Shame on wednesday journal for printing 'hateful' letter

Opinion

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In what is usually a spirited public debate and interesting reading in the viewpoints section...Wow! I am shocked and dismayed that last week wednesday journal printed the very personal attack, slander in fact, of a rant by a proud Village Manager Association (VMA) stalwart in pursuit of maintaining control of the village board in this April's election ("Milstein's not the same Bob she remembers"). What a hateful letter she wrote against a candidate.

This represents the worst mudslinging tactics I have seen yet in a campaign in 30 years and by writing it in a letter to the editor, the VMA is using wednesday journal for their own purposes. Who was it who thought that the folksy style in which the letter was written would hide that? Will wednesday journal be complicit in there being lopsided, biased, and not factual reporting throughout this campaign through their letters-to-the-editor section and in the VMA avoiding talking about the issues? This is dirty pool, not fair play.

Will you print just anything anyone writes about another person without checking the facts? For instance if I say, "Was that letter written by the woman of the same name who was arrested for larceny and felony theft in the 60s and child abuse in the 70s and criminal trespass last year?" Would you print that without checking it for accuracy against some other sources?

Another letter has an inaccuracy which everyone would not catch, Doug Wyman writes in his letter to the editor "the VMA is not a political party." Wyman says that he has been a member of the VMA for 37 years yet he seems not to be knowledgeable about VMA history.

In a landmark court case in the 1970s, "Robert Coleman versus the Village Manager Association," the VMA was found to be in violation of the law because they were not filing as a political party but they were functioning as one. The VMA lost the case. They may be functioning in a way now that technically they are not a political party but that court case speaks for itself.

Personally, I don't know why being a political party has such a dirty connotation to the VMA but the prevailing attitude with them always seemed to be who us a political party? Oh never. Semantics.

Readers need to know how far wednesday journal will let writers of letters to the Editor go before they say "not fit to print." Inadvertent inaccuracies are one thing but slander should not make it into print. Once it is printed in the letters to the editor, words take on a life of their own which can seem condoned by the paper when they involve a person's character. There need to be some rules for fair debate in this election, free speech is one thing but obvious slander and malicious name-calling should be disallowed.

Christine Vernon
Oak Park

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