Wearing my bias on my sleeve

There are three things I absolutely love about writing this column. The first is that I get to write it.

Based on the number of e-mails I’ve received, the second is that I’ve become a voice for many of you like-minded conservatives who read this publication, which heretofore was primarily an echo chamber for liberals (or, as they now apparently prefer to be called, “progressives").

The third falls into the category of “truth in advertising.” As the name “Right Hook” implies, this particular piece of real estate belongs to the conservative or right-wing viewpoint. My agenda and opinions are completely transparent.

Would that all media outlets had the courage to place disclosures on their mastheads: “Caution, you are about to experience viewpoints with the following bias.” But no, many still prefer clinging to faux-journalistic ethics à la Dan Rather, who to this day gets his underwear in a bunch lest anyone suggest he is anything other than a veteran news hawk who was duped by forged documents.

This hypocrisy gets downright pathetic when a newspaper’s editorial board gets into the act of hiding its political leanings.

Witness the March 1 editorial in the Reno Gazette-Journal. Said editorial was prompted by the recent “to-do” over 12-year-old Cethe Autumn’s appearance—or more specifically, the lack thereof—at the Nevada Assembly.

The Gardnerville girl was invited to sing at the Nevada Assembly by U.S. Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., immediately before he addressed the Nevada Legislature.

Assembly Speaker Richard Perkins, D-Henderson, nixed her appearance and that of the color guard from North Valleys High School that Gibbons had also invited to attend. When Perkins rightfully took flak over his actions, the RG-J editorial board sprang to his defense—by taking Gibbons to task.

It wrote, “…Gibbons knows full well that an invitation to speak is just that, not a license to rewrite the Legislature’s agenda and provide his own pomp and circumstance. … Gibbons got away with it two years ago, despite grumbling from the legislators, who, facing a 120-day deadline to get their work done, don’t appreciate having their time wasted. Perkins did the right thing this year, consulting with the minority party’s leader and then reminding the congressman that he’d been invited to address the Legislature … nothing more.”

For the uninitiated, state legislatures make state law. Nothing Gibbons had to convey to our Legislature could possibly be all that relevant to any matters currently pending before the Legislature.

Even so, if the Legislature were that busy, one would think Gibbons’ information should have been reduced to a memorandum. That would have certainly been a more effective and efficient use of the Assembly’s time.

So let’s be clear about this.

Was this an opportunity Gibbons took to provide his own “pomp and circumstance"?


Should his staff have cleared it with the Assembly leadership first? Probably.

Did Perkins, as Assembly leader, have the right to nix the appearance? Yes.

Was Perkins’ move politically motivated? Yes. Both Perkins and Gibbons will be running for the Governor’s Office in 2006.

Was Perkins’ move about preserving the Legislature’s agenda, priorities and precious time? Absolutely not.

Yet the RG-J would have us believe the Assembly is so busy that Perkins couldn’t give up 2 minutes and 23 seconds for a little girl’s rendition of “God Bless America.”

Rather than the indignant, editorial whitewashing of Perkins into a victim of Republican politics, perhaps the RG-J could simply come out and endorse his candidacy.

Or would that be biased?