Ombudsman Mark Prendergast and the entire staff of Stars and Stripes should be commended for their continued dedication to providing balanced news and editorial content. However, I disagree with the premise of Prendergast’s Aug. 10 column “Editors ought to keep their readers in the loop,” both in a general sense as well as in this specific case.
Stars and Stripes is government-funded and has a built-in readership. This puts it in a unique position to rise above the trend of profit-driven sensationalist commentary that seems to have swept other media outlets, particularly the 24-hour news stations.
I applaud [senior managing editor] Howard Witt’s decision to drop [columnists] Ann Coulter and Arianna Huffington in an effort to raise the level of political discourse in the editorial pages. Hyperpartisan columnists such as Coulter and, to a lesser extent, Huffington, do no one any service by reducing complicated issues to simple us-versus-them shouting matches laden with personal attacks. Honestly, does anyone need to read their columns to know which side of an issue they will espouse?
I thank the ombudsman for his concern and for providing the interesting background story behind the change. However, the editors were under no obligation to put the decision to a popular vote and doing so would have further legitimized these columns that are unworthy of being featured in a publication as distinguished as Stars and Stripes.
Sgt. Eric GlynnBaghdad