Letter: Pages should offer variety of viewpoints

I’m amazed that a couple of Advocate readers are going after James Gill, denouncing him as a “liberal,” for heaven’s sake. Gill is a spot-on columnist who denounces wrongdoers, whether Republican (Vitter) or Democrat (Congressman Jefferson, Mayor Nagin). Gill is a curmudgeon but not a liberal.

Instead of attacking Gill as a liberal, I would think your readers might object more to the large number of conservative columnists the newspaper has on its editorial and op-ed pages, among them Michael Gerson, George Will, Rich Lowry, Thomas Sowell, Kathleen Parker, Cal Thomas, Jules Witcover and Charles Krauthammer. And particularly your new addition, Quin Hillyer, who has recently praised Gov. Jindal and Big Oil, disrespected the president and did a hatchet job on Sen. Mary Landrieu.

Readers deserve a broader view of the world around them.

A case in point and a little history about the danger of and the disservice done to readers when only a narrow view of the world is given them in their newspapers. In the 1964 presidential election, many newspapers, particularly in north Louisiana, pretty much convinced their readers the conservative, anti-civil rights Republican candidate Barry Goldwater would be elected president. While Goldwater carried all of conservative north Louisiana and the Florida Parishes, except East Baton Rouge, he did not win in the more moderate areas of New Orleans, Cajun country and southwest Louisiana. Nationally, Goldwater won in Louisiana, four other Southern states, and Arizona, Goldwater’s home. But Democrat Lyndon Johnson was overwhelmingly victorious in the other 44.

The purpose of editorial and op-ed pages is not to give readers only conservative or liberal thinking but to give them a variety of opinions.

Bill McMahon

retired reporter

Baton Rouge