Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Cap Times the conspiracy newsletter

From: James Wigderson
Sent: Monday, February 04, 2008 5:29 PM
To: John Nichols; Judie Kleinmaier
Subject: letters policy

I was surprised to see letters to the editor regarding 9-11 conspiracy theories actually published in a daily newspaper. I'm curious on the limits of the Capital Times letter policy.

For example, do you publish letters alleging Neil Armstrong never walked on the moon? What about the Kennedy assassinations? Does the allowable letters policy include those that assert the existence of UFOs, Bigfoot and/or psychic abilities?

What about conspiracy theorists writing the 2004 Tsunami was the result of military experiments? AIDS was a CIA conspiracy? Bush stole the 2004 election? Or the 2000 election?

What about "The DaVinci Code?"

Thanks in advance for your response.


James Wigderson

Admittedly snarky, I received the following in response:

Kevin Barrett is from our area, and Ann Althouse (whose blog ripped on him) is a University of Wisconsin professor. We have covered this issue quite a bit. We often let people have their say in letters even if we don't agree with them.

Are you suggesting that we should believe everything our government -- the government of George Bush and Dick Cheney -- tells us?

Judie Kleinmaier, opinion editor, The Capital Times

Update! 2/7/08 11:50 AM
The exchange with Kleinmaier continued:
From: James Wigderson
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2008 3:31 PM
To: Judie Kleinmaier
Subject: RE: letters policy

So which conspiracy theories do you feel comfortable with appearing on the letters page?

- James Wigderson
Subject: RE: letters policy
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2008 07:46:27 -0600
From: "Judie Kleinmaier"

I don't keep a list. Letters are not news stories and, as I said, we let people have their say. Normally we don't run a lot of letters that come from out of our area. The only thing unusual about the Barrett letters is that we ran more letters from out-of-state people. Normally we don't get a lot of out-of-state letters, but we did on that topic -- I assume because Barrett and Althouse are from this area.

- Judie Kleinmaier