The Red Star recently asked it’s readers (all five of them) what they believed should be changed about the Letters to the Editor section. Needless to say the submissions were interesting to say the least:
What makes the most sense to me would be to put the letters based on misconception in a special section, or not to publish them at all.
I often cringe when the Star Tribune publishes such letters, because I think it inevitably implies a stamp of approval to some extent of that underlying misconception. But I do think it is useful to know what people are thinking, thus my idea for a special section, despite the obvious difficulty for the Star Tribune to relegating such letters/readers to a “dunce section.”
If the Strib doesn’t have the heart/spine to do that, I feel not publishing would be best, and let those other opinions come out in readers’ commentary online.
Long live the Star Tribune! Thanks for all the good work.
JIM DUSTRUDE, MOUND
What Jim is really saying is, “Anybody who disagrees with me is obviously wrong and thus should be relegated to a special section or simply not published at all. Also I like to sodomize myself with retractable batons.” OK maybe he didn’t say that last part but he did say the first part.
Guess what asshole? Just because somebody disagrees with you doesn’t mean their opinion is based on misconceptions.
I think that the foremost consideration needs to be realization that publishing a letter lends credibility to the ideas expressed therein, simply because most people will assume that the Star Tribune would not publish nonsense. An immediate follow-up to that is that the Star Tribune only tarnishes its reputation by publishing nonsense, because a significant number of readers will recognize nonsense when they see it.
Publishing letters at random or even selecting representatives of all points of view just leads to a meaningless cacophony. I understand that the newspaper cannot referee every letter that comes in, but I think best effort should be made to filter out blatant nonsense.
I also understand that the purveyors of nonsense will accuse the Star Tribune of editorial bias. To those, I recommend that the Star respond that freedom of the press only applies to people who have presses.
DAVID PERLMAN, NEW HOPE
David is also suggesting that opinions that don’t agree with his beliefs shouldn’t be published. Hell he flat out says publishing a representation of all sides is a bad idea. Can you tell that the Red Star is read mostly by statist pricks who view themselves as being beyond the possibility of error? Thankfully not all is lost:
Isn’t it interesting that some people don’t think anything is worth printing if it doesn’t agree with their own views? I personally enjoy reading some of the more ridiculous (my perception) letters, as it gives me some sense of who else is out there — pretty scary sometimes, but necessary for one’s own survival strategies.
I do notice, however, that several contributors’ names pop up rather frequently. If there are so many submissions on a daily basis, surely these favored few could be put on the back burner for awhile in favor of others.
JEANNE TORMA, MINNEAPOLIS
Although Jeanne is basically saying, “I like to read letters from people who are wrong because it further cements my belief in being right.” at least she’s not for simply censoring everything she disagrees with.
Obviously the Red Star is free to do whatever it pleases, just as I’m free to do whatever I please on this site. But it’s comical to read letters from people who flat out state that they want letters that disagree with their believes to be thrown in the trash instead of published. Maybe the Red Star could hire these people and start a council to determine what letters should and shouldn’t be published. The paper could even give this council a catchy name like the Paper Soviet. They could even start witch hunts to weed out council members who aren’t “true” soviets.