Thursday, October 28, 2004
On this day:

H. Brandt Ayers and the "Red Star"

I could go on and on about the sketchy journalism practiced by the Anniston Star under H. Brandt Ayers. Indeed, it wouldn't surprise me that the former editor of the New York Times, Howell Raines, learned some of his tricks from ol' Brandy. Raines was an Alabama native and acquaintance (friend?) of Mr. Ayers. Both men were and are unabashedly ashamed of their native state. Fortunately for Alabama, Raines left. Unfortunately, Ayers stayed.

The Star was my hometown newspaper. I began reading it cover-to-cover somewhere around 7th Grade. (Yeah, so I was/am a dork. So what?) I remember its vicious criticism of the Reagan administration, not only from the editorial page, but also on the front page, masquerading under headings that said "Analysis." Even for a high school student, it wasn't difficult to figure out that these "analysis" pieces were nothing more than camouflaged editorials supported by a few selective facts.

The Star under H. Brandt Ayers despised President Reagan as much as it loved President Carter. I found its criticism of Reagan to be brutally unfair. But, during the '80's, there were few countervailing forces to the Star and others in the mainstream press. There was no Fox News, no Rush Limbaugh, no internet - no widely-circulated or widely-broadcasted medium to challenge the biases of the mainstream press. Thankfully, the emergence of the "alternative media" has changed all of that.

Mr. H. Brandt Ayers is fond of saying that his success is due to "two talents - nepotism and monopoly." That may be true, but those two "talents" are becoming more obsolete in his line of work with each passing day.

Free at last.