Wednesday, January 11, 2006

When the newspaper prints lies

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, The Sun News published a letter to the editor that was simply riddled with falsehoods. It's not uncommon for the paper to publish letters that contain mis-statements of fact, but this one was a doozy. Whenever a letter writer criticizes some aspect of The Sun News, the editors frequently append their own italicized comment after the letter in which they correct the mis-statement, but otherwise, lies routinely appear without comment in the letters section. The Katrina letter was particularly egregious, but even before that, I had often wondered what the paper's policy is with respect to brazen lies in letters, or if it even has a policy.

I mean, I suspect I could write The Sun News a letter in which I say, "The liberals' hero, Madame Hillary Clinton, murdered Vince Foster with a knife so no wonder she supports murdering innocent babies!" and The Sun News would print my letter without comment. Or, at most, it would add an italicized corrective comment: "Vince Foster was killed with a gun."

So Monday when Atrios wrote,

When newspapers run utter horeshit in the "letters to the editor" section I can never figure out if they're really just that lazy/stupid or if they like the opportunity to print horseshit while distancing themselves from it.

I thought, yeah!

Monday night I read The Sun News and it had published the following letter, without comment:

In a typical news story written by Knight Ridder's liberal propagandist Steven Thomma, he mentions six Republicans and one Democrat as having received money from Jack Abramoff and who are planning to return it.

Here are just a few Mr. Thomma did not include as having received money from Abramoff: Sen. John Kerry D-Mass., $98,550; Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., $79,300; Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., $78,991; Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., $68,941, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., $29,550.

There was no mention of any of these stalwart Democrats offering to return any money received from Mr. Abramoff; he did mention that Dame Hillary is planning on returning the $12,950 she received from Abramoff.

Clyde J. Davis
Pawleys Island

Of course, Abramoff didn't give money to ANY Democrats.


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