I’m No Token Conservative

Oct 162007
Authors: Nick Hemenway

Since the uproar of the F-Bush editorial has faded, the topic of discussion on campus has shifted to the political balance of the Collegian. This is a valid debate that has drawn many different opinions.

Since this topic was started last week, I have been referred to either directly or indirectly in four separate columns. Some claim that I prove there is a balance, while others argue that one conservative does not signify impartiality (to be correct, there are two of us). Since this is an opinion article, let the “token conservative” give you the inside scoop.

As a whole, the Collegian is undeniably and unequivocally slanted to the left. Anyone who tells you differently is either a liberal, one of my bosses, or both. From the opinion page to the news section to the political “cartoons,” the liberal voice consistently drowns out the conservative.

Nonetheless, this is not uncommon. Nearly every main stream media source in our country is slanted left. Whether it is Dan Rather using fabricated documents to defame President Bush’s military career, or the New York Times giving MoveOn.org massive discounts to run ads accusing General Petraeus of treason, liberals in the media are as plentiful as ever.

There is a reason why I am the only staff member in Collegian history to personally interview Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave. Her staff put a lot of trust in me, because for all they knew, I could have been another student journalist who just wanted to write another smear piece. Noting the bias, the Congresswoman has in years past referred to the Collegian as a fake newspaper. I can’t blame her.

However, as unfair and unbalanced as it is, I enjoy every minute of it. Discussing politics is a huge passion in my life, and if I had no one to debate with, I would get bored very quickly.

To my fellow conservatives out there, fear not. The silver lining of a leftward-leaning newspaper is that it keeps you on your toes. By reading columns that you disagree with, you expand your mind and strengthen your own beliefs. At a minimum, you can get a hearty laugh out of some of the insane positions that people take, I know I do.

But don’t get me wrong, I am no “token conservative.” I am confident that I could hold my own with any and every other staff member here on any subject. But since we don’t have televised debates, I am bound to the 600-word limit I work with here each week.

I know there are plenty of conservatives on our campus. According to the all-powerful and all-knowing facebook.com, our campus is almost exactly split down the middle ideologically. The same can’t be said for CU.

In addition, don’t get caught up in the notion that just because certain media sources are liberal, the conservative voice is gone.

Rush Limbaugh has the largest radio talk show audience in the nation with 20 million listeners on 600 different stations, which has sparked such fear in the minds of Democrats in Congress that some, such as Dianne Feinstein, have recently suggested we implement the Fairness Doctrine. If successful, it would be illegal to broadcast political talk radio, and since the liberal Air America is in shambles, silencing Limbaugh would be an acceptable trade for Democrats.

The only way to change the political balance of this newspaper is to join us. Come down to the Student Media office and pick up an application. I did.

Through my stack of hate mail, I have been called everything from a disgrace to journalism, to a criminal, while half the time they spell my name wrong.

No matter what the slant of the Collegian is, I am here to stay, because truth always prevails.

Nick Hemenway is a senior mechanical engineering major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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