Biased By Choice?
The Editors, were they to respond to this, no doubt would claim they were reflecting the voices in their community. To which, one must say, so what? Isn’t the obligation of a local newspaper, whose reach is now all but infinite, thanks to the Internet, to teach, to communicate through knowledge, to form community, and to raise the standard of discourse? Or are Letters to the Editor merely a public forum for unedited, uneducated gay-bashing?Â What are Letters to the Editor for?
MyCentralJersey.com, which is run by newspaper giants Gannet and USA Today, has been stacking the deck with outrageous letters against marriage equality that clearly are so far away from the voice of reason, not to mention the voice of any community in New Jersey, that one has to wonder why they are being published, why so many are being published, and who is making the decision to publish them?
In case you didn’t click on all those links, here are titles of a few choice Letters to the Editor against marriage equality that MyCentralJersey.com saw fit to print. (Sadly, you’ll have to pay to read the full letters, but these abstracts are enough to get the gist):
“Marriage definitions shouldn’t be abandoned.” (The entire letter reads, “Since their lover is not of the opposite sex, they cannot become husband and wife.”)
Get the picture? How many anti-marriage equality Letters to the Editor does MyCentralJersey.com feel the need to publish? Now, to be fair, they certainly publish Letters to the Editor in favor of marriage equality, but, to my eye, not in equal degree. And even if there were a one-to-one ratio, ignorance and hatred, ensconced under the headline of “opinion,” have no place in our local news, or our homes.
Take the most recent ignorant attack, today’s “Gay marriage not a civil right.” (When did we stop using verbs?) Author of the letter, Robert T. Heath, writes,
“Homosexuality is a form of same-sex relationships involving practices and behaviors that have always been understood as abnormal, unhealthy, immoral, and destructive to the fabric of any society. That fact is never going to change despite all the misinformation, lies, and deception propagated by its “advocates.”
“Who in their right mind would want our children to be taught and encouraged about homosexual lifestyles and behaviors when they are not even close to being sexually active? Yet this is already being presented in “educational” books and subtle media presentations to “indoctrinate” a way of thinking that will make homosexuality seem okay.”
As I’ve written numerous times now, Julian Bond, the Chairman of the NAACP, Coretta Scott King, Senator Nia Gill ALL agree that same sex marriage is a civil right. (Let’s not forget that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that marriage is a civil right.)
I believe in having one’s say, but it is everyone’s responsibility to hold reasoned, intelligent arguments – or spend some time with a book.
But my issue is not with Mr. Heath. No doubt the local readers of MyCentralJersey.com will roundly excoriate him, just as the readers of NJ.com did George Berkin. (Regular readers here will be pleased to learn that Mr. Berkin has not penned another piece for NJ.com since I wrote, “New Jersey: Just Say â€œYesâ€ To Gay Marriage, and â€œNoâ€ To George Berkin.”)
My issue is with the Editors of MyCentralJersey.com, who once again, for whatever undisclosed purpose, have chosen to publish among their pages, the ignorant ranting of an uninformed bigot.
A Letter to the Editor is not an Internet chat room. Every newspaper publisher has a responsibility to their community. It’s time the Editors of MyCentralJersey.com exercised that responsibility.
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‘I Will Not Stand by Silently’: Sotomayor Blasts SCOTUS Conservatives Over Their Latest Attack on Abortion Rights
“The Court may look the other way, but I cannot.”
Justice Sonia Sotomayor expressed outrage at her conservative Supreme Court colleagues Thursday afternoon, after the six right wing jurists went one step further in attacking the constitutional guarantee of abortion.
Voting 6-3 against a women’s health care provider the Court denied a request by Texas Women’s Health, which provides abortion services, to change jurisdictions, which according to Justice Sotomayor the Court should have done.
“The lawsuit is now stalled with the Texas Supreme Court,” Rewire News reports.
Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, a Supreme Court expert calls Sotomayor’s dissent “stunning.”
“This case is a disaster for the rule of law and a grave disservice to women in Texas, who have a right to control their own bodies,” Sotomayor writes. “I will not stand by silently as a State continues to nullify this constitutional guarantee. I dissent.”
She begins her dissent by explaining the case:
“It has been over four months since Texas Senate Bill 8 (S. B. 8) took effect. The law immediately devastated access to abortion care in Texas through a complicated private-bounty-hunter scheme that violates nearly 50 years of this Court’s precedents.”
“Today, for the fourth time, this Court declines to protect pregnant Texans from egregious violations of their constitutional rights. One month after directing that the petitioners’ suit could proceed in part, the Court countenances yet another violation of its own commands. Instead of stopping a Fifth Circuit panel from indulging Texas’ newest delay tactics, the Court allows the State yet again to extend the deprivation of the federal constitutional rights of its citizens through procedural manipulation. The Court may look the other way, but I cannot.”
In response the Guttmacher Institute, an organization focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights, accused the Supreme Court of “once again putting ideology over the rule of law.”
Image via Shutterstock
Ivanka Trump Responds to Committee’s Invite by Saying She Called for End to Violence – Leaves Out ‘Patriots’ Part
Ivanka Trump is responding to her invitation from the January 6 Committee by issuing a statement that is being seen suggesting she has no intention of accepting. Earlier Thursday the Committee sent the former First Daughter and White House senior advisor a lengthy 11-page letter asking for her voluntary cooperation.
A statement from her spokesperson given to CNN White House Correspondent Kate Bennett references a tweet posted by Ivanka Trump the day of the attack on the Capitol – a tweet she was forced to delete after massive outrage.
“As the Committee already knows, Ivanka did not speak at the January 6 rally,” the statement reads. “As she publicly stated at 3:15pm, ‘any security breach or disrespect to our law enforcement is unacceptable. The violence must stop immediately.”
NEW: @IvankaTrump's spokesperson tells me Ivanka "just learned" of the 1/6 Committee's invitation to appear before them, but from the response below, it sounds as though she isn't planning to do so: pic.twitter.com/VXpUXDnEuP
— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) January 20, 2022
But in the actual Ivanka Trump called the insurrectionists “American Patriots,” as CNN reported that day:
— CNN (@CNN) January 6, 2021
Georgia Prosecutor Asks to Convene Special Grand Jury to Investigate Donald Trump’s Alleged Election Interference
A Georgia county district attorney has requested to convene a special grand jury to assist in her investigation of Donald Trump‘s alleged election interference.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in a letter to the county’s Superior Court chief judge writes that her office “has received information indicating a reasonable probability that the State of Georgia’s administration of elections in 2020, including the State’s election of the President of the United States, was subject to possible criminal disruptions,” according to the Associated Press.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (photo) was forced to release audio of then-President Trump appearing to intimidate him into fixing the election in his favor.
Trump, in the audio, can be heard berating and threatening the Republican Secretary of State, demanding he “recalculate” the losing election results and “find 11,780 votes” for him, which would have enabled Trump to falsely be declared the winner. Raffensberger refused.
“So look. All I want to do is this,” Trump told Raffensberger. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”
“There’s no way I lost Georgia,” he added, falsely. “There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes.”
Willis told the AP the scope of her investigation “includes — but is not limited to — a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a November 2020 phone call between U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and Raffensperger, the abrupt resignation of the U.S. attorney in Atlanta on Jan. 4, 2021, and comments made during December 2020 Georgia legislative committee hearings on the election.”
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