Clark: What about the political bias?

Nov. 27, 2012 @ 09:56 AM

I realize, as I sit down to write this, I may incur more than I expect but, I should probably clear some things up.

Last week, we ran an editorial cartoon that, to some readers, portrayed Fox News in a negative light.

So, that prompted questions about just how we select our editorial cartoons and where they come from.

Let me first dispel the thought that we generate those cartoons in-house, because at most papers our size, and even much larger, we do not have a cartoonist on staff to perform those duties.

Our editorial cartoons come from a variety of sources that we subscribe to. These syndication services are no different than where we garner things like Dear Abby and Dr. K for daily digestion by readers.

Our availability of cartoons are based on what is available from those syndications. Some days there is an abundance of cartoons and other days, it is slim pickins'.

I can't, off-hand, recall just what our availability of cartoons was on that day, but as we get closer to the holidays, I know that the number of cartoons available to newspapers does decrease because even cartoonists need days off.

That being said, let me tell you that editorial cartoons are much like other editorial content — including this column — very subjective. They are subject to the opinion of the reader. They are not there for political digestion or to invoke any political leanings of the newspaper.

Don't get me wrong, I certainly don't think that writing this will somehow release the thoughts of those that believe that The Daily Courier has some kind of political bias and we flex our bias muscles at will.

All that I can say is that is certainly not the case.

Whatever the political leanings of individuals on staff is strictly their own and is not meant to be on the pages of The Daily Courier.

Our job is to inform the public on information in Rutherford County. We are not here to influence your opinion on any particular matter. That is for you to determine based on the content you have been provided.

Now, we do opine about things on our Editorial page which is what the item to the left of the page is for. We reserve that space to give our opinion about any number of things. But, bear in mind, those are just opinions and are not the same as a story that is on the front page of the paper.

There is supposed to be a clear distinction between what is news and what is opinion, hence why we have a separate page designated for those very opinions.

As for the cartoon, it is what it is — an opinion piece. Those opinion pieces, including our editorials and columns, will not make everyone happy every day.

We all have the right to our opinions about things and I believe that to the strongest extent. I don't try to quash the opinion of others, even if it is not the same as mine.

It all goes back to having civil discourse.

On some issues, we have to just agree to disagree and move forward. That is the nature of life and it is certainly the nature of opinions on a newspaper editorial page.


Matthew Clark is the Editor of The Daily Courier. He can be reached at 828-202-2927 or emailed at Follow him on Twitter @UMass_MClark