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Letters to the Editor
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There has been a lot of attention lately on accountability and objectivity in the media. Unfortunately, on the local level there is an unbelievable amount of bias and no accountability for expressed opinions.

Most figures in local media have a fixation on power, and tend to use it in selfish and embarrassing ways. Often the local media will voice opinions without fully knowing the facts, or perhaps subverting them.

For instance, both the Savannah Morning News and Bill Cathcart of WTOC attacked Jimmy Carter for opposing the BRAC committee’s decision to close the Groton, Conn., U.S. Navy base. Yet several Republicans, including the Speaker of the House, also voiced their disapproval, and their decisions were partly based on the fact that King’s Bay, Ga., was the the only one of three Navy bases that was not adjacent to a nuclear submarine factory.

Is Dennis Hastert an idiot, too? Should we really close a submarine base a mile from the factory and ship subs down to Georgia?

The Savannah Morning News’ ridiculous personal politics often interferes with its news gathering. Usually, the paper will air a news story only so it can editorialize it the next day, commonly its petty fight with alderman Tony Thomas.

My favorite recent power trip was Rexanna Keller Lester’s publication in her column of the address of someone she accused of taking her misdelivered encyclopedia set. Hail the power of the press!

The paper gets testy when it gets excluded from courtrooms and City Hall meetings, as if it is concerned about “the public,” but consider the following: The hideous pairing of Tom Barton and radio alias “Ben Bennett” (Anthony Crystal), who chides people for anonymity while he hid for years behind an assumed name.

Crystal calls liberals (i.e. some Savannah Morning News subscribers and “the public” ) pedophiles and “peace monkeys.” Barton has no problem appearing weekly on his show and playing the occasional golf with Crystal, totally oblivious to the appearance of impropriety.

Crystal himself often reads reports of of Drudge or NewsMax without bothering to confirm the facts; but hey, the editor of the local paper appears on his show weekly to give him credibility.

While those in the “liberal media” are constantly trying to defend themselves from charges of bias, our local media remains completely unaccountable.

There is no Public Editor or ombudsman at the newspaper, and Crystal always pronounces himself king, even when his “news” is about as unbiased as Michael Moore and as newsworthy as some gossip rag.

For once they’re right: You can’t trust the media, because they are a part of it.

You can keep my last name out of this -- I don’t want Rexanna Keller Lester publishing my phone number.





I told myself a long time ago that I would refrain from reading Connect Savannah. As usual I end up picking the magazine up to read about local

happenings, as I did with the most recent issue. I was reading about the Cindy Sheehan tour and an article entitled “Get off poor Dubya’s back, people.”

While I respect every individual’s right to their own opinion, I have to say that your paper only ever presents one side. Your writers consistently write article after article displaying a decidedly liberal opinion.

That’s fine. This country was founded on a belief that we should be able to do that. My question is why do you never present a conservative opinion? There are two sides to every story.



Editor’s Note: We have no policy against running conservative columns, but frankly we receive very few of them. Other than the occasional column from local Republican consultant Dave Simons, local conservatives seem to prefer writing letters complaining about the lack of conservative opinion in Connect Savannah.

Regarding our editorial policy: As an alternative weekly it’s part of our mission statement to provide a countering viewpoint to the monopoly daily newspaper, which in this market is very conservative. Whether you agree with our stance or not, we’re clearly doing something right -- our readership and ad base have steadily grown while the Savannah Morning News’ circulation remains remarkably small for a market this size. Surely a conservative such as yourself can appreciate the free market at work!