May 21, 2013
Letters to the Editor
Casper Star Tribune
To the Editor:
Your decision to publish an anti-Semitic letter to the editor last week (from Richard Miller, May 12) was misguided, despite your explanatory editorial, “Calling bigotry for what it is.”
Publishing a hateful or bigoted letter gives credence to that hatred and bigotry, even if it provokes a backlash of contrary opinions. While a majority of readers may shake their heads and decry the prejudice, others may take the hateful opinion seriously and either adopt it or view it as an affirmation of their own prejudices.
We recognize that it is an editor’s job to edit. An editor obviously has great discretion in doing so. In exercising that discretion, an editor has the responsibility to decide whether something is even worth printing. You have given admirable thought to that responsibility, but we must object to your conclusion. We agree with you that Miller’s letter was “not enlightening, nor is it rooted in fact, and doesn’t add one redeeming point to the ongoing conversation.” When a letter displays nothing more than gratuitous bigotry – no matter the target - it simply should not be printed.
Mountain States Regional Director