Knowing zip-o-rooski about the newspaper biz, I’ve always assumed that standard editorial policy disallowed printing unsubstantiated criminal accusations. But recent letters in the Northern Virginia Daily have either directly or indirectly accused Virginia Sixth District Representative Ben Cline of:
1. Violating his oath of office,
3. Insurrection, and
Serious crimes all, with jail terms to match. And pretty heady criminal accusations for an “opinion page.”
Now, I care little what fevered nonsense people write in haste and anger. I expect some levels of foolishness, fury, ignorance and hate, mixed in with the occasional light of reason. But editorially, is the solution to simply merge the roles of the opinion page and the police blotter?
If I may suggest: 1. Reserve the police blotter and news pages for official publication of crimes, indictments and court/trial status; 2. Reserve the opinion page for ... well, for opinion; and 3. Urge readers to report suspected crimes to police or the FBI.
OK, I guess I’m in for it now (“Where’s the link?!” “What about those other guys?” “That’s not what CNN said!”) I don’t mind. Actually, I take some comfort knowing that others know at least as much or more zip-o-rooski as I.
David Christovich, Woodstock