Responding to a reader

By Jack Hoffman

Many of the critical letters I get from my InCity Times readers are from people who misunderstand my role as a columnist. A columnist is not a reporter. A columnist opines.

A reporter attempts to write an objective piece based on certain information he/she may have. The story’s objectivity and facts are overseen by an editor and sometimes the publisher. Don’t think for one second I have a free hand without Rose looking over my shoulder, making me prove certain information.

Which brings me to a certain InCity Times reader – Tom Whalen. At first I was intrigued with his point of view re: certain talk show hosts being a bunch of haters. He wrote to me: “The problem is, Jack, you still refuse that it goes both ways and spew venom from the left … .”

That is the point. Let me make it clear: the Left is just as guilty as the Right, truth be told. But they and you will never admit it. Mr. Whalen now includes in his diatribe cable talk show hosts Rachel Maddow and Keith Olberman. I’m sorry, Tom, you never heard the ugly and divisive language coming from Keith and Rachel. Yes, they are liberal, and yes, MSNBC has chosen to go the left road – something television would never do in the past. Maybe the country is shifting to the left. I will be more than happy to give you a list of many of my lefty heroes who were banned from TV for years. Chris Hitchens, for example, who has undergone this right-wing conversion, was banned for many years because of his lefty thoughts. Now he appears frequently on TV discussion shows. In the past, the only time he was allowed on one of the major cable TV shows was as a guest of Larry King, but there had to be a right-wing guest debating him.

So Tom and I are bantering about how he claims the media was unfair to former Republican vice presidential nominee Sara Palin. Tom, when she said for experience in foreign affairs she could look out the back window and see Russia, what was the media to report? I won’t get into her other quirks. Too funny to mention! She was a joke and a complete ass who never should have been nominated. I will also say she sent many Republicans running. That’s the opinion of many of the moderate Republicans who are now lost.

If you want the truth, you have to work hard finding it and not listen to stupid headlines and watch three-second scrolls. The Internet offers more than you can imagine. Remember who owns the TV networks. And if you don’t think they are going to give you lots of BS … .

By the time Tom Whalen got to his third letter to me, my feelings about him were right on – something I smelled from the start.

In commenting on our recent Supreme Court appointee Sonia Sotomayor he refers to her comment at Yale in 1999 about a white female Latino from the Bronx having better experience at making a decision than a white male. Yes, she could have tempered it and, fortunately, has responded to it. Wait a second! Didn’t Supreme Court Justice Alito, at his confirmation, talk about his background and how it bettered him for the justice role? How many times did we hear from Roberts and Alito about their family backgrounds and the effects it would have on their decision-making. Tom, it’s a boogieman excuse. I’ll wait until the confirmation hearing to discuss Sotomayor and her background.
Tom, you wrote: “They spent half their time working hard and raising families (are you sitting down: with both a Mom and a Dad …quite a concept huh?) that they could AFFORD to raise on their OWN (another concept) instead of looking for handouts, the country would be a better place … but I guess that would be “unfair” to ask of them.”

Tom, your latter comment smells of an argument that goes back many years. You want to debate the has versus the has-been any day. That’s one I’ll relish.

In any case, you should be talking about corporate welfare. American corporations only received over one trillion dollars from the government in one year! That’s a lot of mouths to feed and education for those who can’t afford it.

The next time you eat some berries, vegetables and more, think of the fruit pickers making less than $8 per hour. Think of the laid-off technician who has to go on welfare and collect food stamps. Maybe it’s time we bail them out, too.

If you want to be one of the less than 5% who call themselves Republicans or follow the left who represent most of the people – who want better jobs, fair health care for all, education and more. Tom, the Republican side cares less about you and more about the bottom line
Oh, I almost forgot! Interesting about those tea-baggers you mentioned who were protesting President Barack Obama’s tax increase and the folks at MSNBC who were very critical of them in an almost Sara Palin way. Tom, they should read the truth about the tea party. The joke was the following: while they, the protestors, yelling and screaming, along with 95% of Americans all were getting a tax reduction. Most of the folks who funded that rally are in the $250,000 income bracket; they will get a 3% increase. Now that’s a laugh and pathetic to say the least.

Read more of my columns, Tom, and if you think I’m wrong on any fact, I will be happy to stand corrected. Keith Oberman and Rachel Maddow have admitted their errors, but I never heard anyone from the other side correcting themselves.

And have a cup of tea on me.

What do you think? Let me know!

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