July 17, 2006

Lars Liebler on Salon's "Unbiased" Reporting

(Hat tip: Confirm Them)

Salon's bias

In her letter to the editor on July 5, Joan Walsh, the editor-in-chief of Salon.com, attempts to refute Senator Elizabeth Dole's robust defense of Judge Terrence Boyle. Miss Walsh states that Salon is a "news organization, not a left-wing advocacy group," and that Salon "takes accuracy very seriously." Both claims are false.

As Mrs. Dole made clear in her editorial, it is now well established that the infractions alleged against Judge Boyle in the Salon.com series are either plain wrong or truly trivial. Take the Quintiles case as an example. Contrary to Salon's report, Judge Boyle did not own Quintiles stock during the pendency of a Quintiles case -- he sold it in 2000, before the case was even filed (a letter from his accountant, made available to all senators and staff, confirms the facts).

Salon's dogged pursuit of false or immaterial issues suggests that Salon is less concerned with accuracy and substance that its own advocacy. Despite Ms. Walsh's assertion that Salon.com is a "news organization, not a left-wing advocacy group," the fact is that the so-called "investigation" published by Salon was nothing but a piece prepared by a reporter for the "Center for Investigative Reporting," as part of a project "primarily funded" (in its own words) by George Soros' Open Society Institute.

We're frankly surprised that Miss Walsh now attempts to distance Salon from its liberal, left-wing heritage. David Talbot, the founder of Salon, has proudly stated: "I come out of a tradition of liberal journalism, left-wing journalism." And Miss Walsh, for her part, stated in an interview given upon her ascension to the editor-in-chief position at Salon, that she was depressed that "so many of us liberals" were surprised that President Bush won the 2004 election.

Furthermore, when asked: "As a left-leaning site that incorporates both news and opinions, what have been the major issues arising from George Bush's reelection?" Miss Walsh opined that "there's plenty of room for smart critical coverage, both of the Bush administration and its hubristic overreaching on Social Security and Iraq and the deficit, as well as of the battle for the soul of the Democratic Party."

Strictly a "news" organization? On the contrary, there appears to be "plenty of room" at Salon for left-wing advocacy of its own views, and the most recent Soros-funded attacks on Judge Boyle fall squarely in this camp.

LARS H. LIEBELER
Washington, D.C.

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