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posted: 7/22/2014 5:01 AM

Editors shouldn't decide who's right, wrong

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The July 1 letter from Jeff Slepak was very interesting. His statement at the end in which he urges everyone to use logical arguments, verifiable facts and state opinions as opinions is nice in theory, but impractical. I disagree with everything else.

• The newspaper is not complicit in lying to its readers because it publishes things the writers state as fact. After all, the letter is on an Opinion page for good reason. And if it unlawfully censored the lies, half truths and exaggerations made by politicians and advertisers, there wouldn't be much of a newspaper left to print.

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• The newspaper is not responsible for verifying writer statements as facts and editing out anything that can't be verified. Apparently, Mr. Slepak wants the newspaper to exercise censorship in its most egregious form and, in the process, stomp all over the First Amendment. Had his ideas prevailed, much of his recent letter would have probably not seen the light of day.

• Some people believe that humans walked with dinosaurs and the earth is only 6,000 years old, despite scientific facts (not theories) to the contrary. Or that President Obama is a Muslim born in Africa, despite incontrovertible proof to the contrary. Four instances in which their beliefs are also their "facts." The newspaper has no obligation or right to decide who is right and who is wrong.

• During the course of a year, I'm sure the Opinion page receives opinions on virtually hundreds of subjects ranging from the absurd to the sublime. Asking the newspaper to categorize each subject (sometimes there are several in one letter) and separate by opposing positions and ratios of each would take a staff of hundreds.

"Errors of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it" (Thomas Jefferson).

Len Brauer

Palatine

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