Wednesday, July 27, 2011

MORT's Meanderings:

Did I write that?

There was a letter-to-the-editor published in the 7-24-2011 edition of the Palm Beach Post that bore a striking resemblance to a letter I had just submitted to that paper. (You might detect a wee bit of sarcasm, here.)

Several years ago, I decided that sending my impassioned letters to the SunSentinel or the Palm Beach Post was a total waste of effort and only led to elevated blood pressure. Who needs that?

However, I recently received a suggestion from another admirer of Allen West that I write a letter in support of West's response to Dumbie Wasserman Schultz's personal attack on our favorite Congressman. So, I wrote a letter to each of the local newsrags. On Sunday morning, July 24th, I received an e-mail from a friend, who congratulated me my letter in the Palm Beach Post. I had been unaware that my letter had been received, much less published. No doubt, an oversight on the part of the normally crack editorial staff of the PBPost.

Based upon my experience with letters-to-the-editor, I know of the 'rights' newspapers reserve (claim) for themselves and so jealously guard, to edit letters due to space limitations; to reject non-factual statements; to delete obscenities, name-calling and salacious remarks. Plus of course, they rigidly reserve the 'right' to create their own headlines and to place them over the letters they decide to publish. It's good to be King.

My letter appeared under the Post-created heading, "Wasserman Schultz a West attacker from the start". The amount of diddling the editor visited upon this letter went quite beyond all other diddling ever done to one of my letters-to-the-editor. Take a look at this sentence-by-sentence comparison:

MK: "I write in full support of Cong. Allen West and his long overdue response to the unfounded charges, outright lies and personal attacks Debbie W. Schultz has made and continues to make about this military hero and now, duly-elected Congressman from Florida's District 22."

PBP: "I write in full support of U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, and his long overdue response ("Apology not happening'. Friday article) to the unfounded charges, outright lies and personal attacks Rep. Debbie wasserman Schultz continues to make about this military hero, the duly elected congressman from Florida's 22nd District."

MK Comment: Since when does a newspaper have the right to inject a reference to one of their articles, in my letter to the editor? I don't consider my letter as their free billboard. Both the SunSentinel and PBPost insist on identifying Allen West as an 'R' from 'Plantation'. He resides in Plantation, FL, that's true. But, no geographical identification followed DWS's name. Hmm. I sincerely believe that this is a bit of cutsey-cutsey, oh-so-subtle racism that the left-biased editors of both newsrags find it almost impossible to resist using. If that is taken as an accusation, so be it. Plus, the editor failed to capitalize 'Congressman' however, that might well be a legitimate mistake.

MK: "Schultz wears two hats - one, the Chairwoman of the DNC appointed by Pres. Obama, the other, that of a Representative elected by the people of Florida's District 22 in 2005."

PBP: "Rep. Wasserman Schultz wears two hats - one, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, chosen by President Obama; the other, that of a representative elected by the people of Florida's 20th District in 2004."

MK Comment: I won't quibble with the PBPost editor's quibbling over the proper titles of elected officials - - Congressman (or Congresswoman -*sigh*) vs U. S. Representative - - sometimes capitalized, sometimes not. What do we know? We just elect them. By the way, I got the year of her election 2005, from Debbie's official website. If that's wrong, I'm wrong. And, what is the difference between my word, 'appointed', and the editor's replacement word, 'chosen'? I didn't submit my letter to have it re-interpreted or improved by 'the teacher'. Precisely who in the hell do these editors think they are? Apparently, they don't know the limits of their authority. Whomever this meddling 'quibbler' of an editor is, I hereby award him, her or it - with my most indignant, Harumph!)

MK: "She was obviously selected to lead the Democrat's effort to unseat Cong. West, using any tactics available.

PBP: "She was obviously selected to lead the Democrats' effort to unseat Rep. West, using any tactics available."

MK Comment: Minor correction in my punctuation. Score: PBPost 1, MK 0.


MK: "Congressional decorum or ethical comportment do not seem to be considerations in attaining that result."

PBP: "Congressional decorum or ethical comportment do not seem to be considerations in attaining that result."

MK Comment: Geesch! No change - and, there's nothing wrong with that.


MK: "Falsehoods, racism and personal attacks seem to be the tactics-of-choice of both the ousted former Congressman Klein and MizzSchultz."

PBP: "Falsehoods and personal attacks seem to be the tactics-of-choice of both the ousted Rep. Ron Klein and Rep. Wasserman Schultz."

MK Comment: Evidently, this statement set off all the alarm bells in the Editing Room and resulted in more than a tad of PBP editorial diddling. The word 'racism' was deleted from my sentence. I'd forgotten that this is a banned word that is deemed 'inappropriate' according to the respected Obama Lord&Master version of the U.S.Government's Lexicon of Politically Correct Terminology. My use of, 'ousted former' Congressman Klein too, must have hit a nerve. I guess that 'former' was deemed either redundant or 'inappropriate'. And for whatever reason, there seemed to be a need to insert 'Ron' in front of Klein. And finally, my creatively-sly use of 'MizzSchultz' must have appeared so disparaging to the editor(s) that it drove them over the edge. "Mission Accomplished"


MK: "Two peas in a pod. I believe that Cong. West just might heed Obama's recent advice to Republicans: "Eat your peas".

PBP: "Two peas in a pod. I believe that Rep. West might want to heed President Obama's recent advice on the budget, that it's time to "eat our peas".

MK Comment: More diddling here by the PBPost's editorial diddler. I wrote precisely what I intended to write and I quoted the President, accurately. The PBP editor in his, her or its wisdom, elected to rearrange my words and thus, their meaning. Okay. The Post's editorial staff runs the Opinion section of that paper but, they don't run me and they sure as hell don't run my keyboard.


Anyone care to venture a guess as to why I gave up writing 'letters-to-the-editor'?
Or, why I am hereby giving it up, once again?

MORT KUFF © 2011 7-26-2011

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