On Politics: The decline of the American moderate

In this Aug. 2 photo, President Donald Trump, right, greets Senate candidate Rep. Lou Barletta during a rally in Wilkes-Barre Township. – Matt Rourke | AP Photo

It may surprise some of you to hear that there are people who think this newspaper is too conservative and doesn’t hold President Trump and Washington Republicans accountable for their actions.

It will surprise others to hear a different segment of the public is convinced we are nothing more than a liberal mouthpiece that will never give Trump and the GOP a fair shake.

So no doubt it caused great merriment online — by which I mean 79 rip-roaring comments and growing, as of my last count Monday night — after U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta wrote us a letter over the weekend in which he said this newspaper is “fair and accurate.”

That was his response to an editorial in which we asked if Barletta agreed with Trump that journalists are the enemy of the people, and whether that would include local media like us.

Barletta said he felt the Times Leader and other local media to be fair, but “unfortunately, the national media does not cover President Trump with the same objective lens.”

That’s a fair argument, not just because it painted us in a positive light, but because any viewer with a pulse can easily see how polarized cable news coverage has become — though it’s also obvious that some media outlets happily overlook the president’s frequent aversion to facts he dislikes.

As the click-baiters say, though, you won’t believe what happens next.

What does it take in 2018 to get a hardcore MAGA patriot to criticize the words of a respected Republican such as Barletta?

Dare suggest any media are fair.

A commenter who calls himself American Johnny — hopefully not a Russian bot trolling us from some Moscow boiler room — made that painfully clear in response to Barletta’s letter.

“Well this is the first time I disagree with something Barletta said,” American Johnny wrote.

“The Times Leader…

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