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October 31, 2008


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It seems that Michigan Radio's response to the number of complaints about Jack Lessenberry's editorializing is to conclude all future Lessenberry essays this way:

"Views expressed in the essay by Jack Lessenberry are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management or the station licensee, The University of Michigan."

That's the simple and largely unproductive response. I sort of knew, that when you title something an "Essay," (that is how the Lessenberry editorials run on this webiste) that it is the opinion of the writer. "Senior News Analyst" Jack Lessenberry.

The larger question remains, and it is still unanswered by Michigan Radio. The question is, "What is a Senior News Analyst?" Are there any "Junior News Analysts"? (Of course not.)What does a "News Analyst" do? What does Michigan Radio propose to do about providing balanced political coverage? Do "News Analysts" have any role to play in providing politically balanced coverage?

This is not a problem unique to Michigan Radio, since NPR News also has a small group of "Senior News Analysts." But for all of public radio news, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that public radio news is programming by, and for, liberal elites. It might be smart programming, if indeed the strategy is designed to fulfill the kind of liberal echo-chamber desired by many of the donors and station members. But it ought to be anathema to fair-minded critics who won't accept a premise of public radio being something like an 'equal and opposing force' to conservative talk radio. That's the job of Air America, not public radio. There is no fairness doctrine in American commercial broadcasting anymore. Good riddance to that bad rubbish.

But public radio does have an obligation to adhere to an internal fairness doctrine. Does one partisan "senior News Analyst" fulfill that public role?

The views expressed in this comment are my own, and very much reflect my own opinion. Having been a long-time listener, and former donor to WUOM, I'm certain that my views do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management or the station licensee, The University of Michigan.


You have no credibilty in here because you are an intellectual coward who does not use your legal name...

Youa re in essence are a hypocrite and a poser..Please take off the mask and join the public discourse, I think you bring some considerable value to the market square but your cowardice makes me ignore your talking points..

Your posts as such have zero substance and value unlike you I am not an intellectual coward and my views reflect exactly who I am and not the underdeveloped views of Jack's or yours or any others...

Make a difference not in the margins but in the main...

You folks are funny.

Thank you for that, Jack.

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