Last week I wrote an email to the managing editor of the Florida Times-Union, Frank Denton, daring him to allow Billie to become a weekly columnist with the newspaper. I told him that if they are going to continually bash Billie and all things FCTP, they should at least be willing to give her equal time. I told him that I would share his reply with my fellow tea-partiers. Notice that he mentions national conservative columnists (that has nothing to do with the local bashing of the T-U of the FCTP) and the ONE local conservative they employ, Phil Fretz. Phil is on the payroll strictly to give them a way to say they have both sides represented. Anyway, this was his reply:
Dear Ms. Sawyer,
Thank you for getting in touch. I am sorry for having taken so long to respond, but I was out of the country and essentially offline for the past 10 days.
We welcome thoughtful guest columns from readers. I don’t recall that we’ve published any from Billie Tucker, but I’m sure we would consider a submission from her, as the tea party is a significant political group. I don’t know that she’s sent anything, but I am copying our editorial page editor and asking him.
The weekly columns we publish on the editorial page are by professionals and either staff-written (e.g., Phil Fretz) or syndicated. We work hard to achieve an ideological balance – for example, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Mr. Fretz and others from the right. Whatever our editorial board says in our own editorials (the T-U is accused of being both too liberal and too conservative, often on the same day!), we have a commitment to offering a wide range of political views elsewhere on the opinion pages.
And of course, in our news columns, we work hard to provide journalism that is independent, accurate, fair and complete, without regard to political activities or pressures from any direction. If you think you see specific examples of bias, I hope you will get in touch directly with me. I will look into it and respond.
Please feel free to get in touch anytime.
Frank M. Denton
Editor, The Florida Times-Union/jacksonville.com
Vice President for Journalism, Morris Communications
PO Box 1949, Jacksonville FL 32231