More on the fallout from Richard Ledbetter’s editorial in the Pontiac Journal two weeks ago. Two more letters responding to the editorial were printed in The Equity yesterday — here’s where I explain why people write letters to the competition around here. Both letters, plus two others, were also printed in the Journal.
Mine didn’t see print, nor was Ken’s, but I’m gathering that they got a lot of letters about that editorial, if the snippy, defensive tone of Ledbetter’s editorial in this issue is any indication.
Ledbetter denies that he blamed teachers or students:
I did not blame the students. I did not blame the poor beleaguered teachers and I certainly don’t blame the janitor for the ultimate closure of JP II. I blame you and me. And half of you don’t want to hear that. Half of you refuse to accept the responsibility for the education of our community’s children.
It is true that he did not blame students or teachers, but he spent an awful lot of time comparing the school to a leper colony (effectively comparing the students to lepers), going on about how teachers have to be saints, masochists or otherwise unemployable to want to work there, and calling for the entire staff — janitor included — to be fired. If they’re not to blame, in his view, why does he want them fired?
Ledbetter is being more than a bit disingenuous here. Sure, he didn’t blame them, but he certainly did insult them. It seems it’s okay to call people incompetent or compare them to lepers so long as you don’t explicitly blame them.
I never thought honking off your readers was a wise thing to do, but apparently the editorial policy at the Journal is otherwise.
(Am I worried that my letter didn’t see print? Not really — it’s seen wide circulation via word of mouth since I posted it here. Besides, have a look at this. Bottom line: I have a web site; they don’t.)