Local Leftist Academic Wants All Opinion Letters Vetted By "Impartial" Panel

Once again I felt I needed to respond to one of our local clueless academics, Jon Hoyt, in this case for his 'suggestion' to the local paper that letters to the editor to one of our local papers be 'fact-checked' by an impartial panel before being printed. While his diatribe is aimed primarily at political “ads” (he also mentions the universally hated TV political ads) he leaves the door wide open for his panel to review all letters to the paper, political in nature or not.

I feel no letters — or more important, no TV-type ad — should be run until they are fact checked by a non­partisan panel of some type. Especially before an election. This might be the only possible way of getting something truthful out to the voters. For those of you that don't think this is important just look or listen to those elected. That should convince you beyond all doubt.

Frankly, I don't care about TV ads, particularly campaign ads. I think anyone with a smidgen of intelligence knows they are a bunch of malarkey. But if he really thinks that letters to the editor should be vetted, he really doesn't understand the definition of “opinion”.

Part of my response:

First, letters that appear here in the Sun or any other newspaper are considered opinions. They are not news articles, scientific or policy papers requiring deep background, fact checking, or peer review.

Second, one’s opinion is protected by both the US and New Hampshire constitutions, something which Mr. Hoyt seems to have forgotten. If I were opine that I think Mr. Hoyt is a horse’s patoot, I am not required to prove that he is with fact checking by an impartial panel. I would base my opinion upon his letters published here in the Sun. Would my opinion be correct? Who would care, other than Mr. Hoyt?

What if Mr. Hoyt got his way and every letter submitted to the Sun had to go through a vetting process and it was found that none of his were factually accurate, and therefore would not be published? Would he accept the “impartial” panel’s finding, or would he bleat about the unfairness of the panel’s decision to stifle his freedom of speech? Frankly, I think his reaction would be the latter, as would mine.

This Hoyt fellow has put forth all kinds of leftist drivel over the years, throwing out 'facts' that on further investigation either could not be backed up or were taken out of context. While not as bad as one of his fellow leftist academics, he still has that condescending “I know better than you do” air about him that proves to me that he is a close-minded individual incapable of forming his own opinions without first looking it up in the Progressive Academic Handbook.

And so it goes.