Editor’s inappropriate comments

Reader questions editor's use of editor's notes and responses to letters.

Dear Editor,

On two letters to the editor, you made comments about the letter. I feel it is inappropriate for the editor to make comments on the letters to the editor for the following reasons:

First of all, the comments interfere with freedom of speech.

Secondly, it is up to the readers to decide how they will respond to the letter.

Thirdly, the editor’s comments reflect the fashionable thinking of the time which is tolerance of everything and everybody and also empathy for everybody. This may be an honorable way of thinking but not everyone agrees with that. The people who do not opt into the fashionable ideas of our time and country need to be heard also. These two letters (Sharon Harris and Julian Hudson) give a new interpretation and information that is worth considering.

Sincerely yours,

Nettie Riley

Editor’s response:

The reader may not be familiar but responding to letters to the editor is quite an established practice in contemporary media, not the least by such prestigious publications like The Economist.

I am at a loss to understand how commenting on a comment interferes with freedom of expression, when the letters in question have been published without any editing or omission. Nor can I understand why an “honorable way of thinking” becomes a problem.

The only result I can deduce from the above remarks is that those who don’t adhere to so called “fashionable ideas” don’t like their line of thinking being questioned and I have a hard time fitting this attitude with freedom of thought, the basis for freedom of expression.