from TOTHEEDITOR@INLANDER.COM & r & & r & Hillary Fatigue & r & & r & Excellent article about next year's election ("Hillary Fatigue," 11/29). Actually, I do know a few New Yorkers who are pro-Hillary but that's their problem, not mine. I agree with Mr. Herold's assessment about another four years of digging up the past and the country being so divided over who is in office.
Personally, my vote goes to Joe Biden, for he is very experienced and of the issues he speaks about, I can relate to his frame of reference. Unfortunately, the person who makes sense is not necessarily who gets elected (look who currently resides in the White House as proof). Obama would change the name of the political game for sure and could help change how negatively the world views our country. If Obama wins the nomination, I do hope that Joe Biden is his vice-presidential running partner. If it's Hillary, I might have to vote for Pat Paulsen (God rest his soul)!
Kidding aside, a thought-provoking article that makes sense. Kudos for publishing the truth!
More Hillary Fatigue
The crowd you polled ("Hillary Fatigue," 11/29), though varied and with good credentials, seems a narrow perspective. I would be considered a feminist and liberal (though I don't like assigning labels -- they are often limiting and uncreative), and at the sound of Dubya's voice on public radio news immediate waves of nausea come over me. I am considering voting for Hillary Clinton (though my heart may tilt me over to Obama), as are a number of other folk I've talked with. I am respectful of Hillary Clinton's intelligence. She knows how to maneuver in the good ol' boy system and we Democrats could really use someone skilled in that arena. I would like to see a woman in the White House, though that would definitely not be the main reason I'd vote for a candidate. I'd be glad to see a person of color in there as well.
What I am suffering from is not Hillary fatigue but a severe case of campaign fatigue. I'd like to see regulations limiting campaigns to starting no earlier than three months before elections with free, equal and limited time on TV and radio.
The Opaque Newsroom
This fall the Spokesman-Review hired an ombudsman: somebody responsible for investigating and resolving complaints against the newspaper itself. Steve Blewett, retired EWU journalism professor, was that ombudsman. He was fired after only three columns.
The reason given by editor Steve Smith in the blog is that Blewett "never talked to the people responsible" for the journalistic mistakes he alleged. (The print edition of the newspaper has been studiously silent about Blewett's firing.)
The chafing point was Blewett's criticism of the paper for syndicating Richard Davis, whose column runs weekly there. Davis, of the Association of Washington Business, enjoys highly questionable carte blanche to promote his special interests.
Nearly two months have elapsed, and still no new ombudsman. What professional in his or her right mind would serve after Blewett was fired, at his editor's whim, for doing his job?
An answer to this question is implicit in the relationship the paper established with the previous ombudsman. In an unethical conflict of interest, Gordon Jackson, Blewett's predecessor, had swung a book deal with Cowles Publishing. That book was Watchdogs, Blogs and Wild Hogs: A Collection of Quotations on Media. The watchdog reference in his title, then, becomes unintentionally ironic.
An ombudsman is not supposed to be fired at the whim of the editor. That is the whole point: One person on the staff should have the equivalent of academic tenure, should be available for criticism without being fired. Otherwise the editor remains insulated to the fact that there are people who disagree.
Blewett's criticism of a highly partisan columnist is exactly the kind of work an ombudsman should be doing. It was Blewett's job to question why the S-R clears away a space specifically for a spokesman for business.
Blewett was criticizing something that, on the face of it, did not look right. He didn't need to call sources for responses. The S-R editorial writers criticize actions of all sorts of people on the same premise -- judging solely from the facts made public.
Blogs represent a brave new world of journalism, but in the case of the S-R blog, where Smith had to 'fess up to firing Blewett, that blog has ground rules that seem to shift at whim. Anger thin-skinned Smith in person or in the blog, and you're apt to be blackballed, even though with impunity Smith may malign respected journalists like Tom Grant, Larry Shook, Tim Connor, and Dave Demers -- basically anyone who crosses him.
That's a double standard that quickly contradicts the ballyhooed accountability said to govern the Spokesman-Review.
I couldn't resist responding to Paul Haeder's guest editorial on "Green Fear" (11/29). I understand his outrage at a "vandal" being treated like a terrorist. I don't agree with his defense of Jonathan Paul's actions. Violence and vandalism is, at best, a short-lived outburst of emotion and will never effect real change. His "bragging" about chopping down billboards in and around Phoenix is the perfect example. Have you seen Phoenix lately? It's a developer's dream come true!
Vandalism to equipment and factories only breeds resentment to those perpetrating the acts.
If you want real change, get involved, get an education, run for office. Use your brain to get the terrorist laws repealed or changed. Hire lawyers who believe the same way you do and take it to the Supreme Court! Don't tear apart other people's hard work like some spoiled child who didn't get their way. Respect is a two-way street -- give it to get it.
The Horse Savior
Thank you for the commentary "Green Fear" (11/29), by Paul Haeder. I listened to a radio interview with Jonathan Paul the day before he was imprisoned. I had read about him in the past and had already come to the conclusion that he is a kind and compassionate person.
The dictionary defines terrorism as the use of force to intimidate, terrify, or make submit. While our courts and our government have called Jonathan Paul a terrorist, the real terrorists were those who were profiting from killing 500 horses a week and filling the river with blood.
How many of us really could just plug our ears if we heard "waves of equine screams emanating from the slaughterhouse"? Jonathan Paul couldn't. He took action and saved thousands of horses from future terrorism and slaughter. I find it impossible to blame him. He deserves to be pardoned.