Sunday, November 28, 2010

Special Opinion - Both sides of the story

Both sides of the story
That’s My Opinion – Special Edition
By Bob Robinson

How many of you noticed a couple of new additions to my blog yesterday? A couple of my readers did and sent me an email questioning my sanity.
Well, not really.
They were polite but obviously noted the new slant of The Progressive, and especially Sojourners.
Background… page views on That’s My Opinion continue to grow, albeit slowly. Right now they average between 4,000 and 5,000 a month. By Tuesday, the end of November, page views will be just short of 30,000 over the six months the blog has been active.
At the same time, I noticed that some of my friends on the “left” have asked to be deleted from my mailing list.
Not good. How can they learn what the “right” is thinking if they aren’t reading about it? It dawned on me that they were possibly being overwhelmed with nothing but the right.
Then I realized I wasn’t being fair to my friends on the right by not letting them know what the left was thinking.
Maybe I’m “whistling in the wind” but the concept is not new.
When I was editor of The Advocate, I gained a regular following for my “in your face” commentaries, In My Opinion. Not surprising since my views are typically conservative in a county that is predominantly conservative. Readers were hungry to read about views that were on the same page as theirs.
But what about the views they aren’t comfortable with, yet could have a definite impact on their lives?
Anybody ever heard the phrase, “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer?”
We are living the “largess” of an extreme left wing agenda because we haven’t been paying attention!
Many of you may remember the Advocate’s previous publisher, Gary Lamburg. He’s a good guy, despite his somewhat left leanings. We had many enjoyable conversations during his tenure here. I was sorry to see him go.
He made no attempt to change my perspective – obviously realizing I was a lost cause – but questioned if the paper was doing its job by not providing balance. The thought had never occurred to me. I made sure Page 1 was balanced… news is news, folks. It should never have a slant.
But Page 4 wasn’t. It was chock full of the right with little or nothing from the left. I realized he was right. We were woefully ignorant of the views of the left and their potential impact on our way of life.
There was no way I could – or would – change my views for more balance, but that was only one spot on one page per week. I agreed to run opposite viewpoints from columnists who passionately believed what they were saying.
Enter a weekly column by Molly Ivins on our Opinion page.
Boy did I get flack! She was sarcastic, in-your-face and outspoken, much like off-the-wall conservative columnist Ann Coulter. I couldn’t stand most of what she said, but her copy gave me a perspective of what we were up against.
When Ivins passed away, the syndicate started sending Susan Estrich columns in her stead. Estrich wasn’t nearly as controversial, but along with a few others like Garrison Keeler, at least kept a left perspective on the Opinion page.
That’s my goal with “That’s My Opinion.” You don’t want to read them? Then don’t. No biggie… there will still always be plenty to keep you entertained.
One or two posts of the many make it easy to gloss over in search of the next offering.
Want to see some of the thoughts that haven’t yet reached the mainstream media? Maybe I’ll find a couple and we can be forewarned.
Want your friends, whether conservative or liberal, to see both sides of the story?
Then I’m hoping you will help me build the readership by letting them know about If you agree, please forward my daily updates to your mailing lists and invite them to sign up.
It’s free entertainment!
Thanks for your support… onward and upward!
As always, that’s my opinion. What’s yours?

Bob Robinson is the retired editor of The Daily Advocate, Greenville, Ohio. If you wish to receive a daily notification of his comments, opinions and reports, send your email address to: Feel free to express your views.

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