Wednesday Journal published a letter from a man demonizing a village trustee [Bob Milstein, your 15 minutes of fame are up, Viewpoints] on Feb. 14 (of all days!). There was not one specific fact or issue mentioned in the letter, not one! The letter was a character assassination. When will WJ stop their complicity in contributing to a toxic atmosphere in local politics? Mean-spirited letters like that one tell far more about the author than about the subject of the letter.

Didn’t WJ learn a bitter lesson on the negative impact on the community in the high school debacle of recent history?

When in a situation where people are talking about the editorial policy of your paper to publish just anything, I often hear that people in our community abhor these types of smears. Should there be censorship of criticism of candidates or elected officials? Of course not, but fair play would require that when people level such criticisms, they need to have their facts accurately lined up, insofar as humanly possible. Require that letters cover issues and that they are based in fact. Isn’t it the job of a good newspaper to be unbiased in their reporting and to see to it that political battles are a good fair fight? Refuse to give anyone airtime to publish unfounded smears, no matter who they are. Draw the line at smears and character assassination. It’s too easy for anyone to do that. Make writers do their homework and talk about the real issues and the real facts.

Christine Vernon, Oak Park

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