To the Editor:
There is a long-standing disdain among professional journalists for newspaper publishers and CEO's who write editorial columns in their own publications. Publishers are often owners or part-owners of their pages or generally represent the business end of a newspaper corporation. They hire, they fire, they have a lot of control and influence but they lay off editorial pages. They leave that province to their editors. I do not find opinion columns by the Publisher of the Press Republican. Arthur Sulzberger does not write editorials in the New York Times. Rupert Murdoch doesn't scribble for any of his vast stable of publications. He is currently under attack and judicial questioning for-- among other things — undue influence on his editors..
But readers of the Valley News are subject—week in, week out—to the highly personal views of its Publisher and CEO. His sermons on every subject under the sun dominate the editorial page of the Valley News. They even dominate it typographically. By contrast the weekly “Valley News Editorial” featured as the collaborative opinion of eight editors is squeezed into a single column often not equal to the space reserved for the Publisher and CEO. Why is that?
It is usually a one-sided editorial the Publisher and CEO offers his readers. In his most recent effort (May 5) he bemoans the fact that he finds few people between the "left" and the "right," who are "evenly balanced in the middle of our political landscape." Presumably the middle of that landscape is what he occupies. But in the very same column the Publisher and CEO finds room for a partisan criticism President Obama's fiscal policies and fund raising practices. I suppose Mr. Alexander would rate my political views well on the left though I find nothing very unusual or left about them. This left-right terminology is itself a kind of summary dismissal of other people's views. All of which brings to mind what the Good Book recommends: Physician, Heal Thyself! And lets get a second or even a third opinion.