After looking at yet another batch of vituperative letters in the Seattle Times, I am reminded yet again of how the media portrays the Republicans as "the party of hate". I don't think so.
I lived in a relatively conservative city (San Diego) from 1987 to 2002. From 1987-1992, the area had four congressmen; from 1992 onward, it was five. During that period, San Diego never had fewer than three GOP congressmen, and from 1990-1992, all four were Republicans, so it is fairly safe to say that the area was right of center.
Despite San Diego's rightward tilt, the letters to the editor in the San Diego Union-Tribune, while somewhat critical of Bill Clinton (during his time in office, and afterward), never reached the visceral, primal hatred expressed in the letters to the Seattle Times. This leads me to believe that one of the following is true:
1. The San Diego Union-Tribune had a policy that restricted the publication of hateful letters.
2. The Seattle Times has a policy of printing the most spiteful letters.
3. Seattle is filled with left-wing extremists, or San Diego is packed with moderates.
4. The left is more consumed with hate towards Bush than the right was with Clinton.
Sure, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter and other assorted pundits were lobbing salvo after salvo at the Clintons. Now it's Robert Scheer and Michael Moore sniping at Bush. However, I'm not talking about columnists and commentators; I'm talking about John and Betty Citizen. The letters to the editor are filled with the same sneering condescension every day, except on the days when they exhibit naked hostility to Bush and anyone who supports him or his agenda. It was rare to see conservatives attack Clinton as viciously and relentlessly as the writers here in Seattle attack Bush. (The letters page of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is just as bad, if not worse, than that of the Times.)
posted on April 15, 2004 10:36 PM