Kevin Cash once wrote a 472-page book about the onetime publisher of the Union Leader in Manchester, New Hampshire, but for all his subject’s controversial right-wing vitriolic color, nobody I know has ever managed to finish reading the opus.

Who the Hell IS William Loeb? could have been a slam-dunk hit, but instead veered into tedium. In an era before Rush Limbaugh and his ilk, Loeb built his newspaper on the realization that opinion is cheaper than fact and that name-calling can attract an emotional following. For that matter, even in retrospect, his front-page editorials still stink.

I never could have worked at the paper during his reign, but the first week I was on board, I recall walking past the managing editor’s office and hearing three men accuse the paper of being “liberal media.” Gives you an idea how far-right much of the Granite State still is.

For the record, none of what I did was any different than it would have been for any of the very liberal publishers I’ve also served. (OK, there was only one. The rest were center to right.) If I couldn’t maintain the standards of professional journalism, I’d leave. As I did in Yakima, when the regime changed.


For more on daily journalism, here’s my novel. Just click.


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