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Letters to the editor

editor@vaildaily.com

Not one to participate in letter writing feuds, I couldn’t, this once, resist a response to Rich Olson’s amusing reaction of Jan. 22 to my letter regarding “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer” on PBS, which included a stab at the idea of media bias.

Even though I tried to detect irony in his letter, it seems that Mr. Olson was serious in his intent to paint me as a dupe of the political left. While doing so, he evidently missed my point completely.

The perception of political bias in the media is subjective. Though the idea of the “liberal media” is vociferously promulgated by the conservative talk shows as truth, their shear abundance and stridency belies liberal bias and even fuels the argument for its opposite. Certainly there is no dearth of the conservative viewpoint on the airwaves.

I will, though, take exception to being characterized as either “dishonest or not smart enough to realize that (I am) a political dupe.” This hearkens back to the rhetoric and intolerance of Joseph McCarthy.

I hold an independent political viewpoint, an amalgamation of the spectrum. My social values, among others, are tolerance, balance, diversity, equality and liberty, a few of the “liberal democratic principles” upon which our nation was founded. (Here, I am quoting political historians of past and current generations

who use the term liberal democracy to describe our political system.)

According to Galson, “A liberal democracy, rightly understood, denies the state plenipotentiary power and relies instead on the idea of political pluralism.” Furthermore, liberalism has been defined as “a political view that seeks to change the political, economic or social status quo to foster the development and well-being of the individual.”

That this term liberal has been perverted into a liberally used epithet by those intolerant of others’ views is unfortunate.

My point in the original letter was simply this: If you believe that the mainstream media is biased, then a balanced, intelligent alternative exists in the form of the “The News Hour.” If someone chooses to subject themselves to and support the infotainment outlets without availing themselves of the alternatives, then their cynicism is understandable.

This is not obfuscation, this is solution.

Lastly, I couldn’t help but be amused with the term “redneck Democrat” used to describe my views. This is a true contradiction in terms and one which I have to add to my ever-growing list of oxymorons, along with “conservative revolution” and “gated community.”

Dennis Jones

Vail

Burning at SUVs

Steven Zorichak drives an SUV! How do I know this? After reading his opinion on Monday, I came to this conclusion.

I drive one of those “weird dark-tinted, low-slung rice burners with shiny-tiny10-inch wheels” and drive around the roundabouts.

Do I cut people off? No. Do I use my signal? Yes. I haven’t had a moving violation in over 11 years. I am a great driver.

On the other hand there are a few that make things wrong. You probably drive your SUV in the right-hand lane on the highway at 60 mph. Is that safe? People need to know that these little “rice burners” are a lot lighter and quicker than your terrorist-sponsored, gas-consuming and outright large SUV.

Do not blame the police for enforcement, either. Have you even looked around at any of the roundabouts. Is there anywhere that a patrol car can sit and monitor the roundabouts for infractions? We could just pave over the flower beds and place a car there just for you, Steven. Like that? a

And to call a Realtor “a lady of the night” is just low. I wonder if your home was purchased through a hooker, like you stated, or maybe your sister gave the contractor a little something extra to get her duplex done on time.

The police have plenty to do and watching the roundabouts is the last on my list. Take your SUV and move on, or move out. One less SUV for me to deal with.

Wesley Pellettieri


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