Debra J. Saunders

In the case of conservatives, they often don't notice that those right-leaning sites, which they visit daily, provide them with fodder by linking to stories reported and written by newspaper reporters. While they are trashing newspapers, they're reading newspaper stories and citing them to bolster their arguments. They may not notice if, over time, as newspapers downsize and even close, websites will be linking to fewer reliable news reports.

And if they don't buy a paper, they won't see that a media, which at times got too rough with President Bush and the Republican Congress, can be just as tough on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid. And when you only get your news from co-believers, as many of the left and right try to do, you miss things you need to know.

Conservatives rooting for newspapers' demise should be careful what they wish for. Yes, fewer reporters mean fewer biased stories about lesbian immigrants fighting an unsympathetic establishment. But there also won't be as many stories about sanctuary city policies gone bad, the latest zany law out of San Francisco City Hall or the growing bite that public employee pension systems are taking out of city and county services. They don't understand that Fox News and talk radio aren't going to report on stories that require local beat reporting and time-consuming and expensive investigation.

And there won't be as many nonideological stories -- about crimes or zoning or state spending -- until what was once a solvable problem festers, unreported, into a front-page disaster.

By then, there may not be a front page.


Debra J. Saunders


 
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