Letters from the Issue of July 4, 2002

All about those columnists' musical chairs.

Cases in point: Liz Balmaseda gets involved (directly) in the Elian prayer vigil. It is important to get a gut-level perspective, which earned Ms. Balmaseda bragging rights to the Pulitzer award in 1993, but, as they say in the biz, "What have you done in the last decade?" Perhaps less sap and more reality would earn her more recognition?

Case number two is our own "Geraldo Rivera of the school system" -- Jilda Unruh. Poor Ms. Unruh was so busy chasing "the story" where there was none that she brought a fifteen-million-dollar lawsuit down upon her, and WPLG-TV (Channel 10), for violating the sanctity of a hospital room because the man who was the target of her investigation was awaiting a cardiac procedure and couldn't find sanctuary from the stress that she brought with her. What did she get from the interview? Zero. What did she uncover after the 30-day restraining order that he brought against her was over? Zero.

Whether you are a Boston Globe reporter who plagiarized the hell out of a story or a local Miami reporter, you are still charged with one thing, and one thing only: Report the truth without parsing words or trying to destroy a person's life with innuendo. In the end reporters reap what they sow, be it a "reorganization" of the newspaper staff, or a huge lawsuit for trying to be the self-appointed inspector of the school system.

Truth, dear readers, is one of the things that is more obscured than ever as the "reporters" insinuate guilt where there is none and try to draw ratings and attention to further their own ends. Perhaps all mentioned should take a lesson from Carl Hiaasen and consider a sabbatical for a fresh perspective. Lord knows they, and the readership, could use it.

Name withheld by request

Miami Springs

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