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from [email protected] & r & & r & Correction Corner & r & & r & Paul Lindholdt's letter regarding the firing of Spokesman-Review ombudsman Steve Blewett was in error on a very key point. Blewett was dismissed because of a disagreement over basic journalistic standards, not because he was critical of the newspaper.





I was involved in the conversations leading to Blewett's dismissal, which began with a false implication he made in an Oct. 7 column about our Faith and Values page (which appears in the Today section on Saturdays).





In criticizing what he saw as a lack of diversity among the religion columns, Blewett wrote: "Why not allow Buddhists, Muslims, LDS representatives, Catholics and others to have the opportunity to speak on issues of faith and values?"





In fact, we do allow, and encourage, people of all faiths (and non-faiths) to contribute. In his column, Blewett failed to mention that in addition to two Christian columnists (one mainline, the other evangelical) and one humanist, we have a rotating guest column that is open to anyone in the community.





Despite insisting that he had interviewed "several staff members" for the column, Blewett had made no effort to contact either myself or the editor who directly handles the religion columns. In an e-mail exchange, he acknowledged the error, which he attributed to a poor choice of words, rather than a lack of reporting.





The Richard Davis column was an issue only in that Blewett had similarly chosen not to contact any of the editors involved.





In subsequent e-mails, Blewett said he was under no obligation to talk to the people directly involved with the issues he writes about. Editor Steve Smith insisted that an ombudsman should perform this basic research. It was disagreement over this standard that led Smith to terminate his agreement with Blewett.





All of this is well documented on the S-R's News is a Conversation blog, beginning with a post by Smith on Oct. 8.





Ken Paulman


Features Editor,


The Spokesman-Review


Spokane, Wash.





Leap of Faith


Often, what we do not understand, we mock. Mike Corrigan is not the first -- nor the last -- to take on the age-old practice of bashing Christians ("The Original American Idol," 12/13). Aw, shucks Mike. I forgive ya. Your sorry-ass attitude towards Christianity doesn't infuriate or even surprise me. I bleed pity for you. As I said earlier, you are, sadly, too simple-minded to understand Christ's concepts of unconditional love.


Now I'm not saying every Christian deserves respect. I will be the first to hop on the bandwagon of "He said he was a Christian and yet he hurt me..." (lied to me, cheated on me -- fill in your own tragedy here). Christians have historically committed social suicide for acts done in the name of God.





Mike, the fatal flaw in your article about Evel Knievel -- an article that was profoundly well written -- is that the entire ball of yarn came unraveled once you accused Knievel of making a personal life choice, a judgment that is not yours to make. Every witty remark, every thoughtful observation on the life of this legend, is caught in the middle of your "but sandwich": "I admired Knievel, but he was a Christian, so he was a fake."





Too bad. You really are a great writer. Your soul, however... well, that seems to be at the bottom of the river tied to a concrete anchor. Why don't you try to keep your personal opinions about Christianity (or any other faith, although I don't think you have the balls to have said this had Knievel converted to Islam or Judaism -- we Christians are easy targets) out of your writing and to yourself. Your own battles with faith do not belong in an article about a man who is much better than you for at least having the gonads -- literally and figuratively -- to take a leap of faith.





Michael Elaine Alegria


Spokane, Wash.





Ron Paul the Mercenary?


Representative Ron Paul, now a favorite of the ignorant. He says what is considered "right" for America, but what about the man who championed the end of the draft through HR 1812 with a vote in the House of 232 to 187? Politically, this was deemed acceptable in deference to Vietnam -- instead it crippled America and opened the door for "private" security [like] Blackwater.





Now the President could use the military at will, [for] a war anywhere. Not even Congress was concerned, and most abrogated their responsibilities of "declaring war," thus transferring it to the President. When Ron Paul returned to Congress, Blackwater's founder was a notable donor to his campaign -- belated thanks? Now, Blackwater is opening training camps in different parts of the U.S. The Defense Authorization Bill is rumored to contain a martial law clause -- "private" security?





Conscription: out. Volunteerism (mercenaries): in. What a transformation!





Edward Thomas, Jr.


Spokane, Wash.

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