So gold and rare coin proponent Mike Fuljenz used part of his September 6, 2023 column to discuss how he can, after a few days, decide on a newspaper’s political bias by the editorial cartoons the paper carries.
As I travel the nation meeting with other industry leaders and giving insight on issues impacting the numismatic and precious metals community, I don’t have time to watch all the local TV news or read all the local editorials but a quick glance at their daily political cartoons gives me a hint about their political balance or bias. If I am in a town for three or four days at a major money show, I will tally the political cartoons each day in the largest newspaper in that city and if the cartoon index leans 100% in one direction or the other, I can assume their editorials and political bias also lean in that same direction. In the rare case in which they “harpoon” candidates of both political parties equally, I tend to believe that I have found a reasonably fair news outlet.
Later in the column Mr. Fuljenz looks at late night comic talk show hosts, but with newspapers, after chastising The New York Times and The Washington Post for not endorsing a Republican Presidential candidate since Ike, the Beaumont, Texas resident compares The Houston Chronicle and The Beaumont Enterprise, both Hearst papers.
In our local area, the Houston Chronicle editorial board has been more balanced [than The Times and The Post] … I wish I could say the same for their political cartoons, which have not harpooned liberals in the last 12 days. Their cartoonist has become “nose blind” to his/her bias. Contrast that with another Hearst Publication I subscribe to and advertise in, The Beaumont Enterprise, that is typically balanced in targeting the left and the right.
The Beaumont Enterprise proudly published the three paragraphs about cartoons as a letter to the editor.
The full Fuljenz column also ran on the AMAC (“the conservative alternative to AARP”) blog.
I don’t subscribe to The Houston Chronicle but my guess is his reference to “their cartoonist” is to John Branch; though Nick Anderson‘s full page special comic appeared just before the Fuljenz column. And it is Texas where Republican Attorney General Paxton has come into a fair share of cartooning, and front page, notoriety of late.
I do agree with him that editorial page cartoons are a good way to deduce a newspaper’s political leanings.