Sometimes, letters are too much of a good thing
It’s been quite a couple of weeks.
The inauguration of Joe Biden on Wednesday brought to a close some of the most momentous events in the nation’s history. Not surprisingly, those events caught the attention of many Americans, including here in the Rogue Valley.
This was reflected in a big way as the letters to the editor that poured in. Many of them took aim at 2nd District Rep. Cliff Bentz for his decisions, first to sign on to a letter demanding that Speaker Nancy Pelosi launch an investigation into “irregularities” in the voting results of several states, then to vote against accepting the Electoral College result for Pennsylvania, and then to vote no on the impeachment resolution against President Trump. He had plenty of company on the last one.
Bentz had his reasons, which failed to satisfy his critics. They vented their anger at him on the Mail Tribune opinion page.
We printed many of those letters in the order they arrived, as is our policy. Soon, however, it became clear that we would not be able to print them all. It’s been two weeks since the attack on the Capitol, and the actions of a freshman congressman have been thoroughly discussed and discussed again.
Some letters wouldn’t have made it in any case, because they mentioned events like the pending House impeachment vote, which came and went before those letters could be printed. In the news business, we call that “overtaken by events.”
I don’t like having to cut off letters, because it goes against our longstanding policy of printing every letter we get that meets our guidelines. But we publish letters as much for the benefit of our readers as for those who write them. And readers are not well served by a steady stream of letters that all make essentially the same point, or by letters that are rendered moot by new developments.
We ended up with about a dozen letters about Bentz and/or the impeachment vote that won’t make it into the paper. That will make room for letters on other topics.
If you submitted a letter and haven’t seen it, you’re welcome to write again on another topic. Our limit of one letter every 30 days applies only to those that appear in print.
We did receive a couple of letters defending Bentz, which will run, and if we get more, we’ll print those. We’ve never decided what letters to print based on their point of view. But sometimes the sheer volume is too much to accommodate.
We do appreciate your letters, and we hope everyone will continue to contribute to the community conversation.
Reach Editorial Page Editor Gary Nelson at email@example.com.