Goal of COTR Panel : Diversity
Surprisingly most of our complaints come from liberals.
Fairly or unfairly, PBS has a perceived liberal bias, so when we started the show I figured to hear from conservatives unhappy with our topics and comments. But we seldom hear from conservatives.Â Most the criticism comes from liberals who basically complain that we are not liberal enough.
Watchers of COTR know that we have four panelists – two media types (reporters, columnists) and two political types (consultants, activists) – one who leans left and one who leans right. Some lean more than others.
We also work to make sure each show’s panel is diverse, which is difficult because most of the statehouse reporting and consulting crowd has two things in common: whiteness and maleness.
I also hear criticism that so-and-so panelist is “not really a conservative” or “not really a liberal”. That’s because a person dares to disagree with her or his party on a certain issue or agree with the panelist on the opposite side of the table.
Those damn moderates are always mucking up the works.
And there’s the criticism that some panelists are too partisan or “just sticking to the party line”.Â True, and we welcome those panelists as well.Â But we try to put the more partisans opposite each other.
The bottom line goal is to feature panelists who know their stuff and reflect our community.Â The men and women of Central Ohio come from different backgrounds and some hold or express their beliefs more strongly than others. With only so much room at the table, we do our best to mirror that diversity.
- Mike Thompson