I have to respond to columnist Charles Andrews’ statements in his Aug. 31 Curious City column, “Hey! What are you reading?”

He makes the outrageous claim that Al Jazeera is superior to Fox News (where he claims you get more misinformation than facts.) He adds, “And don’t give me that nonsense about the mainstream liberal bias.”

Without going back more than three days, allow me to prove him wrong. Starting Aug. 27, the Associated Press, the New York Times, the Huffington Post and many other news outlets began referring to Wikileaker Bradley Manning as “Chelsea Manning.” Is this factually correct? No. Is it misinformation? Absolutely.

When I first read about Chelsea I was completely confused. Who is she? Rather than inform me with facts, the media confused me with doublespeak.

Just for the record, I don’t have an issue with Bradley or his sex. What I have an issue with is how the media presents his story. Manning hasn’t even attempted to legally change his first name nor has he had an operation. Furthermore, since he doesn’t have the money and is going to prison for many years, the chances of a sex change are slim. Yet simply his announcement is enough for the media to change his sex right now. Why? Because it fits in with their liberal agenda.

However, if I expressed my desire to be the starting pitcher for the Angels (who badly need pitching) would any paper automatically start referring to me as if I were in the starting rotation? Of course not. They would only do so when my desire had become a reality.

I’m sure that some people reading this will say, “Well, Bradley already feels like a woman.” OK fine, then the AP should refer to him exactly that way. But logically, if he is already a woman, then obviously he doesn’t need the operation. But if he is as desperate for the operation as he claims, then obviously he isn’t the woman he wants to be yet. Stop and think about it for a moment. If Bradley Manning is already Chelsea Manning what is the headline going to be when he finally does have the sex change operation? “Woman named Chelsea Manning has sex change operation, becomes woman named Chelsea Manning.”

You only get this kind of ridiculous misinformation when the mainstream media has a liberal bias. If the media can’t be honest with us with something as simple as the status of Bradley Manning, how can we trust them to tell us the truth about more complex issues? Black or white, gay or straight, conservative or liberal, don’t we all just want to be told the truth? Don’t we feel foolish and angry when we feel that someone has manipulated us by slanting the story?

There are many examples of liberal bias in the media. Tim Groseclose, a political science professor at UCLA and author of a book on the subject, says that 93 percent of Washington correspondents admit they vote Democratic. How can your personal belief system not affect the way you view stories and which you choose to print?

I really like the Santa Monica Daily Press. I think it’s a great paper. In general, I think the SMDP is unbiased, which is a credit to the editors and why I continue to read it. But columnists like Andrews only bring the stature of the SMDP down. Rather than strive for excellence in their own column, they choose instead to use their column as a bully pulpit, and I do mean “bully,” to take cheap shots at other news outlets while at the same time pretending their own bias doesn’t exist.


Eric Cooper

Santa Monica

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