Fairness schmairness

Former Bush administration Justice Department member (and noted torture and expanded executive powers advocate) John Yoo managed to get himself quite the sweet gig recently, when the Philadelphia Inquirer made him a columnist.

Well not exactly recently. He'd actually been hired sometime in the fall of 2008, but they didn't bother telling anyone until this past Sunday, when his name was accompanied by the title "Inquirer Columnist".

No one really complained about his hiring at first...well at least because no one knew about it. Hell, editorial page director Harold Jackson (no relation to the former Philadelphia Eagle of the same name) was "surprised by the sudden delayed anger" over the hiring, and publisher Brian Tierney said "I’ve gotten more mail recently on our making our comics smaller than I have on John Yoo". Of course, he didn't say whether that was true since Sunday, but never mind that.

But, setting aside the fact that Yoo has already had at least ten opinions repudiated by the Office of Legal Counsel (and I have no frame of reference for whether this is normal, but it seems like an awful lot for a two year stint), why exactly did the Inquirer, a generally liberal publication, hire him?

“There was a conscious effort on our part to counter some of the criticism of The Inquirer as being a knee-jerk liberal publication,” Mr. Jackson said. “We made a conscious effort to add some conservative voices to our mix.”
Well, they already have Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum on their staff, so you wouldn't think they'd need more conservative voices on board to balance things out.

But let's just think this through a bit. The Inquirer, under criticism of being a "knee jerk liberal" paper, decided to add right-wing editorial columnists to balance things out.

Hmmm, this sounds vaguely like...ummm...oh I know...the Fairness Doctrine. You know, the one that right-wingers are so hysterically worried that Congress is going to try to re-enact, even though there's absolutely no evidence that it will happen.

So, to summarize, it is inherently evil for radio stations to be required to counteract Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity with equal amounts of Air America programming. But, newspapers with a liberal reputation should be pressured to include as many discredited right-wing writers as possible.

Am I the only one that realizes how fucking insane this is?

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