Letter: Author of column in newspaper biased

To the editor:

Would you have published Sally Pipes’ column (“A better way to quality health care,” Aug. 8) if the name of her organization was “The Pacific Institute for Far-Right Libertarian Biased Research”?

Today we have hundreds of propaganda think-tanks masquerading under objective-sounding labels — The Pacific Research Institute, The Heritage Foundation, The American Enterprise Institute, The Center for American Progress — the list is extensive and covers both conservative and progressive ideologies.

I have no objection to having their opinions published, but I believe that responsible journalism needs to make sure the reader, and the reporter/editor, knows the bias on which the opinion is based. I believe that it is not sufficient to merely cite the name of the author and his/her organization and let the reader guess at the bias or do their own research, which they seldom do.

“Just the facts” reporting is ancient history, since the facts are manipulated in very sophisticated ways — and sometimes just plain fabricated. Thoughtful and responsible journalism is the backbone of our integrity and our freedom.

Donald A. Smith