Another letter to the editor - Jay Maynard

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Wednesday, 9 July 2003

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0825 - Another letter to the editor

The editorial page editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Art Coulson, wrote in a column on June 29 (which, sadly, isn't available online any longer) that he thinks that newspapers shouldn't report on sports team names that American Indians find offensive. I sent in the following reply, which they printed today (minus the third paragraph):

Art Coulson's column in the June 29 Pioneer Press is nothing less than a call for censorship of news to further a politically correct agenda. Whether he likes it or not, the names of sports teams are facts to be reported on without modification if the newspaper is to have any credibility at all. Otherwise, how are we to know what else is being censored in the name of political correctness?

Whenever I hear calls for news outlets to stop reporting team names if they offend Native American sensibilities, I wonder what's next. Will they next demand that place names be censored because they contain similar names? One columnist claims that Native American names should not be invoked by those who are not because that robs them of their significance. Should we rename Sioux Falls, South Dakota? To what? Or should we simply give the place to the Dakota Sioux?

Those calling for this kind of censorship should instead concentrate on getting the teams to change their names. It can be done. The Washington Bullets changed their name to the Washington Wizards for reasons of political correctness. Other teams can be induced to change if there is sufficient reason.

Report the news as it happens, whether you like it or not. Don't edit it because you're offended.

current mood: [mood icon] accomplished

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