Friday, February 25, 2011

The Ostrich: still lazy after all these years…

Just when the staff was getting a little sleepy here at the offices, The Ostrich woke us up with a flagrant (or should we say fragrant?) example of their editorial inclinations.  They reflexively buried their head on two published letter submissions.

Since a sandy beach is impossible to find this time of year, we’ll have to assume they found some other dark and foreboding place to bury it.

It’s been a good while since we referred to this ‘award winning’ publication as the NOTWIUN – Newspaper Of The WIllfully UNinformed.  And we had a momentary urge to create a new moniker for them – The Pink Lady – in keeping with their editorial and fiscal reverence for ‘The Old Gray Lady.’

It passed; the two letters in the Monday, February 21st edition cry out for the NOTWIUN label.  These letters simply could not be left unquestioned, and so this correspondent dashed off a letter to the editor of his own on Tuesday morning.

Surprisingly, we haven’t heard a peep (or whatever sound an Ostrich makes) from them in reply, so we’ll assume they have too many other worthy submissions to find space for ours.  Which leaves us no choice, dear readers, but to honor our full disclosure policy and run the letter here for your eyes only.  Here she be:

To the Editor:

Times Record editors have a well-established penchant for accepting on faith the unsubstantiated assertions of letter writers from the left. Yesterday’s edition proves the point twice over.

Dexter Kamilewicz claims “that the Defense budget makes up about 48 percent” of the federal budget. That claim is patently absurd, as anyone reasonably informed about federal spending would have known, and a few minutes worth of internet work would confirm.

The Kehoe-Ostensens state that AEGIS Destroyers are deployed around the globe, and claim they “have launched their guided missiles, killing indiscriminately on many occasions.” Completely lacking in corroboration, this is a cavalier and reckless assertion, and arrogantly disparages those in uniform. One might even say it is ‘indiscriminate.’

This writer is well aware that the editors and the publisher are more than ready to challenge submissions that run counter to their editorial bent. In the examples above, anyone who holds the title editor in a daily paper should have instinctively sensed problems, and at the very least, demanded supporting facts before publishing such clearly erroneous claims and invective.

The plain reality that you did not intuitively know the writers were wildly wrong and/or irresponsible is more than troubling. At the very least, it calls into question your editorial qualifications for writing and accepting opinion on national matters, and for judicious publication of syndicated columns.

To paraphrase Patrick Moynihan, “you are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts.” More importantly, the editorial lapses cited above could be construed as willfully misinforming the public, which is dereliction of your journalistic responsibility and a breach of ethical standards.

At least you won’t be willfully uninformed on this matter.  And you have your faithful watchdog to thank for that.

As always, we’re glad we could be of service in some small way.  Maybe tiny instead of small, but still ‘way.’

1 comment:

  1. It should be noted that the quality of the letters is indicative of the quality of the newspaper itself. In deference to the dying I did not ask for a refund and advised the paper I would just let my subscription lapse. I impatiently await the final obit.