Dear Editor: While I must emphasize that I’m the last person on this planet to defend the leftist odium that passes these days as journalism, whether print or tube, broadcast or cable, “The Tone of the Political Debate Has Hit a New Low” in The Editor’s Space (June 24) causes me to do the unthinkable – defend a network “commentator.”
I must be missing something. I read no words in Scott Pelley’s quoted comment that assert anything other than an opinion. I share that hateful rhetoric can kill, or at least inspire to kill. Perhaps Pelley said more. But nothing, at least nothing in the quote given in print, condemns Pelley. The despicable words you attribute to him constitute your paraphrase. Did Pelley actually say “self-inflicted” or is this a matter of “reading between the lines?”
Similarly you only paraphrase the statement of Joy Ann Reid. MSNBC. Hmmm. Such a statement from such a source would be no surprise, but I for one would like to read or hear her very words. Did she actually utter words so contemptible and repulsive? Did she indeed speak the words “homophobe” and “racist” and “menace” in identifying the wounded Rep. Scalise? Did she actually verbalize the terms “armed insurrection” and “mob rule,” or is this again a matter of The Tablet reading between the lines?
Nothing spewing from the leftist media would surprise me, but in the interest of precision and avoiding any tinge of biased interpretation or “editorializing” as they so often do, let’s allow the commentators’ own words to condemn them. Just suggesting.
THOMAS G. STRACZYNSKI
Editor’s Note: We don’t think we mischaracterized either commentator’s remarks and we stand by our criticism of them.