Letter: Speculation about the ‘Monitor’

Published: 6/30/2020 12:01:16 AM

Bill Bunker’s June 22 letter attacks the Monitor for its leftist bias in its coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic. In support, he cites a Gallup poll from March, which indicates only 44% of respondents approve of the media’s coverage of the virus. However, it is easy enough to find polls that cite the opposite.

For example a Pew Research Survey in March found that “88% say the news sources they turn to most are covering the situation well.” “Media” covers a variety of communications, however, not just newspapers. In both my statistical example and Bunker’s it’s misleading to imply that newspapers, like the Monitor, are failing us on the one hand or doing a great job on the other, since we don’t know how other media sources play into those percentages. Is TV coverage regarded more or less favorably by the public than newspapers? How about blogs? Online sites?

Bunker then launches into Trump-like “speculation equals truth” rhetoric. He “guesses” that Monitor revenue has been lost from advertisers unhappy with its leftist bias and “wonders” how many subscribers have deserted the Monitor because of its “hard tilt to the left.” Well, guessing and wondering are fine, but they’re no substitute for facts. The point is we don’t know if subscribers have left the Monitor because of its “slant” any more than we know if people have come on board because they like the Monitor’s editorial positions. If the Monitor is currently struggling financially, it’s not because of an imagined “leftist slant” but a pandemic that has shredded our economy and left businesses in ruins.



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