In the last post I posited that a Red Plan critic had to submit six letters-to-the-editor before the Trib’s editors would publish his comments.
Chuck Frederick, who as the editorial page editor has caught some of my flack, mentioned this to me in a series of emails we exchanged over a letter to the editor I just turned in. In my letter I made claims that Chuck wanted me to justify. I did to his satisfaction so my letter will be going into the paper almost completely unaltered. (Not that Chuck was admitting my justifications were accurate) The only change was a pair of quotation marks that I should not have used which will be removed. The flawed punctuation was my mistake and I appreciate the Trib’s correcting it.
As I wrote to Chuck this has always been my experience. I’ve been edited appropriately and over the last four decades almost all of my letters have ended up being published. I would have been surprised to learn that other reasonable letter writers had been treated any differently.
I can imagine a few possible explanations for the five unsatisfactory submissions. Maybe they were too long. In any case this particular individual has had some very powerful points of view published in the past so his views have not been censored. Chuck said he would check out the details because he was determined not to lose the relevance of the Trib’s letter’s column by skewing it unfairly to one side or the other. While the Trib will always be second guessed by the people and causes editorialized about, Chuck is a “stuffed puppy” so I take him at his word.
Having just used his editorial’s own description of a “nice guy” (a phrase that was intended as a backward compliment) I should add that Chuck seemed open minded about the arguments I used to bolster the allegations I made in my letter. I won’t post my letter until its circulated in the Trib first. When it is published I’ll post it here along with some of my correspondence with Chuck. My email required more than the 300 word limitation that the Trib imposes on letters to the editor. Posting both the letter and my email in tandem will reinforce my arguments.