While the StarNews Editorial Board’s passion in defending the media and your place in it is admirable, I believe you underestimate the crisis at hand.

Since well before this nation was founded, there has been a left and a right, liberals and conservatives. (Early on here it was the Whigs and the Tories.) Poll after poll for more than a generation has shown that a strong majority of the press and TV media identify as liberal. That’s not surprising, since many in the media get in it to right wrongs and defend the “little guy.” (“Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,” as a fictional editor so aptly wrote.)

This heart-level lean to the left in the reporting and editing ranks helps determine not only what is covered, but how it’s covered -- even if just subconsciously.

So with North Carolina’s bathroom bill, for instance, those who fought it were presented as heroes and those who were for it generally cast as villains.

Many of the police shootings that have roiled the nation immediately saw the blame cast on the police in an attempt to prove how racist the police and the nation are: “He was holding a book” in Charlotte or “Hands up, don’t shoot” in Ferguson not only turned out to be totally wrong, but also led to riots, titanic damage and even death.

The coverage of the violence in Charlottesville, Va., a year ago largely blamed the racists, when there were two attention-seeking sides prepped, armed and hungry for a nationally watched battle. Antifa largely got a pass from the media until recently. Issue after issue is presented through this lens, from pipelines to monuments.

Those on the right, for decades, have watched their so-called traditional values and faith-based views go from being largely unrepresented in the big media to being mocked and vilified. Thus begat Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, both clear warning shots across the bow of the industry, both ignored.

In an open attempt to derail the Trump candidacy, the national media unwittingly gave him billions in free advertising. In mocking his supporters as racists and homophobes, it gave him the election.

(I knew and warned that the constant bashing of the Trump piñata would shower us with his victory. And now, the national media is swinging harder than ever.)

All one has to do is see how the media is viewed from the left and the right.

You would think the leading minds of the Fourth Estate would be concerned that there are two sides in this nation, and one almost completely distrusts them.

As was stated in the Aug. 16 StarNews editorial, “Mr. President, stop the attacks on the press,” social media has completely changed the game. Not only does the traditional media have to scramble for relevance and revenue, it has watched its credibility suffer a thousand tiny cuts, such as columns and op-ed pieces shared on social media appearing as news pieces from the Washington Post and New York Times, for example.

Meanwhile, braking and filtering from grownup news editors enforcing solid, careful and balanced reporting have been on the wane since the Drudge Report beat the press to the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. This race for first has had some disastrous results.

We are now in the perilous position of having battling news outlets offering viewpoint journalism, with no common river of trusted information that both sides can fish from. That is why Trump’s “fake news” epithet has resonated.

How the press and TV media can regain its reputation as objective and fair is the question everyone in the business should be asking in the wake of Trump’s attacks.

As a reporter and columnist (now largely retired) for more than 30 years, I’ve watched and lamented this slow fade of our industry: from being the author of the first draft of history and the prime watchdog for freedom and justice (our first superhero was a reporter) to being a focal point -- and often a villain -- in our increasingly dangerous culture wars.

This I know: balance is what we desperately need. Too much liberalism is just as dangerous as too much conservatism, as many cities and nations have found out. We need both to keep this nation from completely spinning out of orbit.

Every story and headline that is written, filmed and edited should seek that middle, that balance, if we want to keep our free press free and help cool off this powder-keg nation.

Wilmington resident Mark Holmberg was a finalist for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize in Commentary for “his thought provoking, strongly reported columns on a broad range of topics” in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.