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Mar 12, 2009

Libertarian Bob Barr to get weekly column

This post is from Eric Dondero over at Libertarian Republican.

I have for a while contended that the reason for the current spate of media bankruptcies in the US was in part the result of the extreme liberalism of much of the media. If you keep publishing the view that to be properly liberal, you have to keep to the left side of Harry Reed and Nancy Pelosi, you are bound to end up really pissing off those who are this side of far left. If you really give people the shits, then they stop buying your product. If they stop buying your product you go broke.QED.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, regarded as one of the most ultra-liberal newspapers in the country, has seen its ad revenues and income from other sources, plummet in recent months. While not on the verge of death, as are the SF Chronicle, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Minneapolis Star-Tribune, AJC is inching closer to the danger zone.

On Feb. 22, Publisher Doug Franklin wrote, in "Challenges and Changes ahead for AJC"":

Right now, the AJC — and other newspapers across the country — are struggling financially...we have cut staff, frozen pay, reduced our circulation area and taken a sharp pencil to all our business costs.

But unlike every other liberal paper in the country, AJC is taking a dramatically different direction. It's planning to move the paper to the political center, scrutinizing their news reporting for liberal bias, and even inviting more participation from conservatives, and at least one libertarian on the editorial page.

From AJC Changes by Julia Wallace, March 7:

Let me discuss the issue that generated the most questions and comments to our publisher. Some readers believe we do a good job of being fair in our coverage and providing a balance of opinions. A few think we’re too conservative. But many more believe that our editorial pages are too liberal and that bias seeps into our news coverage. We have heard you on the bias issue and are taking deliberate steps to address this.

On the opinion pages, we are in a concerted march toward providing a rich marketplace of views, including liberal, conservative and others that defy labeling. We are in the process of selecting a new full-time conservative columnist. We have opened this up to the public and also asked you to let us know what you think of the sample columns from the finalists. We received 750 responses from people — giving us excellent feedback as we winnow the field. When this process is complete, we will have this new columnist three times a week, as well as Jim Wooten once a week, Bob Barr once a week, Cynthia Tucker twice a week and Jay Bookman twice a week, giving us a much stronger local columnist lineup than ever. Our new commentary editor keeps a running count of conservative and liberal columns on the pages to make sure we are balanced.

Barr, is a native Atlantan, and former US Congressman representing a northern suburban Atlanta district. In 2008 he was the Libertarian Party nominee for President, appearing on 45 state ballots, and received 525,000 votes.

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