Paul Potyen: Balancing act |

Paul Potyen: Balancing act

— I’d like to respond to Erich Esswein’s letter to the editor of last Wednesday. Mr. Esswein felt that, based on the articles he found in the Oct. 9 issue, “the Pilot & Today’s commitment to providing balanced, relevant information to voters doesn’t hold up when it comes to the presidential campaigns.”

I don’t count articles in every issue, but it seems to me that, in general, there does seem to be a fair balance. However, on the topic of balance, I’d like to relate an e-mail dialogue I had a couple of years ago with Scott Stanford, who was editor at the time. I complained that there was no balance to Bruce Tinsley’s daily cartoon, “Mallard Fillmore,” which I personally believe is appallingly right-wing, not funny and ill-informed. And it still appears every day in the Pilot. To Mr. Tinsley’s credit, he can draw a darn good picture of a duck, which is probably his best qualification for the job. I suggested that the Pilot alternate “Mallard” with another cartoonist with a different perspective. I even offered to create my own cartoons for him, since I can draw a pretty good picture of an ostrich with its head in the sand. (Stanford declined.) After several e-mail exchanges regarding “Mallard,” Scott told me: “There is no balance. … That’s not likely to change, and I won’t try to convince you that it is fair.”

The moral, if there is one, is that balance depends on your perspective. And an editor’s job is pretty thankless.

Paul Potyen

Steamboat Springs

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