Thursday, July 21, 2005

Klose Calls Out the Conservatives

The Illinois Times kicked off their annual Best of Springfield survey this week, an annual feature that will culminate in what I believe is traditionally the biggest issue of the year for the left-wing weekly.

Oops. Not supposed to call them left-wing.

In this week's editorial, Roland Klose, the IT's editor, takes the Weekly Standard to task for calling his paper "reliably left-wing." He's right, I mean correct, when he points out that it is biased of the Standard to label the IT in that way when they didn't ascribe a political bent to the Chicago Tribune or the SJ-R. Although Klose is not afraid to stick the conservative label on the Trib while insisting that the IT's journalistic ideals trump the personal politics of its staff.

In his book Bias, Bernard Goldberg points out the many occasions when CBS would refer to Rush and his ilk as conservatives when introducing them into a story, but Bill Moyers would always be just plain old Bill Moyers. I'm sure Klose is aware that this type of negative branding happens on both sides of the aisle and he might have mentioned it if his true intention was to promote fairness in reporting.

Klose also refers to name-calling as an occupational hazard before sticking his tongue out at the SJ-R and calling them "reliably dull."

In the end, he just plays the same game that the Weekly Standard plays.

As for the Best of Springfield, it's always an interesting exercise and a cheap way to fill up editorial space.

I've noticed that they haven't added a Best Blog category yet. I have a feeling that Jim Leach would bring home that trophy, based both on the merits of Abelog and the fact that he can plug his blog on his morning drive time radio program, spots that advertisers have to spend top dollar to obtain.

I don't have strong opinions about most of the categories which isn't an indication of my indifference as much as my inability to live outside of the work/family paradigm what with having four kids all under the age of six.

I am compelled to give my picks on a few of the categories only because I think my choices deserve recognition but probably won't get it.

For Best Radio Station for Music, the award goes to WQNA. ABE-FM likes to spout off about their unlimited play list but for true musical multifariousness, the volunteer jocks at QNA deliver the goods. Acrylic Afternoons made the Friday commute home a trip down Indie Rock lane. Unfortunately, I think the show's host has moved on.

Best Radio DJ: Dave Hustava, host of the Fear and Loathing show on WQNA. The Clash, the Pixies, and Jason and Scorchers are among his favorites. His voice portrays a true enthusiasm for the music he plays.

If you enjoy a nice beer, not that watered-down swill that Anheuser-Busch pushes, but real beer, then check out the Shop 'n' Save on Chatham Road. They get my vote for Best Liquor Store. A surprisingly good selection of stouts and ales at discount grocery store prices.

And finally, to atone for the criticism that started out this post, the Best Reason to Pick Up the Illinois Time: their coverage of the local music scene. Giving Tom Irwin a column was a smart move and it's great that those who are strapping on guitars every weekend get some print time. Although the paper does seem to give short shrift to bands who advocate for the flat tax in their lyrics.


Dave said...

Well, I have to agree with your best blog and best radio station picks. But must you cite Bernard Goldberg? Me thinks he's a tad (a tad as in HUGELY) partisan himself.

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

Dave-I wouldn't for a second claim that Goldberg isn't partisan. My point in mentioning him is that this type of thing happens on both sides of the divide, so Klose's complaint strikes me as a bit hypocritical.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I didn't call the Chicago Tribune "reliably conservative" and I didn't call the SJ-R "reliably dull." I just noted that the Weekly Standard didn't see fit to characterize them, but went out of their way to describe Illinois Times as "reliably left-wing," which is an inaccurate description of our newspaper. -- Roland Klose

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

Thanks for responding Roland. I take you at your word that "you" didn't call the SJ-R "reliably dull", but I do think that a poll of your readers would show that a good number of them got the same impression I did.

I agree that "reliably left-wing" isn't an accurate description because, as you mentioned in your editorial, you run many stories that don't include a political bent. And rightly so. There's no reason that every issue should devolve into a battle of blue against red (flip flops in the White House).

As an aside, I thought the Marion van der Loo story was very interesting and well reported. What's more, it was a fair account that told both sides of the story and wisely didn't taint the waters by including their views on social security reform. "Reliably fair and balanced."

Anonymous said...

"...a poll of your readers would show that a good number of them got the same impression I did...." You're probably right, I wasn't as clear as I could have been. I also agree with your other comments, though now you've got me wondering: What is the symphony's position on Social Security reform? -- Roland

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

"What is the symphony's position on Social Security reform?"

I'm just speculating here, but since the cellists sit to the right of the conductor, they're probably for some form of privatized accounts. The violinists on the left, on the otherhand, think that the conductor is overstating the case on Social Security, and that he should focus on healthcare instead. The flutists and bassoonists in the middle are likely withholding judgement until they see what the economy is like when the midterm elections roll around.

Dan M. said...

I too was struck with the feeling of "what the hell is Klose talking about?" after reading his commentary. If he doesn't think that the IT is seen by the vast majority of it's readers as a liberal paper (and deservedly so) then we must buy him some more mirrors. IT is dripping with liberalism! I thought all the staff members of the IT were PROUD to wear the liberal tag. What else could explain their constant badgering of everything seen as the "establishment." If they are not bashing the police department on everything they do then they spend their time beating on everyone who is seen as conservative.

As for "The Best Of Springfield" poll, what a joke. What started off as an interesting idea has disintegrated into trash. If I am not mistaken Pizza Hut won one year for best pizza. Then you have to deal with the, "Best Of" category that probably only 12 people in Springfield are qualified to vote on and only 2 did. Give it a rest.

Anonymous said...

"...but I do think that a poll of your readers would show that a good number of them got the same impression I did."

Well, duh. An issue of the left-wing, alternative weekly without a cheapshot at other local media? Well, who'd a believed it?