In his Dec. 22 letter to The Independent, Mr. Roder Russo stated that [The Independent] has something called "typical (documented) liberal bias." Documented, no less. By whom, Mr. Russo? Where's the documentation that this paper, or any in the Lafayette area, has a liberal bias? I for one haven't perceived such.

It is so easy to string a few words together in order to repeat a very hackneyed expression with little or no real meaning. This phrase, as he used it, is meant to convey something bad, undesirable. The word "liberal" actually is quite a nice word. Among its several meanings are: favoring progress or reform; not intolerant or prejudiced; broad-minded. If our founding fathers had not been liberals, we still might well be subjects of the Queen.

Now "bias," that is not such a nice word. Among its meanings is prejudice. We may have a genuine oxymoron when we put those two words together ' liberal bias. One means unprejudiced; the other means prejudice.

Mr. Russo voiced his hope that The Independent would become "fair and balanced." I wonder if, in his view, a publication that supports only the ultra-conservative ideology is in fact biased? I would definitely think so; I doubt that he would. He may well consider it "fair." It may all be in the eye of the beholder.

In my view, talk radio, Fox News, newspaper columns by Mona Charon, William F. Buckley, and Bill Safire are all leaning to the political right. However, I do not see many writers or listeners complaining about this. Liberals, I guess, are just more tolerant and realize that there are differences of opinion and that they have a right to be heard. My suggestion to The Independent: keep right on doing what you are doing.

Hey, why not start running Molly Ivins' column? The other weekly just dropped her for the second time ' probably due to pressure from the ultra-conservatives.

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