Saturday, March 8, 2008

Intell / New Era side with NewsLanc on Rotary controversy

In a courageous "In our view" article, the editors of the combined March 8 edition of the Intelligencer Journal / New Era state: "It would be a shame for the Rotary, for all its long history and good works, to get on the wrong side of a First Amendment tussle. Openness has been good for Rotary in the past and can only be good for it in the future."

The editorial also points out, "...this newspaper has frequently reported on Rotary lunches, without a specific invitation, and to this point we’ve not been informed of any change in the club’s policies."

However, the editorial prefaces the main subject by opining, "…we believe NewsLanc more often than not speaks biased and uniformed opinion to a few Web surfers and radio listeners, but, hey, it’s a free country.”

The editorial concludes "Fields (sic) solicited our support on this matter. Keeping Voltaire in mind, he has it.” (At the outset , they attribute to Voltaire: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” )

Robert Edwin Field, NewsLancs publisher, expressed gratitude for the support of the monopoly newspapers on this free speech issue.

In response to the criticism, Field said that NewsLanc prides itself on its accuracy and that the “few Web surfers” amount to well over a thousand visitors most weeks and the number is growing at over 10% per month.

As for charges of bias and uniformed opinion, Field echoed the words of a much (and deservedly) criticized New York politician of the 19th century by responding: “Say what you want about me, but please spell my name right.”