Letters to the Editor 4

Ignoring or ignorant?

Dear Editor,

I haven’t written in quite some time because I decided to respond to letters only if they contain obvious misinformation or easily refutable lies.

The ever-reliable William Slusher met these conditions in his letter of June 18 in which he inveigles against the near-certain confirmation of Judge Sotomayor to the Supreme Court by bringing up her admittedly ill-chosen remark about ‘a wise Latina woman’ and then parroting any number of right-wing pundits to the effect that “if only this had been said by a white man, the pits of Hell would have opened for him.” (My interpretation.)

While I may question his judgment, he had so far said nothing that is false, since it is only a matter of his repeating others’ opinions. Unfortunately, he then ran over the veracity cliff by stating, “FOX ran the story, the rest of the media ignored it.”

I can personally attest that this story ran on all three national network news broadcasts; ABC, CBS and NBC. It was featured on MSNBC and CNN. It was covered in the Seattle Times, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, and the Wall Street Journal. The controversy received full attention in Time and Newsweek magazines.

This is ‘ignoring’ on a grand scale indeed. I dislike ending this letter on speculation rather than facts, but is it possible that Slusher got this so completely wrong because his only source of national information is FOX ‘News’?

Thank you,

John F. Connot


Whiney white guys

Dear Editor,

Bill Slusher’s latest letter “Hypocrisy” offers yet another look at how the “whiney white guy” seems to be emerging as pretty much all that’s left of the Republican Party in America. Not lost on me (or the rest of the mainstream media apparently) is the fact that conservative Bush appointee Sam Alito made almost exactly the same comments as Mrs. Sotomayor when he was addressing congress during his confirmation hearings. A couple of his quotes, when answering questions on how he makes decisions: “When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination… and I do take that into account”. He also went on to explain how his background and experiences “have shaped me and brought me to this point”.

It’s amusing that Mr. Slusher mentions that only Fox went with the story on Sotomayor’s supposedly racist comments (not true), and that the rest of the media ignored them. I watch CNN, CNBC, and Fox. Fox definitely made a bigger deal about the story, but then again, the other news networks also pointed out that Sotomayor’s comments mirrored Alito’s (And similar comments made by Clarence Thomas), and therefore downplayed them as a non-issue. (Fox never bothered to mention Alito’s comments). To me it’s a clear example of why it’s so important to get your information from multiple sources, and to have a good grasp of context.

Bill mentions hypocrisy, but I honestly think irony is the order of the day. Irony in that Mr. Slusher would not be able to grasp how a person’s background will always have an effect on their outlook in life (His included). Irony in that a white guy is obviously upset over a silly non-issue like Sotomayer’s comments (taken out of context), but not in the fact that 108 of the 112 Supreme Court justices up until now have been white men. Irony in that a white guy mentions his concerns about a Latina’s potential biases, but probably never considered that in 1896 an all white male Supreme Court endorsed segregation in clear violation of the 14th amendment. (A decision that stood for 58 years until it was overturned).

Frankly, I think it’s pretty obvious that having judges with physical and emotional backgrounds different from Ivy League white guys might be good for all of us.

Greg James