More scrutiny of letters needed

I am writing to express my concern about a letter to the editor that was published in the Mountain Xpress on Wednesday, April 2 [”Had Enough of Stewart David’s Letters.”].  The letter was written by Winthrop E. Dow. This letter consisted of a personal attack on Steward David, a citizen of Asheville who has consistently written thoughtful articles about the connection between diet, the environment, health, and compassion towards animals.

I could understand publishing Mr. Dow’s letter if he had taken issue with one of Mr. David’s positions and offered a rebuttal for your readers.  But all Mr. Dow did was personally attack Mr. David. The Mountain Xpress should be a venue for people to express opinions on issues, not a venue to personally attack individual citizens.  In fact, the Asheville Citizen-Times‘ editorial policy does not even allow letters to contain the name of a private citizen.

Please exercise more scrutiny of your letters in the future. They should be about issues, not people.

Carrie Stilwell

Mountain Xpress Responds

We regret running the April 2 letter, “Had Enough of Stewart David’s Letters.” Although we felt at press time that the letter was a general complaint and not a personal attack, we understand that it can be interpreted as the latter and also that it does not encourage dialogue about the issues. Mr. David has written letters and commentary for Xpress for many years. We value his contributions as we do those of all of our active readers.

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One thought on “More scrutiny of letters needed

  1. AshevilleObserver

    While Mr. Dow’s letter was expressed strongly, it captured the feeling of some readers (perhaps many) that Mr. David’s letters, with their recurring and unvarying theme, are published more often than good journalism might warrant. Sorry to see MX apologizing for giving another reader an opportunity to express a dissenting view.

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