Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Is this a good thing?

Posted by Craig Westover | 12:17 PM |  

From City Pages:
Strib to hire conservative columnist

Kersten (or Janacek) the frontrunner

Here's a bit of breaking news: City Pages has learned that the Star Tribune has posted an opening for a conservative columnist in its Metro section. Katherine Kersten, the longtime right-wing op-ed writer affiliated with the Center of the American Experiment, is visiting the paper for a day-long series of interviews this Thursday; Sarah Janacek, a moderate (pro-choice) Republican, will do the same later. One source claimed to City Pages that the decision to hire Kersten has already been reached; another said the office buzz is that Janacek will get the post. Neither woman is a journalist by trade.

Is the move a concession to all the paper's right-wing critics, who have been especially noisy in recent months? One Strib staffer who spoke on condition of anonymity doubts that was much of a factor: "I think it's market-driven. Whether it's Gyllenhaal, California, or Moyer [behind the move], I think they're responding to a feeling that we're missing out in the suburban areas because we don't connect there politically."

There is no word on when an announcement will be made.
I've known Katherine for sometime, although not on a personal basis, and I just met Sarah at the most recent Patriot event, so I don't have a real good feel on this one, but I do have a couple of observations.

First, as the post notes, neither of the candidates is a journalist by trade (which must be driving Coleman bonkers). The Strib gig would fall into the major market category; that there isn't a conservative with journalism credentials for such a position would say something about the prevailing bias of the press, would it not?

Second, Kersten and Janacek represent opposite ends of the bell-shaped curve of conservatives. That being the case, does either represent the "average" conservative, if there is such a voice?

I'm open for comments on this one.