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Dan Patrick & Media Bias: I Agree with Texas State Senator Dan Patrick

Updated on April 12, 2010

Dan Patrick Should Walk the Talk and Open KSEV to Democrats, Libertarians

While considering local journalism the other day, I came to find myself almost perplexed at the state of some Houston newspapers' failures to cover political campaigns and parties with integrity.

I was amused to come across State Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Dist 7), in his own words via his defunct Chronically Biased blog, stating "The most prevalent evidence of press bias can be found in the stories reporters choose to write and the ones they ignore."

Those sentiments were posted in 2004, two years prior to Patrick's meteoric rise to the top of Texas politics and, to some extent, statewide talk radio.

But, whereas Patrick supported the fair reporting of political campaigns then, I am not so sure the newspapers got the memo after his election in 2006.

The Houston Chronicle, being a city paper, does an excellent job of covering liberal candidates and RINOs (Republicans in Name Only).

Meanwhile, Houston Community Newspapers, in all their infinite wisdom (or is that fear of collapse?) have chosen to report strictly on Republican candidates in the northwest side of town.

If Senator Patrick is to be taken at his word, these newspapers need to comply with the undertstanding the role of a journalist is to explore both sides of the story; one sided reporting on anything from political rallies (and statements made therein) and Chamber of Commerce meetings ought to be explored to the fullest extent.

All parties, Republican, Democratic and Libertarian or third-party candidates should be afforded the same access to newspaper audiences by principle, not because some young journalist wills that coverage out of self-interest.

Sen. Patrick should also keep this in mind as he and his radio stations consider their in-kind contributions. If the message of Sen. Patrick and his friends can stand on its own two legs amongst voters, then there should be no reason for them to expend such airtime on KSEV or their sister station up north for candidates bankrolled by Patrick and crew.

In fact, I'd challenge Sen. Patrick to open his airwaves and walk the talk he was willing to dish at the Houston Chronicle in 2004, via his blog.

In his own words, Sen. Patrick commits "orchestrated bias" by using his radio bully pulpit to not only expel the wisdoms of conservatism (which I am a supporter of), but to also support candidates with in-kind contributions.

To say one thing and do another is politics as usual, as Dan Patrick has said on his drive-time radio program; if the senator wants to show his integrity, he'd heed this advice and work to address the obvious concerns he's had with Texas media within his own sphere of influence, the radio stations he already owns.

It takes one little action to create chain reaction. Fair media coverage, Sen. Patrick, begins with you.

Full Disclosure: From 2005-2007, I was the chief political reporter for the Sun Newspapers. I voted for Sen. Dan Patrick in 2006, despite a well publicized scuffle between reporter and politician on the front page of the Sun prior to the 2006 Republican Primary. I have utmost respect for him as he is our elected Senator, but will be voting for his Libertarian rival, Lee Coughran.

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