Letter: Reader dislikes conservative columnist choices

Apr. 16, 2014 @ 11:58 PM

Editor,

As one of your readers, I’d like to ask if you’d consider enriching the op-ed content with something more than the syndicated cycle of conservative boilerplate from O’Reilly, Stossel and Lopez. The intellectually thin, uniform, and predictable nature of these columns are contributing little to the intellectual life of readers.

I strongly suspect the first, and probably the second, are ghostwritten, and they are drawn from a homogeneous pool of conservative verbiage. In fact, if you took a half-dozen O’Reilly columns and chopped them into paragraphs, juggled them in a hat and assembled a new column from a selection of paragraphs, I doubt you could tell the difference. Lopez’s latest this week was a fairly typical petty stream-of-complaint without coherent argument. Stossel, as usual, looked more like a transcript from a co-worker who’s been revved by talk radio and firing a series of barely grammatical proclamations that don’t try to engage taxes or regulation or whatever topic is due in his tiny rotation.

I say this not from my liberal values (though I am that), but from someone who values the thoughtful use of the English language to advance public knowledge. I would encourage you to consider casting a wider net that might encourage readers to think critically.

Jim Steitz

Gatlinburg