A Nov. 3 CNSNews.com column by the MRC's Dan Gainor cites Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell noting complaints from readers that the Post is "too liberal," then adding:
Imagine an ordinary company – like McDonald’s or Sprint – ignoring the wishes of their customers and producing products no one wants. When the American automotive industry runs off the road, the media want to hang management, but when their own industry is falling victim to self-inflicted wounds, they have no clue what to do.
Insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result. That explains the mindset when journalists are shocked that they keep producing biased news and their industry collapses financially.
Here Howell is being told by the paper’s customers that it is a biased piece of propaganda, and yet she refuses to listen.
But Gainor offers no evidence that "liberal bias" has anything to do with the Post's declining circulation. Gainor concedes that "technology [is] partially to blame," but then claims that "that discounts their immense failure of the public trust." But Gainor himself discounts the role of "technology" -- that is, the overall shift of readers from print to web.
Indeed, Editor & Publisher reported that traffic on the Post's website in September jumped 42 percent from a year ago -- suggesting that the Post's product is not something that "no one wants," as Gainor portrays it.
We've previously noted MRC employees' insistence on blaming "liberal bias" for declining newspaper circulation even though the print-to-web paradigm shift is a much more logical and provable explanation.