Having returned Jan. 20 from a weeklong business trip, I sat down with my Sunday morning cup of coffee and last week’s issues of the Ahwatukee Foothills News and found that I must be living in a parallel universe. Reading the Opinion pages, as I have done over the past 15 years that I have lived in this community, I found myself wondering where some of these opinions were coming from.
The responses to the State of The Union Address published in the Jan. 29 issue were less biased than usual, offering two conservative opinions, two clearly left-leaning, one somewhat middle of the road and one filled with unsubstantiated “hope and change” rhetoric.
The Jan. 27 issue, however, smacks of media bias that was exposed within its own pages. First, there was a featured editorial exalting the virtues of the Democratic Party over the Republicans with regard to campaign finance laws. This was followed by two “Letters To The Editor.” The first was a “Can’t we all get along …” message, which ended in a tirade that bashed Joe Arpaio and George Bush, at the same time praising Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton (whose budget surplus occurred under a Republican majority in both the House and Senate). The second letter blasted a recent Supreme Court decision. Ironically, this was the same issue that our president chose to inaccurately soapbox during his State of The Union Address.
On these same pages, however, a reality was exposed. The sidebar labeled “What Arizonans are thinking” was a much-needed dose of reality. The percentage of likely voters that disapprove of the current administration was 57 percent. The health care reform plan was embraced by only 38 percent, compared to the 59 percent who oppose it. Those who feel the economy is getting worse is 13 points higher than those who feel that it’s getting better. The other issues polled also reflect a fairly strong conservative stance with the exception being those issues involving Gov. Jan Brewer. One could argue, incidentally, that any governor, Democrat or Republican, would fall victim to the challenges that states are currently facing based on federal policy.
The point is that these are real numbers and actually reflect the climate within this community. The Opinion page seems to continually push forth a message that states otherwise. Even The Arizona Republic, which is as liberal as they come, has recently been publishing viewpoints and editorials that are not kind to this administration.
Over the past year these pages have been a forum for Harry Mitchell and his supporters to explain away his voting record and make excuses for the fact that it is not in line with the views of his constituents. I have seen many arguments published that blame President Bush for the economic downturn that occurred under a Democratic House and Senate, while, at the same time, lamenting that President Obama is not responsible for the overspending and reckless legislation and partisanship that has occurred during his first year in office, let alone the time he spent in the Senate.
Perhaps the only “Opinions” received by the Ahwatukee Foothills News are from the left. If so, it’s long past time for those in the community who feel otherwise to flood the paper’s mailboxes and in boxes. As stated, I have been a member of this community for 15 years. I have developed relationships through business, two elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, Girl Scouts, golf, soccer and church groups and know of very few that are represented by the majority of the opinions published within your pages.
Michelle Hansen has lived in Ahwatukee Foothills for 15 years.