News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 30, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: July 30, 2012



Smoking law gets some appreciation

The smokers and their supporters who write letters objecting to the latest smoking laws seem not to realize how harmful tobacco smoke is. I became afflicted with COPD even though I never smoked. Some of my family smoked and my youngest son died far too young of respiratory failure.

I would remind the smokers that quitting smoking will improve their health and possibly may allow them to live longer. It will also clear the air for some of us who are so adversely affected by their smoke. I appreciate the new law.

— Mary Helen McCombs

Terre Haute

Keep balance of letters fair

About a month ago the T-S printed two lengthy articles from Thomas B. Tucker, a GOP faithful, in a two-week span. I was surprised that the T-S extended that “courtesy” to Mr. Tucker, as it usually takes four weeks before I can get another article printed.

On July 13, 2012, the T-S ran an editorial exposing the GOP/Tea Party voter suppression law. On July 16, 2012, a rebuttal from a Don Phillips was published, so in a three-day span his article was received, processed and published.

Over the past 10 years I’ve kept track of the T-S Opinion section, on how fair and balanced it has been. What I mean by fair and balanced is that those with opposite political views get equal representation and equal publication.

In that 10-year span that has not been happening. Although the T-S has had different editors, there’s been a pattern, a history of bias of unequal representation. A case in point is in 2008, I wrote an article exposing the Tea Party as a lobbyist group for the wealthy, founded and funded by the wealthy. The following week there were four rebuttals on that article from the Tea Party supporters.

In non-election years, I have had articles printed in less than four weeks. But in an election year the time period changes. In an election year, if I write an article, backed by facts, that the T-S considers harmful or detrimental to the GOP/Tea Party, it never gets printed. If the facts in my articles would be hard to rebut, it never gets printed.

But for those who represent the GOP/Tea Party, they are not held to the same standards. They also don’t have to wait four weeks between articles, as witnessed by Thomas B. Tucker.

On July 7, 2012, I submitted an article to the T-S Opinion section. As of July 17, 2012, I have not received the verification call that is required to get an article published.

The voting public needs to educate themselves on the issues and facts needed to make a competent decision on who to vote for. If pertinent information is withheld from you, the attack ads will probably make the decision for you. The election is about “fair and balanced”, and your vote will decide if that happens.

— Ron Hastings


Editor’s Note: The most common reason opinion letters received by the Tribune-Star are not published is their length. Another consideration is the frequency of letters submitted by individual writers. Still, we continue to strive to  keep our Readers’ Forum fair and accessible to our letter writers, although we cannot guarantee that all submissions will be published.