Letters to the Editor | Opinion

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Dale Courtney is entitled to 11 very large and rather boring paragraphs on the Opinion page of October 27 of this newspaper (try the self-publishing for the sake of brevity?) The most distinguished reporters.

I taught journalism for over 30 years and practiced it before that. I don’t remember hearing the term legacy journalism, but it would seem to encompass the venerable newspaper you read now. Courtney is a guest of the Moscow-PullmanDaily News. He knows it is one of the few respected and trusted local news sources. Like all contributors, he thirsts for credibility and influence that he won’t find writing for media focused on right-wing ideology and lying 24/7.

A professional journalist from the Daily News and similar traditional or community newspapers traditionally had the opportunity to develop news gathering and writing skills, including accuracy, fairness and balance, to perhaps become a great urban daily and, hence, venerable national newspapers or news magazines. like the New York Times, the Washington Post or the Time or Newsweek. These professional and ethical journalists still dominate the newsrooms of what Courtney denigrates as mainstream media.

If you want a steady diet of lies and propaganda, read something else. I will remain a loyal and critical reader of the Daily News and other so-called mainstream media, forgiving the inaccuracies of humans who are also professional journalists, if not intentional.

Welcome to the charlatan’s house

Chuck Pezeshki repeats once again (Daily News, October 20) that masks don’t work, which in my opinion amounts to disinformation, which helps Trump followers to believe just about anything – Jewish space lasers igniting forest fires in California, Italy defeating COVID -19, Israel is our “friend.”

Sadly, much of the disinformation comes from a madhouse called Mar-a-Lago – where wealthy congressional Republicans, wealthy corporations, and wealthy, elusive elites kneel before their masters. The crowning achievement “achievement? – Trump ordered the Conservatives “not to participate in this election.” (Please, Republicans, heed your King’s most magnificent words.)

As for Med Page Today, Pezeshki appears to be citing a questionable 2020 article by naturopathic doctor Colleen Huber. However, other skeptical writers, including Denis Rancourt and Bruce Hall et al., Similarly rant.

Med Page Today’s own editors have expressed doubts about the validity of Huber’s reporting. But, Pezeshki is almost as shameless and unrepentant about the effectiveness of masks as Donald is about the absurd trope of socialism and the absurd claim of “stolen election.”

But, as a resource for an opinion, these contributors have been – you’ll appreciate this Chuck – “unmasked!” “

Psychology Today contributor Dr David Kyle Johnson said Huber’s opinion on masks is wrong and the 42 articles she cites do not support her claims.

Is Huber a charlatan? Johnson suggests that this might be true, casting doubt on the “pseudoscience” of the naturopathic doctor. Johnson said “because she has ‘MD’ by name” doesn’t mean she’s a doctor. The American Academy of Family Physicians believes that naturopathic doctors “are not as rigorously trained as physicians…. Many naturopathic treatments are ineffective and potentially dangerous, ”despite some naturopaths with medical training.

Welcome to the charlatan’s house, “left-handed”, the lair of Republicans, formerly “conservatives”.

The facts must count. I first wrote to ask the newspaper to verify the facts of its columnists after Scotty Anderson’s lies about the attack on Capitol Hill in January. I was finally convinced by Doug Call’s thoughtful column on the subject that this was neither doable nor recommended for our local newspaper. But most weeks, I still have a hard time figuring out how my subscription dollars are supporting the spread of lies.

Wednesday’s document provided the latest example of the confusion that comes from a lack of fact-checking. On page 6A, an Associated Press article indicates that 8,300 children aged 5 to 11 have been hospitalized with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. On the next page, columnist Dale Courtney criticizes a New York Times article that says 900,000 children have been hospitalized, claiming the actual number is 63,000. Three numbers, two orders of magnitude apart. Who is right? Note that unlike the AP article, Courtney didn’t specify an age range, so it’s hard to know.

More importantly, he cited a fact without a source. I’d rather our columnists focus on their opinions and analysis, like the ever-delicious column opposite Jade Stellmon’s Courtney’s. But if the writers want to cite facts to support their arguments, I make the following request to the newspaper.

The editor should require columnists, but not letter writers, to cite a source for each fact they include in their column. This would only be required in the online version so as not to clutter the columns with many tedious URLs. They could use hyperlinks. This way, interested readers of the print edition can still visit the section online to verify the sources. I have no doubts that the editorial team has the time and the ability to help columnists sort out fact from opinion.

If you agree, please write to show your support.

Fortunately, COVID-19 cases are generally on the decline and the Southeast is enjoying a deserved break. Alabama, for example, went from 6,689 cases on August 24 to 214 on October 26. There has been a slight increase in cases in the northeast and some have speculated that the pandemic must be seasonal. People there congregate more indoors, so it seems obvious to these watchers that masking and vaccines don’t make a difference.

If we look at any map that shows cases by county, we will see that this theory is wrong. The northeast hotspots are located in rural counties of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York and Pennsylvania which have low vaccination rates.

Let’s take a look at some rural New York counties where Trump won an average of 65%. These five counties had a vaccination rate of 46% and on October 26 they reported an average of 51 cases / 100,000. In contrast, 74% were vaccinated in New York County with 9 cases / 100,000. .

If we look at hot spots across the country, low vaccination rates correlate with high infection rates, regardless of geography. Trump counties in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Montana, Utah, Oregon, and Alaska all follow this pattern.

The seasonal / geographic theory is also invalid in Western Europe – from the tip of Italy to the Nordic countries.

On October 26, 1,621 deaths from COVID-19 were recorded in the United States, but, population adjusted, only 265 deaths in Italy and 213 in the five Nordic countries. See my column for October 21 to learn more about Europe.


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