Thursday, September 16, 2004
Don’t State Opinions As Facts
I take strong exception to the question posed by Nick Patella of the Weekly in the Aug. 26 “Street Talk” column. Patella asks “Is it bad that John Kerry is a flipflopper?” Clearly, when he says “…is a flipflopper,” he is saying that it’s a fact and not an opinion. How questions are asked goes a long ways towards framing the answers.
Granted, Senator Kerry has a reputation as a “flipflopper,” born by the Republican campaign machine. The Republicans, and the Democrats to a far lesser extent, are really good at framing the debate, creating impressions about a variety of issues using key catch-phrases, repeating them over and over again until people believe the assertions to be true because they have heard it over and over again.
Journalists, even Patella in the small “Street Talk” column, have a responsibility to be fair and objective.
Imagine the fury of Republicans if questions were asked such as: “Why do you suppose George W. Bush was AWOL during his service in the Texas Air National Guard?” or “Why do you think George W. Bush is a liar?” Obviously, these questions are no fairer than the “flipflopper” question.
We need the media to provide objective information so that we can make a fair decision based on facts about the issues and Candidates. Please be careful and take the responsibility seriously.
Jeff Conley | Pacific Grove
The Article That Went Up a Dune and Came Down a Hill
Thank you for your article on the sand dune in Sand City [“Scribble Hill,” Sept 2-8]. I live in Seaside and love seeing what people have written each day. I’m surprised you didn’t mention the man who had his Pray for Peace sign up there each day for a month. But that was another story in itself.
May I suggest that the Monterey County Weekly sponsor a contest to name the dune (unofficially, of course)? Sure, it isn’t a mountain or even a hill, but it is a landmark for this area.
Your title, Scribble Hill, is cute, but doesn’t catch the full impact of the dune. For the people who leave their messages on the dune they are not just scribbles—they have meaning.
To start off the contest, may I suggest Rune Dune? Like runes, the writing has no significance to others, but has a point to the writer and ones who understand the meaning.
We’re All A Bunch Of Idiots—Except Me
We are a nation of dupes. How naive and ignorant can our electorate be to actually think that either Kerry or Bush offers any real choice, any substantial alternative to the dominant paradigm? Am I the only enlightened being in this phony “land of the free, home of the brave” that finds himself dumbfounded by all this macho militaristic posturing by the two main presidential candidates?
Meanwhile the multi-national corporate conglomerates and the crushing self-serving bureaucracy—both of which define the true authority in America—stand on the sidelines with the smug smiles of that cynical knowledge that the ring in the nose of the average American belongs to them.
Go ahead, all of you sheep, cast your meaningless votes in November. But just remember who is really running the show. You’ve sold your collective soul, America, for a few crumbs from the masters’ tables. You wouldn’t know what true liberty is if it bit you on your collective rear-ends.
Jeffrey Van Middlebrook | Pacific Grove