguably a subset of option ‘A’, but I think it’s a sufficiently different question to merit its own choice. One is conscious, the other, unconscious.)

C: Fully aware of the liberal position of SFGate, but dedicated to making everyone else think “correctly,” thus dismissive of the idea that SFGate might have a “political tint” of its own?

D: Simply an idiot?

You may choose more than one.

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