“You delivered,” reads the headline in quotes of a Kansas City Star ad that continues with a letter from a reader, “Several months ago you promised your readers that changes would be made to the Opinion pages to present a more balanced reflection of our city and country. And you delivered. Many Thanks, Kansas City Star, for keeping your promise”–Laurie B, Prairie Village subscriber.
To test the validity of this thesis all one needs to do is review the Star’s editorials. As it happens, all ten of the most recent editorials with a political agenda, guest or in-house, are hostile or indifferent to conservatives and their perspectives. If “balanced” means a mix of hard left and soft left, than “balanced” they are.
April 8: “What we still don’t know about the Greitens investigation – and who is paying for his lawyers.” There is not a word about the well established prosecutorial misconduct in the case other than to criticize Team Greitens for waging a “relentless publicity war” against the prosecutor.
April 8: “Has Kansas City improved for African Americans since Martin Luther King Jr.’s death?” The editorial makes no mention of the single greatest problem in the black community: the collapse of the two-parent family. It recommends instead counterproductive liberal solutions, to wit, “Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.”
April 8: “If Gov. Eric Greitens coerced his hairdresser, then he should be impeached.” The Sentinel addressed the political skew of this editorial in an earlier piece, “Star ‘Impeach Greitens’ Editorial Gets Everything Wrong.”
April 8: “There’s an endgame behind Trump’s attacks on Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.” Like almost all Star editorials on Trump, this one is negative: “Trump does indeed have an endgame in this feud, and as usual, it has to do with Trump winning — even if the victory is only an illusion.”
April 8: “Authoritarianism isn’t as big a threat as our polarization.” Obama aide Cass Sunstein leads this anti-Trump broadside with a sentence that reads like a punch line everywhere except within the liberal bubble, “For the first time since the 1940s, Americans have been asking: Can it happen here?”
April 7: “Trump shouldn’t relax to hear he isn’t a ‘target’ in Mueller investigation.” Key silly sentence: “The real danger to Trump is not indictment, but impeachment.” There is no mention at all of the slow motion collapse of the “collusion” charge against Trump.
April 6: “Finally an end to Kansas’ school finance drama is in sight.” The editorial praises the Kansas Supreme Court and “Moderate Republicans” for pushing through huge new spending bill.
April 6: “Weaponizing the #MeToo movement to get street justice.” The headline says it all.
April 6: “Kansas lawmakers promised to rein in government secrecy. What went wrong?” Conservative Republican leaders are handed “responsibility for a lack of follow-through.”
April 5: “Laura Ingraham gets an expensive economics lesson.” Take-away quote: “Sniping at a teenager over college admissions is perhaps one of her less obscene stunts.” Obscene? Laura Ingraham? Seriously?
If the Sentinel went 100 deep, we would likely find 100 articles equally “balanced.” It is hard to recall even a vaguely positive editorial on Sam Brownback, Kris Kobach, or Donald Trump.
Hat tip to Dwight Sutherland for alerting us to this exercise in self-delusion. Sutherland’s take on the Star editorial board in KC Confidential is a minor masterpiece of hubris deflation. Well worth the read.