Wally Wonders Why

No editor, no publisher, you get what you get

What is not surprising

gopter I just read an unsurprising letter to the Herald editors this morning.  It’s titled GOP using ‘terrorist’ label to win election and opens with this bold statement.

We should not be surprised that Barack Obama is being called a “terrorist” by John McCain, Sarah Palin and the Republican National Committee.

What is not surprising is finding this type of letter written to the Bellingham audience.

What is not surprising is that apparently fact checking is no longer required on opinion letters as I don’t think John McCain, nor his campaign has said that Sen. Obama is a terrorist.

What is not surprising is that the old rule of 30 days between published letters seems to be waived for letters that slam Republicans.  This letter dated Oct 20, previous letter Sept 24.

What is not surprising is that commenter opposition to the authors opinion is met with words such as this “I’d sooner shoot you, northpass, seriously. If I had the two of you lined up, and had to fire, it’d be at your head, not Ayers.”

What is not surprising is that I pushed the online Report Abuse button on the previous comment.

What is not surprising is that there is no button to report abuse on part of Bellingham Herald for printing this letter in the first place

What is not surprising is that the physical paper, in which this letter was also printed and distributed throughout the county, has no comment section attached and no paper version of an abuse button. 

What is not surprising is that the Herald is having a trouble making the jump to a responsible credible online forum.

What is surprising is how I recalled a blog post by opinion editor Scott Ayers, where he lamented the shortage of letters and remarked that he only received 3 that day and 2 of the 3 had problems.

One makes a bunch of factual claims about how Americans are using up the world’s resources and we are about to run out – statistics that I want to at least verify from a reliable source before I publish the letter.

A second letter makes a bunch of claims about Muslims that border on racism and demand at least a second look before publishing.

I am again unsurprised.  Unsurprised that this letter, published just prior to the election, containing a lie about Sen. McCain, just one lone claim, couldn’t be fact checked, nor given a second look before publishing. 

I am unsurprised by the left leaning bias in the Bellingham Herald, yet I am surprised at the blatantly poor judgement it took to approve this letter.

Updated: October 26, 2008 — 6:15 pm

1 Comment

  1. If you take a look see at both letter’s, the online and the physical paper, you will see that they are different. The online says, “We should not be surprised that Barack Obama is being called a “terrorist” by John McCain, Sarah Palin and the Republican National Committee.” The physical paper says, “We should not be surprised that Barack Obama is being called a “terrorist” by SUPPORTERS OF John McCain, Sarah Palin and the Republican National Committee.”

    It appears that the online version is missing a couple words.

    “What is not surprising is that apparently fact checking is no longer required on opinion letters.”

    Indeed.

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