Cry bias all you want: We’ll keep calling it the way we see it

augusta free pressA small segment of readers seems to think posting comments to the effect that AFP is “biased” in its reporting and using the word “liberal” as a pejorative might shame the editors into silence.

Brushing aside the observation that those crying bias are of course themselves biased, as is anyone who has a set opinion on a particular issue, be it a presidential election, the outcome of a sporting event, whether New York pizza is superior to Chicago deep dish, or any of millions of other examples, we’ll offer a couple of counterpoints.

One, as much as all are welcome to post comments to whatever effect you want to, you’re also free to get your news elsewhere. There are literally billions of websites online, and if you don’t like this one, it’s easy to change the channel.

Two, the AFP website posts upwards of two dozen new news items a day on the website, featuring local and state news (and sports news) for Virginia readers, and a wide variety of opinion pieces from a diverse group of writers, whose backgrounds range from the far left to the far right. We don’t expect all of our readers to read every single article that we publish, but if you don’t take time to read them all and want to cry bias after cherrypicking a few articles that you think prove your point, you’re saying more about yourself than you are about AFP.

Three, we endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. We laid out in this column the reasons why. You don’t have to like that we endorsed Clinton, and you can take issues with the reasons why. You not liking our endorsement or the reasons why doesn’t make AFP “biased.” You can choose not to read our publication anymore, not do business with us in the future, you can print our headshot pictures onto bull’s eyes and throw darts at them.

One thing you’re not going to do is shame us into silence. Whoever wins on Nov. 8, we’re going to wake up the morning of Nov. 9 and continue doing what we’ve done for the past 14 years, through the George W. Bush administration, through the Barack Obama administration, through the administrations of Democratic and Republican governors in Virginia, through the administrations of three UVA football coaches and three UVA basketball coaches.

Our job is two-fold: to present the facts as they are, and then to interpret the facts based on what we know.

Sometimes we’re right, sometimes we’re wrong, but we will never stop calling things as we see them.

Chicago deep dish, by the way, but it’s close, very close.

Column by Chris Graham

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The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
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