Featured Letter: Should we ban letters on national issues?

AP/DAVID GOLDMAN PHOTO | The Supreme Court is reflected in the sunglasses of Susan Clark, of Washington, as she demonstrates against President Barack Obama’s health care law while awaiting the court’s ruling back in June.

To the Editor:

I emphatically agree with the point made by Diana Van Buren in her letter last week regarding letters to the editor about national politics.

I read the News-Review for local news and views on local issues. There are myriad places to tune into the discussion and shouting about Obama vs. Romney and Republicans vs. Democrats, but very few where one can find opinions about the latest zoning controversy in Jamesport.

I understand that the newspaper’s rationale for printing letters on national issues is based on the “localness” of the points of view expressed, but as far as I can tell these opinions don’t vary much from the steady, mostly mean-spirited stream coming from Fox News, MSNBC and countless other media outlets.

Michael McLaughlin, Riverhead

Below is Diana Van Buren’s original letter on the subject:


A thought about letters

I’m writing to suggest that Times/Review Newsgroup consider placing a moratorium on publishing letters to the editor related to national politics, at least until the presidential election is over. In my opinion, though, this moratorium should be extended indefinitely.

The tone of the letters to the editor that take the side of one presidential candidate or another tend to be negative and even ugly, at times. Sometimes the writers quote statistics and “facts” that can’t be supported and that the Suffolk Times certainly can’t spend the time to verify.

I don’t think these letters serve the community in any way. (They might serve sales of the newspaper.) They create or increase divisions among neighbors and friends because of the tendency of these letters to be inflammatory, extreme and full of blame, not positive ideas for solutions to the problems faced by the citizens of our nation.

But here is the most important reason: don’t you think it would be better if we focused on the issues and elections that we have on the North Fork?

That’s what a local newspaper is for. Could you possibly keep the politics local, like the news?

I think that you would be doing a huge service to the community.

Diana Van Buren