• Pastor Will Exiting WTIC

    April 26, 2024

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    The French created an ingenious prison cell so confining that the occupant of the cell could never stand, sit or rest at ease. They called it, appropriately enough, “the little ease.”

    Conservatives, libertarians and independents in Connecticut must occasionally feel the constraints of the little ease, but there are outlets in the state that relieve the constant pressure. Pastor Will Marotti’s radio program on WTIC 1080 provided some release.

    The above-named groups have been short sheeted in Connecticut for decades. There has been little presence of conservative, libertarian independent and contrarian political opinion in Connecticut’s left of center print media for decades. Nationally, the print media is overwhelmingly neo-progressive. One detects the strong odor of bias in the print media from things not said.

    Gallup polling has been measuring the public’s Confidence in Newspapers since 1973. According to a 2022 poll, “Percentages of Democrats, independents and Republicans who have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in newspapers, trend from 1973 to 2022. Currently, 35% of Democrats, 12% of independents and 5% of Republicans have confidence in newspapers. The readings for Republicans and independents are the lowest since 1973, when the question was first asked.”

    The low percentage figures for Republicans and independents suggest that major news outlets have not satisfied either group. And, sadly, the low percentage of Democrats who remain unconfident in major media outlets, at 35%, is nothing to write home about.

    The easiest way to alienate Republicans of all varieties across the left-right spectrum, and independents as well, is to refuse to allow space in media outlets to those who fall somewhat to the right of Connecticut’s neo-progressive media. Connecticut’s media has made it plain for decades that there is no room at the inn for Republicans, independents and, most importantly, contrarians.

    According to a recent Pew Research Center study, a 2022 Pew Research Center poll detects a widening split between reporters and the general public on the question: Do opposing sides deserve equal coverage in news reports? The poll found, “Journalists in the United States differ markedly from the general public in their views of ‘bothsidesism’ – whether journalists should always strive to give equal coverage to all sides of an issue. A little more than half of the journalists surveyed (55%) say that every side does not always deserve equal coverage in the news. By contrast, 22% of Americans overall say the same, whereas about three-quarters (76%) say journalists should always strive to give all sides equal coverage.”

    Taken together, both polls map media bias. And the bias favors the left rather than the right in major media outlets.

    A Syracuse University study, “The American Journalist Under Attack: Media, Trust & Democracy,” based on an online survey with 1,600 U.S. journalists conducted in early 2022, shows that “journalists who said they were Republicans continued to drop from 18 percent in 2002 and 7.1 percent in 2013 to 3.4 percent in 2022.”

    As usual, reliable data and polls confirm the uncomfortable reality that every Connecticut reader confronts when reading presumptive “non-partisan” news.

    An accomplished radio host of 11 years and a masterful interviewer, Marotti, the pastor of New Life Church in Wallingford, has been very much in the habit of bringing new eyes to comfortable and insufficiently examined “certitudes” only lightly touched by our left of center media.

    This is not an easy assignment. Connecticut is now, for all practical purposes, a one-party state. The state has become efficient in moving forward legislation that favors the political interests of the dominant Democrat Party over the muted objections of Republicans who have been counted out of the political ring.

    As a conservative-libertarian-contrarian witness of the status quo, Marotti joyfully placed himself in opposition to the ruling elite, a posture one would expect of any courageous journalist. In addition, he was – dare one say it? – an upholder of Christian virtue and liberty.

    John Stuart Mill, an apostle of liberty, once wrote, “If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”

    In Connecticut, liberty of speech is easily throttled in a state in which all political power is vested in a single party. For as long as Marotti was with WTIC News Talk 1080, the throttlers were not entirely successful.

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    Don Pesci

    Don Pesci is a political columnist of long standing, about 40 years, who has written for various state newspapers, among them The Journal Inquirer, the Waterbury Republican American, the New London Day, the Litchfield County Times, the Torrington Register Citizen and other Register Citizen papers. He maintains a blog, among the oldest of its kind in Connecticut, which serves as a repository and archive, for his columns; there are approximately 3,000 entrees in Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes From A Blue State, virtually all of them political columns stretching back to 2004. He also appears once a week Wednesdays on 1080 WTIC Newstalk radio with Will Marotti.

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