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Wednesday, 06 February 2008 00:00

Letter writers take me to task twice in one week

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Fair’s fair, so I’ll print an anonymous letter I received over the weekend. We usually don’t print anonymous submissions, but this one raises important issues. Don’t stop reading before the last paragraph.

Mr. McLeod,

In your editorial, “Tis The Season of Politics and Lies” (Jan. 30 Smoky Mountain News), you quoted the Charlotte Observer at length. Then after the quote you wrote, “A truth worth telling in the days after Bush’s last State of the Union.” I assume this indicates you agree with the quote.

In the excerpt, The Center for Public Integrity is referred to as “nonpartisan,” in the Charlotte Observer writer’s words. If this statement was intended as a joke, it wasn’t funny.

Even a partial list of organizations that fund the CPI reads like a who’s who of leftist favorites: The Open Society Institute (George Soros), The Ford Foundation, The Carnegie Corporation of New York, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, The Arca Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, The Scherman Foundation, The Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, etc. I could go on for a few more pages.

Because the Center for Public Integrity (and anyone else who cares to do a little simple investigating) knows how its bread gets buttered, it cannot possibly be considered nonpartisan by any reasonable and clear-thinking person. Rather, it has an immense financial incentive to produce studies exactly like the one quoted in your column.

If you still believe in the “lies” of the Bush Administration, I won’t bother trying to persuade you to abandon what is clearly an article of faith. I would, however, be able to take you a little more seriously if you (or The Center for Public Integrity) would devote as much time and energy to publishing the fact that prior to March 2003 there was not a single country whose intelligence agency doubted that Saddam was in the process of developing weapons of mass destruction or that he already possessed them. Apparently, they all lied as well.

Likewise, many of the most prominent members of the Democratic Party were unanimously confident in that assessment. From John Kerry to Hillary Clinton, from Al Gore to John Edwards, examples of their pre-war pronouncements regarding this are abundant and well-documented. Apparently, they all lied as well.

To refer to the CPI as nonpartisan indicates a willingness to openly and boldly lie or a willing ignorance of the facts. For a newspaper editor, I’m not sure which is worse.

Because of my position as a local public official who is occasionally interviewed by your paper, it would be inadvisable for me to sign this letter or otherwise identify myself.

•••

Here’s an excerpt from another letter, this one not anonymous and printed on page 14. It wins the award for the best line in this week’s paper.

“My opinion of you (Mr. McLeod) is that you are a led-by-the-nose liberal who obviously is un-traveled, a know nothing who has done nothing worthwhile in your miserable life.”

Ouch.

(Scott McLeod can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

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