Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Bee and its biases

A political figure in Sacramento today wrote an OPED in the Bee which explained why as a black man he had moved from being a Republican to being a Decline to State.   Ken Barnes wrote a superb piece which made a good case why he had chosen to leave the party.

There have been some ugly incidents in the last several months, especially one involving a party official from Orange County who saw nothing wrong in circulating a cartoon which compared the President to a monkey.   I left the GOP a decade ago but like Barnes remain a conservative voter.

What bothered me about the article was the photo at the left, which the paper choose to illustrate the OPED.   The person is a Tea Party member on the Capitol steps, during a rally.  The picture he is holding compares Obama to Fidel Castro.  (The picture below includes some photoshopped images of Obama and Hugo Chavez).   In fairness, Barnes does mention the Tea Party.    Obama's economic policies have been among the most far left of an American president in history.  It seems to me it is perfectly legitimate to criticize any elected official based on their ideas.  And I think that is what Barnes tried to do.   But the clear implication of the photo the Bee chose to use, is that it is illegitimate to criticize this president for his ideas.   I agree with Barnes that there are certain areas where it is inappropriate to make comments - I would extend beyond the issue of race to things like the President's family.   But from my perspective it is perfectly appropriate to criticize any president's policies.

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