Letter to the editor flat out wrong about Senator Obama
When an editor or a reporter at the Daily News—or any newspaper for that matter—makes a mistake, the error is routinely corrected in a subsequent edition of the paper. That's how it works. That same striving for accuracy should equally apply to Letters to the Editor and any other content of the so-called "Opinion" page. If the newspaper prints something it knows to be false or misleading in a letter to the editor—something it should know in advance of the printing—the letter ought to be appended with a note saying so.
Such was not the case with a letter to the editor today that amounts to little more than hatemongering. In that letter, Frank M. VanApeldorn writes:
National chastening is taking place in America today for long-standing immoralities and because of the removal of almighty God's laws from the land. ... Today, Senator Obama, a born Muslim, may be God's instrument to bring this professed Christian nation to its just rewards for turning their back on God.
Senator Obama's membership of a church in Chicago, whose pastor is known to visit with Muslims in foreign countries that are haters of America, should open our eyes. Osama and Obama sound a lot alike to me. ... I believe our Lord Jesus Christ is warning us to wake up from our sleep before we are taken over by Islam.
Aside from the preposterous rhetoric of such lines as "Osama and Obama sound a lot alike to me," the author of this letter is fundamentally misinformed. Senator Barack Obama is not a Muslim. He has never been a Muslim. This issue has been covered extensively by media across the nation. You can read some of those articles as well as Senator Obama's statements on the issue at his campaign Web site.
The Daily News has made a serious mistake here by printing this letter without amending it with a clarification to situate this individual's commentary in the context of real events. Instead, the Daily News displays a hands-off policy that amounts to no less than the propagation of lies and misinformation.
Hate and misstate sound alot alike to me.