Saturday, October 11, 2008


Patriotism and truth
Public Forum Letter, The Salt Lake Tribune
October 5, 2008

Sen. John McCain has made patriotism an issue in his campaign for the presidency. Patriotism is indeed a legitimate issue and McCain, shot down, captured and imprisoned for years, suffered greatly. Patriotism, however, must extend beyond military service.
Of the dangers threatening our country today, one of the most subtle has been failing ethics and the erosion of standards of honorable behavior. We have had a president who has lied and supported torture and an enemy combatant ploy in which, at his whim, a citizen can be jailed for years without evidence, without trial, with no appeal and with no explanation of the charges. This is fascism.
The principle focus of patriotism today must be the defense and reaffirmation of the ideas and ideals that made our country great. Surely truthfulness is one of these ideals. How then can we support a candidate for the presidency whose campaign includes many lies - most recently one falsely accusing Barack Obama of proposing sex education for tiny tots?
Yes, this is politics, but should not political attack be limited to the issues? McCain's tactics are to divert attention from them and to focus instead on unrelated nonsense.

Dick Scudder
Chairman of the board
MediaNews Group
Denver, Colo.

Editor's Note: The Salt Lake Tribune is owned by MediaNews Group.


Public Forum Letter, The Salt Lake Tribune

October 11, 2008

"What!?" I grabbed the newspaper that my teenage daughter was reading aloud. That letter, "Patriotism and truth" (Forum, October 5), criticizing John McCain for his false attack ads, then harshly denouncing George Bush's presidency of lying and torture as "fascism." It was by Dick Scudder of MediaNews Group, owner of The Salt Lake Tribune.

Does this mean MediaNews Group now feels betrayed after pushing The Trib to endorse George W. Bush before the 2004 election? That singularly strange Opinion page left editorial page editor Vern Anderson with difficult explaining to do. Straight across from that editorial was Pat Bagley's cartoon portrait of the presidential candidate, stating "The Choice is Simple."

The choice was simple for those who'd searched past the Bush lies, but that required time and dedication, because media owners, indebted to Bush's Federal Communications Commission, were complicit in the propaganda, restricting investigative reporting.

I celebrated Scudder's enlightened letter, but I grieve for those who suffered and died because his MediaNews Group and other large corporate media didn't let the light shine on the truth four years earlier.

Barbara Bellows-TerraNova
Salt Lake City

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