Reader letters, July 22

Jul 19, 2013

Thanks for the column

To the editor:

This is a little late, but I just read your article on Michael Hastings. Sad!

I do not disagree with what he did or said — Rolling Stone judgment on cover stories is another story.

But have you criticized NBC for its deliberately misleading editing of the 911 Zimmerman tape? Or the New York Times for its White Hispanic reference? Advocacy journalism belongs on the opinion pages.

Michael Harris

Palm Beach Gardens and Waynesville

Examine scouting piece

To the editor:

This is a response to the July 17 column “Obese Boy Scout” by John Taylor that appeared in the sports section.

My purpose is not to give my opinion of the Boy Scouts of America but rather a critique of the journalism displayed in this article, which has become widespread in the new media, blurring the facts to express opinion.

Let’s start with the definition of Morbid Obesity: 1. The condition of weighing two or more times the ideal weight: so called because it is associated with many serious life-threatening disorders. 2. 100 pounds over ideal weight or body mass index over 40. Source: Free Dictionary by Farlex.

According to the column, Daren Smith, a spokesman for the BSA, said in a statement to ABC News, “The rules were published many years in advance.”

If this is correct their parents should have had that knowledge and discussed them with their son and taken appropriate action if needed to meet these requirements.

Now lets get to journalism. The title “Obese Boy Scout Excluded.” This subject, obesity, has nothing to do with religion or sexual orientation, which are included in this article. These references should have been edited out by the paper editors or the article moved to the opinion section. These remarks were not appropriate for the sports section.

Since this article will be printed in the editorial section, I will give my opinion. Lawsuits have become a major part of American society today.

If allowing a boy that’s 100 pounds overweight to participate in physically demanding, high adventure activities gets injured or ill due to his morbid obesity, what would you do?

Turville Inman



(Editor’s note: The item in question was a column on the sports page and included a photo of the columnist, denoting the contents is an opinion piece.)