HIGHTOWER: Murdoch Messes With Letters-to-the-Editor
Today's conglomerated newspapers and television stations are as out of touch with ordinary folks as are politicians. But one place where the corporate media still allows the hoi-polloi to have their own say is in the "letters-to-the-editor" section of newspapers. Or at least that's what Scott Pellegrino thought.According to a report in the media-watchdog newsletter EXTRA!, Pellegrino recently sent a letter to the New York Post about the Kennedy family. While his letter was hardly in praise of the Kennedys, Pellegrino was stunned when he read it in print, because the editors had literally put words in his mouth -- words taking gratuitous slaps at the Kennedy clan. The printed letter referred, for example, to the "drowned blonde" and "seducing the baby-sitter" -- which were not topics Pellegrino was addressing. Also, his letter had been modified to refer to [quote] "the moral squalor [of the] Clinton presidency" -- something he had not mentioned at all.You see, the Post is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who hates both Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton, and apparently the editors made use of Pellegrino's letter to heap more editorial trash on two of Murdoch's favorite targets. Pellegrino, though, was not amused, so he called the editors ... and got trashed himself. One editor called him a nasty name, and another gave him a lecture on editing, contending that editing includes "rewriting and additions where necessary" and, by gollies, he could just lump it.This letter-writer did more than lump it, though -- he recorded it. Pellegrino had his entire, nasty experience with the editors on tape. He later released the tapeto other media, embarrassing the Post and exposing the twisted journalistic ethics of Murdoch and his henchmen.This is Jim Hightower saying ... To get more inside information about the perversion of the media by today's conglomerate owners, subscribe to the excellent newsletter EXTRA! 1-800-847-3993.Source: "The Letters Page: What 'Editing' Means" EXTRA! Update: April 1998.