Rebuttal to a rebuttal…

Dear Editor,

Golly Ben, did I get under your skin? What surprised me most about your rebuttal to my Oct. 15th letter (“Expletive deleted…”) is how you took the low road and made it a personal attack of me. You made it personal Ben, why? Are you that insecure? In fact, the tenor of your rebuttal reminded me of the recent “robo call.”

Now you said you “enjoy (my) never-ending siege on small meaningless details.” I’m not quite sure what you mean by that as the only never-ending siege by me, that has been put in print, are my several letters to the area editors condemning the killings of Jeanette Riley and her unborn baby. Does that mean you consider the killings of Jeanette Riley and her unborn baby to be “small meaningless details?”

You go on to say that you explained to me in your office why you have a double standard for letters to the editor and columnists/feature writers regarding obscenities. I don’t recall that conversation, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt as it is possible that I wasn’t listening. However, I welcome your admission of a double standard. At least we now know when an f-bomb is not an f-bomb.

This means that the two true stories I had submitted “Barefoot Larry and the Boiling Pot of Beans” and “Shootout at not so Lucky’s House” will not have to have the obscenities edited out.

My suspicion is the writing will not meet those arbitrary standards the Reader pulls out of the hat when it suits. I hereby challenge the Reader to print one of my two stories mentioned above and then ask your readers whether or not it was worth printing. Let your readers be the judge.

Another issue Ben Olson used to attack me in his rebuttal was: “We do, however, have a policy of publishing every reader’s letter to the editor, no matter how annoying or trolling they might be. (I sure hope you’re referring to me.) You have obviously been aware of this policy, with your constant attack on anyone and everything that either doesn’t meet your approval or doesn’t listen to jazz.” WOW!

You seem to be confused Ben. The conversations we had in the Reader office and those emails we exchanged were not letters to the editor. (BTW, am I no longer welcome in the Reader’s office?)

As for Olson’s jazz comment, I suspect that is a reference to a statement I made in my article about jazz which ran in the August 27th issue of the Reader, where I said: “(jazz) is not for the lazy, timid and/or musically challenged.” That happens to be the truth.

Intelligence is a gift; ignorance is a choice. Sorry about your choice man… I feel for you.

Now I am the first to admit that I am not a very good writer, but writing should not be just about the techniques of Shakespeare and Hemingway but much more so about the truth. Citing the quality of writing can be used as a tool for censorship.

Writing technique is one thing, content is something else. I would much rather read a document that is poorly written but has useful or interesting content, than one that is written with superior technique but whose content is drivel.

Near the end of Olson’s rebuttal he wrote: “Instead of nitpicking every pedantic little detail about everything, why not increase your understanding of logic and critical thinking and put together a well thought out piece of journalism.” OUCH!

So Ben, give me your suggestions for how that should be done. I would really like your examples of how you think one increases logic and critical thinking.

Lee Santa
Sandpoint

*yawn* [Ben Olson]

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