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Readers want another view

April 24, 2003|by BOB MAGINNIS

On April 16, I asked readers to tell me if they were tired of syndicated columnist Charley Reese, who has been an outspoken opponent of the war against Iraq.

More than 100 readers responded and while a number of them said it was time for Reese to go, many others said that while they sometimes disagreed with his message, they felt it was valuable to hear opposing points of view.

Unfortunately, when I made my request for comment, I didn't ask readers to agree to allow us to publish their views with names attached. Some have since contacted me to say that they wanted to express their opinion, but not by name.

And so, because I failed to ask permission in advance, I'm reproducing a number of them here today without signatures. Readers will have to trust me that these are indeed real comments from real people. We may be able to make space available later for more of them, but what appears today is a representative sample - pro and con - on Charley Reese.

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A number of readers have expressed the view that Reese is anti-Semitic. He is certainly anti-Israel, but when I asked the Herald-Mail Editorial Page Advisory Group to look at that issue, they found no anti-Semitism.

Does this mean that we'll keep Reese? Any columnist that stirs this much discussion must contribute something of value to this page. We urge those readers who disagree to become a part of the debate, to write letters and tell us where you feel he's gone wrong. We believe as Thomas Jefferson did, that allowing the free exchange of ideas will lead the public to the truth.




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