Letter to the editor: Newspapers should be for everyone
Most news outlets like to believe that they're objective, fair and impartial; yet very few are. Because of the worldview held by a majority of journalists, they're often unaware of their own bias. I recently submitted a letter to both the F.F. Daily Journal and the EOT Focus; the Journal ran the letter in its entirety, but the Focus decided to edit it, citing three reasons.
1) You must use your own words, quotes from others are not allowed.
In other words you can make an accusation, but you're not allowed to provide the evidence which validates your claim.
2) The quote from NEA contained an offensive term.
Rather than removing the entire quote, simply replace the word with an "expletive."
3) The letter was too long.
Last year I was given the same spiel, only to find a pro-levy letter in the same edition that was 2.5 times the length of mine. Submissions which embrace the view of the Focus, seem to get as much space as needed. The edited version had 2 glaring and vital omissions, information which exposed levy-proponents agenda, tactics and goal.
Omission #1 "Retired NEA General Council Bob Chanin: "Why is the NEA an effective advocate? "It is not because of creative ideas, it is not because of the merit of our position, it is not because we care about children, it's not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child. NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power and we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues each year." Chanin added, "Why are these conservatives and right wing (expletive) picking on NEA and its affiliates? It is the price we pay for success. NEA and its affiliates have been singled out because they are the most effective unions in the United States and they are the nation's leading advocates for public education and for the type of liberal social and economic agenda that these groups find unacceptable."
The quote reveals public indoctrinators liberal agenda and substantiates my claim; removing it makes it appear as if I was simply giving my opinion, rather than conveying a fact. (must see video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqn1rvv7Fis
Omission #2 "Their goal is to get a 50.1 percent majority in order to force the 49.9 percent minority to help fund their institutionalized liberal indoctrination; even if that requires stealing signs, limiting polling places, brain-washing students, or degrading anyone who opposes them."
Removing this statement conceals their unethical tactics and totalitarian goal.
Further demonstrating their dictatorial objective, the superintendent noted: "next year is a presidential election and referendums typically do not fair well" implying a desire for a low turnout in hopes of sneaking this levy through. Receiving less than 40 percent of the vote during an off year election indicates the percentage of those who oppose the levy is even higher than the numbers suggest.
In the last four years we've seen several pro-levy articles in the Focus with opinions from superintendents, board members, principals, teachers, and newspaper staff. If space is really an issue, I suggest cutting back on the space given to the minority and giving it to the 60-70 percent majority who oppose the levy. The faculty and the business community may control the school board, but they should not control the press.
"NEWS is that which comes from the North, East, West and South, and if it comes from only one point of the compass, then it is a class publication and not news." Benjamin Disraeli - British P.M.