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Monday, December 27, 2021

Lunacy is bad for your health.

A newspaper I worked for had a stringent rule:  Never print something that is not true as a fact.  That included quotations from news sources consulted.  If quoting a statement that is not documented and verifiable, a reporter was obligated to note if there was contending information and cite it.  And if an influential source made a false statement that was important enough to quote, the story had to point out its falsity and cite the corrective sources of information.  The rule was to never allow the newspaper to be the source of false or misleading information.

Letters to the editor received special handling in this regard.  Our editor, who was a part-owner of the paper, read every letter personally.  Letters which contained no problems would go directly to the editorial page editor for printing.  The editor would save the problematic ones and distribute them among the editors to resolve the problems,  which might range from atrocious grammar and incoherent writing to bad information.  An editor might simply return a letter to the writer explaining that it contained too many errors to qualify for publishing.  If a letter contained a valid viewpoint, the editor would try to work with the writer to correct any errors and make it presentable.  On frequent occasion, letter writers could not accept that an editor would find fault with their writing, and reject any editorial suggestions.  They often threatened to cancel their subscriptions if we did not accept their letters as is -- and did so.  

There are always people who hold disparaging attitudes against the media.  If the media does not conform to their biases, then it is termed deficient by those people.  The stupid always know more than anybody else, and experienced news people identify criticism based on error and prejudice.   They know the futility of trying to engage such people in informed, intelligent dialogue.  As a managing editor put it, let the idiots bounce off their own walls.

For some reason, the editor usually parceled out the problem letters on Friday afternoon.  That gave us the weekend to review the problems with the letters and anticipate some unpleasantness with a would be letter writer.  We had early morning editorial conferences to plan each day's edition, and we reported the status of the problematic letters so that the editors would all be informed.

I came across a letter to the editor this week that would have gotten any editor who let it get into print fired.  It violates every standard of integrity, intelligence, and coherence.  Here is the spectacle of some poor idiot bouncing off his own walls:

Today's story begins with the largest and most widespread deception perpetrated on mankind.

The dreaded flu -- ehr, COVID-19 had befallen us. We were told early that it was something new and we had better pay close attention to the Chicken Littles proclaiming we're in great peril. 

While there is a small segment of the populace that should take extra precautions, for the majority of us, this acorn falling from a tree does not spell doom. If it were the case as told by the sycophants in the media, bodies would be piling up in the streets. But the total number deaths in the U.S. is down from 2019.

"How can this be?" says Henny Penny.

The answer is simple. We've been lied to from Day One.

The incidents of COVID-19 deaths are reported to be high, while deaths from all other morbidities are almost nonexistent.

"That doesn't make any sense!" says Ducky Lucky. 

There is a huge increase in vaccine-related side effects and deaths since the roll out of the shot is tracked by the government, but that data is squelched.

The number of deaths associated with COVID-19 vaccines is greater than the number of deaths associated with all other vaccines combined since 1990.

The most current data:

  • 927,738 adverse effects.
  • 99,943 hospitalizations.
  • 3,148 miscarriages.
  • 31,652 permanent disabilities.
  • 19,532 deaths.

"That is shocking!" says Foxey Loxey.

        The sky isn't falling, at least not from this virus.

This unconscionable suppression of truth and amplification of lies by much of the media is the real threat to freedom. 

If you want the truth, open your eyes before all of your freedoms are lost. 

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both," said Benjamin Franklin. 

Fear no man, only the Lord. 

               Eric Dutenhoeffer, Gettysburg

The major problem is the inaccurate data this man cites.  I ran multiple computer searches for the data cited.  They turned up no published information that lists the statistics given in the letter.  The U.S. Center for Disease Control maintains a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). It has no statistics which match those cited in the letter.  Johns Hopkins University maintains a data resource on Covid. It has nothing comparable to what is cited in the letter.  The conclusion is that the writer has some "unique" source of information.

A rough search for information about the credibility of the letter writer revealed that he is a member of a church which published cartoons in its  bulletin that ridiculed wearing masks to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus.  That indicates  a mindset regarding Covid-19 in his community.

However, the citing of questionable data is not the only aspect of the letter that rings alarm bells about the mental acuity of its author.  His distorted, undocumented, and malevolent portrayals  of the national response to the coronavirus pandemic (unconscionable suppression of truth and amplification of lies by much of the media) reveals a mind possessed by unprovoked hatred.

The spurious parallel to the Henny Penny folktale with made up bits of dialogue may seem clever to the writer but adds an element of pointless incoherence for the reader.  It is further evidence of a disordered mind.

The statements about the lethality of the vaccine, however, reflect on the publishing paper.  While  the medical community and government officials are promoting vaccinations as the essential way to get control over the coronavirus, the newspaper published a letter that denied the pandemic and contended that the vaccines are unsafe.  In questioning how such a serious journalistic error could be made, I was told that the newspaper was seriously understaffed.  But that does not relieve the newspaper of the journalistic obligation to insure the truth and accuracy of information stated as facts whether it be in the news or opinion columns.

This is a case when believing something you read in a newspaper could get you killed.  And in most news organizations, some hapless editor fired.


Jerry K. Sweeney said...

The time will one day come, when historians emulate Edward Gibbon, and discuss the 'fall' of the United States. At which point, the decision by 2lst Century newspapers regarding the submission of Letters to the Editor will be scrutinized. Verily, the publication of missives that violate the injunction that a person may have their own opinions, but not their own facts, will be viewed as a contributing factor in that regard.


The stupid always know more than anybody else. WOW! So very insightful, Professor.

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States