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Jeff Jarvis

Jeff Jarvis

Posted: November 26, 2005 04:02 PM

There Are No Official Readers


At The Huffington Post, Rep. Dennis Kucinich publishes a letter he and 23 more members of Congress sent to the publisher of the LA Times objecting to the dismissal of columnist Robert Sheer. If they were just readers writing to a paper complaining about something the paper had done, fine. Wonderful, in fact. The more feedback, the better.

But they don't write as readers. Their letter begins: "We, as Members of Congress, object to the dismissal..."

What does being a Member of Congress (capitalized) have to do with this? Is this an effort to intimidate the press from an official position? Remember, people, we don't do that here. In fact, you are sworn to protect against just that.

In this time when FCC commissioners act as eager accomplices to the so-called Parents Television Council in putting a chill on free speech on our airwaves and kneecapping our First Amendment... and when manipulating the press is turning into a tax-supported sport... the last thing we need is for more public officials to act as if they can or should throw their weight around with the press, the media, and our speech.

Next time, act as citizens, write as readers.