By Paul deWitt

Do you have a point you’d like to make or an issue you feel strongly about? Submit a letter to the editor or a guest column.

As a subscriber and frequent contributor to The Bulletin, I appreciate the fact that it is the only daily newspaper serving Central Oregon. As such, it provides a valuable source of local and state news using its own reportorial resources. In particular, the coverage of state political news with a focus on our local legislators and political issues affecting Central Oregon by reporter Gary Warner has been a strong feature. Also to be commended is the balanced approach taken by Editor Erik Lukens and Editor of Editorials Richard Coe to most local issues.

Unfortunately, The Bulletin’s reliance on a limited number of clearly biased external sources for its national and international news has a serious impact on the objectivity of its coverage. An example of the latter is the New York Times News Service article in the July 7 edition of The Bulletin entitled “Far-right groups protest in D.C.”

In that article, the groups on one side of the protest are labeled as “far right,” while the opposing group, Antifa, is described merely as “anti-fascist.” The moniker belies the fact that Antifa’s tactics are anything but peaceful and, ironically, its adherents are reminiscent of the Nazi-affiliated Brown Shirts of the 1930s. Antifa regularly shows up in force in its black attire and face masks, equipped with Mace and other weapons and flying the Communist hammer and sickle whenever a conservative group holds a rally in progressive bastions like Portland and Washington, D.C.

In the article about the D.C. event, the writers said that “[hundreds] of far-right activists faced off with counterprotesters.” These so-called far-right groups were opposed by Antifa, which regularly and violently suppresses free speech by anyone deemed to be of a different (conservative) political persuasion.

The New York Times article mentioned the recent Portland rally when a conservative journalist, Andy Ngo, was severely injured by Antifa thugs. The article said he was attacked during “a clash between far-right and antifascist groups.” The journalist’s political persuasion and the identity of his attackers, a group favored by the left, apparently were not considered relevant to the story or consistent with the agenda of The New York Times.

Another primary source for The Bulletin is The Washington Post. I lived in Northern Virginia for 36 years before moving to Bend, and I was a Post subscriber. I also subscribed to The Washington Times. I found that I had to read The Washington Times in order to find balanced news reporting. While the Post had better in-depth coverage of some stories, its coverage of politics has been anti-conservative as long as I can remember.

The Washington Times was established as an alternative to the Post, and it could provide a balanced source of news to The Bulletin. Another is the New York Post. There are a number of examples of major news outlets that do not share the progressive worldview of the sources currently used by The Bulletin.

Conservatives have to listen to talk radio or watch Fox News to get what we consider a different and more balanced perspective to what is presented in the mainstream media. In Bend, we only have The Bulletin and the weekly paper, the Source. The latter takes hard left positions on most issues and cannot in any way be described as objective in its political reporting and editorial positions.

The Bulletin is our community’s primary source of information in print form. The Bulletin’s reliance on left-leaning news sources such as The New York Times and The Washington Post is unacceptable in a publication that serves a readership that is fairly evenly split between conservatives and liberals.

— Paul deWitt lives in Bend.

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