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Home / Articles / Editorial / Letters /  Editor shouldn’t have felt obliged to answer Mudsock column
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Sunday, September 16,2012

Editor shouldn’t have felt obliged to answer Mudsock column

To the Editor:

Your (Editor Terry Smith's) bonus edition of "Wearing Thin" in response to Dennis Powell (The NEWS, Sept. 10) raises three questions about whether opinions are handled fairly in your paper.

First, why do your readers really need an extra partisan blurb after hearing the "other side"? If your Democratic readers – the vast majority of your readers in this Democratic town – are so smart, why do they need your training wheels to guide them safely by the silly and wild notions of a self-proclaimed full-time crackpot?

To be fair, I've recently become aware that the lead op-ed spot does indeed lead some of your readers to believe that the entry in this spot is an expression of the paper's views. I can't see it, but if so, why not just print a disclaimer instead? I think avoiding such follow-on commentary is a good thing.

Second, isn't such a disclaimer also better than creating the impression that you're breaking the tradition of grown-up journalism (as this non-journalist sees it) of letting commentators have their voice without having the party line read out immediately afterward? In my nearly 45 years of reading newspapers (my mom tells me I read newspaper headlines out loud over her shoulder when I was 4), I've never seen a comment like this after an op-ed by an editor. This raises the question in my mind: Do Democrats care more about keeping power than anything else, such as respect? I would like to think not.

Third, are you are working from a spiritual disability, namely spiritual blindness? How anyone could watch the DNC speakers go on and on about ensuring unlimited taxpayer-funded abortions for any reason and no reason at all (that's exactly what they mean by their euphemisms about reproductive freedom/justice), about strip-mining the wealth and well-being of our children, grandchildren and the like without recognizing these for the moral and spiritual disasters that they are, and then recoiling from them, I can't explain to myself except as coming from a spiritual blindness precipitated by a hardened heart. Mother Teresa, because she could see and her heart was not hard, spoke more truth in eight words than did all the speakers at the entire 2012 DNC convention: "If abortion is not wrong, nothing is wrong." 

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote more than 40 years ago of the "Big Myth" that became the "Big Lie," namely that Soviet Communism was working well and providing a good government and a good society. No discordant fact, event or statement occurring throughout the world was allowed to stand without immediate challenge from slavish newspapers Pravda (The Truth) and Isvestia (The News of the Soviet), which followed up with a lengthy restatement of the Big Lie. Regrettably, some American writers such as Walter Duranty, and some editors such as those of The New York Times, believed the Big Lie and persuaded millions of Americans to believe it too. Solzhenitsyn recognized the Big Lie for what it was – not a lack of information, but a decision to reject truths already known, due to a spiritual and moral blindness.

Who is your role model, Solzhenitsyn or Duranty? Time will tell.

Dean Bruckner


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"Slavish" is slavish (as I submitted it, not as edited by The News). I mean performed fawningly by a slave, not having to do with Slav peoples. The presence of Slavs in the Soviet Union is a coincidence.



Aw, darn. My editorial assistant, an OU student, made that change in the copy, and I missed it when I did a final edit. We do have a proof-reader -- that same editorial assistant!

Sorry about that. I'll change it online. I certainly knew what you meant.



Terry, thanks! I figured as much.

BTW, there is a musical group called "Slavic Soul Party" that I wouldn't have otherwise found (see Whether or not it is worth the trouble, I'll leave you and the readers to decide. Lots of horns, though. Musical ones, I mean.



The "Big Myth" in this country has been and continues to be lower taxes on the rich = JOBS, otherwise known as  Trickle Down Economics, but go ahead and vote for the guy who feels that his money is better in offshore accounts where he can avoid taxes legally according to the tax laws and condem those (47%) who pay no taxes legally according to those same laws.