----Original Message Follows----
From: "Scott Tibbs" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: More fact-checking needed by H-T
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2004 12:41:58 -0500
In his letter to the editor today, Dennis J. Reardon claims that a recent letter to the editor by Bud Bernitt "was actually ghost-written by his yippy little right wing Thuglican lapdog, Scott Tibbs." Reardon does not provide one single fact, one shred of evidence, or the slightest hint of proof for this claim.
In an "editor's note" on September 4th, you wrote the following regarding election-related letters: " We will make every effort to check out claims made in letters, and negative charges should be accompanied by documentation." As I wrote in a recent e-mail to you, you would do well to have those policies year-round and applied to more than just candidates.
The fact of the matter, Mr. Zaltsberg, is that I did not ghost-write Bud's letter. I did not even see the letter until it was printed in your newspaper. I find it unfortunate that you would print a letter making a negative claim about someone without documentation that the claim is true. I ask that you print a retraction in your newspaper regarding Reardon's claims. I also suggest you be more careful with your fact-checking when it comes to negative claims in letters to the editor.
As to Bud's letter, he raises an important point, one that people around Bloomington have been making for several years in this town. If Mike Leonard is going to write opinion columns (as he did with his rant against Congressman-elect Mike Sodrel and his numerous rants against U.S. Rep John Hostettler over the years) he should be on the opinion page, not the front page of the Region/Local section.
I am not saying that he should be removed from the Region/Local page all together. I am also not saying that Mike Leonard should discontinue writing columns for the Herald-Times. I am, however, saying that politically-charged opinion columns should be on the opinion page.