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Letters to the Editor 11/27

November 24, 2000

Letters to the Editor 11/27



Conservative doesn't buy editors' accounts of how they do their jobs



To the editor:

Just a few thoughts arising from liberal editor Linda Duffield's article of Nov. 5 "Our editors work to stay impartial."

First is the amazing revelation that "newspaper editors have opinions."

Wow, how refreshing! Of course the issue isn't whether or not they are opinionated, we know they are. The issue is how those opinions are managed so as not to be reflected in their work and a measure of objectivity preserved.

Duffield would have us believe that "In The Herald-Mail newsroom, editors are conservatives (wink, wink), liberals, moderates, and one guy is leaning toward Libertarianism."

Conservatives-plural? I find that hard to believe, but can be persuaded. Conservative editors are a rare breed and to have more than one in the Herald-Mail newsroom seems highly unlikely. I'd like to talk with one just to see what he/she thinks it is to be conservative. Please, one of you conservative editors, give me a call. I'm in the phone book.

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Someone help me to understand why Duffield thought it was important to impartiality and objectivity for us to know that her editors "have different tastes in movies?"

Is it because in the movies people pretend to be other people just like liberal journalists pretend to be conservative, impartial and objective? Well, if so, just like in the movies we know all you are doing is pretending.

Duffield goes on to remind us that editors with opinions "edit local news stories...select wire service stories...place stories on pages and decide what will be held for another day" or never see the light of day.

Conservatives take note! Liberals writing and editing all local news...no conservative balance. Liberals selecting a few from all available wire stories...no conservative balance. Liberals deciding where to place stories on pages - (consider Sunday Oct. 29 on page F-5. Right above Maginnis' article stating that they don't endorse national campaigns is a not-so-subtle endorsement of Gore through a cartoon slam at Bush, Nader and the Green party.

While it may be true that they do not formally endorse candidates, the wire stories etc. they select and where they place them on the page amounts to an implicit endorsement and Gore didn't pay a penny for it.

On the same page is the Herald-Mail token endorsement of Roscoe Bartlett and the HM's real opinion of him in a Tim Rowland column.) and no conservative balance and it didn't cost Bartlett'sm opponent a penny.

Duffield is so bold as to suggest that the Herald-mailo has been accused of being too conservative Prove it, Ms. Duffield. Show us just one instance of such a thing happening. Show us just one letter in which you were accused of being too conservative. I want to talk with the writer.

She goes on to tell us that the editors she works with "would rather bite off their own thumbs than let their biases make it into the paper." I would simply ask her to let me see her hands (I happen to know some people who have and continue to work with her) and ask her to tell me how many of the editors she works with are thumbless.

I was amazed in the remainder of the column to find that several of the other liberal editors emphasized that they protect fairness on issues and candidates by "dividing space as fairly as possible (England). By giving "equal space" "or "counting the number of paragraphs" or "counting the number of lines" as a way of assessing whether or not a story is balanced (Rhodes).

But balance is not found by counting the number of words used by each side but by what the words say. When an editor wants to inject his/her bias into a story all he has to do is "edit" what is said and how it is said They use the liberal paragraphs to make the liberal issue look as good as possible and the conservative paragraphs to make the conservative look as bad as possible. You all do that right often.

Another interesting editor comment was from Chris Fordney. He suggests that sometimes he cannot be fair to both sides of an issue because one candidate will make "more important news" than the other." Mr. Fordney what is the measure of "important news?" How does one objectively determine that something is more important news than something else?

Does the managing editor make that objective decision? And if so how does she make it?

Edward L. James

Hancock, Md.




It's been an honor to help a person like Bea Gaddy



To the editor:

Since 1997, the State Use Industries meat plant has worked diligently with the relentless efforts of Bea Gaddy, who is from Baltimore, Md., and known throughout the state as one of the most compassionate human beings, fighting on behalf of the homeless and those who have fallen on hard times.

This year on Nov. 1, despite the brisk winds and chill, nothing could dampen the spirits of those awaiting the arrival of the dependable Shady Brooks' tractor trailer, which delivers the turkeys that so many have come to depend on.

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