Thursday, August 19, 2004

Ode To His Own Boss

Dear Editor;

Today (Feb. 23), the Post Star ran a piece on its publisher, James Marshall. In it, Ken Tingley notes his boss’ rise to power by revealing that Marshall was the son of a guy who owned a paper. In all fairness, his other qualifications include stuffing newspaper inserts, selling advertising and writing obituaries. When Marshall took over, the Post Star crushed its union to increase profits. Tingley refers to this time as “uncomfortable” and relates how the newspaper was dealing with a “legion of labor issues”. Wow, that’s really vital news that is in no way shameless revisionist self-promotion! Thanks so much! Just what I’ve come to expect from the Post Star.

Back in reality, the centrist, corporate-sponsored democrats have all but selected their candidate, a white, male, ruling class, Ivy-league, frat boy (John Kerry). They want us to jump on board to defeat George W. Bush, the Republicans’ white, male, ruling class, Ivy-League, frat boy.

You would think the American public and the Post Star’s readership might be interested to know if they had any real choices in 2004 (instead of the usual “lesser of two evils” choice). You would think they might be interested in a candidate who wants to repeal NAFTA, shut down corporate loopholes, go after polluters, establish clean elections, get us all health care, repeal the Patriot Act, encourage job growth, fully fund education and end oil supremacy and the nuclear race, wouldn’t you?

Ralph Nader announced on Sunday that he will be making an independent run for president. His candidacy offers Americans a real choice. He is brilliant and straightforward and recognizes that the two major parties are self-serving and virtually identical. His announcement ensures that one candidate representing our best interests will be at the debates.

Is this newsworthy, an actual human being running for president? The Post Star gave “Ode to My Own Boss” 24 column inches and a full color picture on the front page of the local section. Ralph Nader’s announcement was less than three column inches in the Morning Briefing on Page A2. That’s setting your priorities straight, corporate media! If it was your job to make bad editorial decisions and ignore or bury any real news and show preference for fluffy little stories that are completely irrelevant to the bulk of your readership, I’d certainly have to give you 10 out of 10! Great work!

Matt Funiciello

Thursday, August 05, 2004

A Mercenary's Corpse is Worth a Thousand Words

Dear Editor,

A picture says a lot, especially when it is a picture of the charred, hanging body of an American mercenary. Almost 600 American soldiers and somewhere around 10,000 Iraqi civilians are dead (countless thousands of Iraqi military conscripts were also slaughtered but our government will never tell us how many). The Post Star hasn’t printed a single picture of a dead body in relation to this war in an entire year. Not one! You have been “sheltering” us from the awful truth. Why this sudden change of policy?

We are all adversely affected when we see a picture like this. Most of us care about living things and this evidence of what we are capable of doing in our darkest moments is truly awful. What humans have done throughout history in the name of freedom, defense, tyranny, religion, honor (or oil, as in this case) is truly awful. But, it’s not the picture that gives me pause. It’s the letters people wrote complaining that it was inappropriate, disturbing and tasteless. Nonsense. War photos should be on the front page of the paper every single day.

If unthinking people wish to cheer on wars of empire and glorify the murder of innocents and mercenaries alike, they should, at the very least, be forced to see the end result of their ignorance on a daily basis. Unlike the soldiers and civilians they have plunged into Hell with their complicity and cheerleading, the American newspaper reader can simply turn the page. Trying to bully your local paper into self-censorship is a supreme act of cowardice and is patently un-American.

Showing atrocities to those who would glorify them is a great way to end wars (as with Vietnam). In war, children get killed, atrocities are committed and life is arbitrarily ended, every single day. If you can’t accept seeing this in the paper, how can you accept the act of war itself? Many readers have chosen to “kill the messenger". Perhaps, it would be more productive to re-think their own complacency and ignorance and what it has wrought?

War happens because, we, the people, allow it. We are responsible for the man hanging from the bridge. We caused him to be there. Look at the picture. Own up to it. It is the truth and we should not be frightened by it, but learn from it.

Matt Funiciello