Dec 072009
Authors: Joe Ostroski

Kevin Hollinshead’s Monday editorial, “Shameless conservatives still exploiting fear and hatred,” was in poor taste and should not have been printed as it was written.

I feel Kevin attempted to utilize current and historical examples to defend his positions without having the background knowledge or research to do so. I’ll point out a few examples from this article.

Kevin said the following about Republican representatives’ reaction to distasteful signs regarding President Barack Obama: “Not a single Republican representative or senator would condemn the signs, choosing instead to flip it around and lie about how the media never covered (much more tame) anti-Bush signs.”

This statement is presented as a fact, and unless Hollinshead has proof of this fact, I don’t think it should be used to defend his perspective on this event. There are more than 200 Republican representatives in Washington. It’s hard to believe that he has any idea about the position of most of these individuals.

Furthermore, Hollinshead writes that the Republican representatives “… lie about how the media never covered anti-Bush signs.” It is irresponsible to attempt to encapsulate hundreds of individuals with vague and opinionated statements like this. Kevin should have, instead, quoted a specific individual or statement that might prove this point.

Later he provides some thoughts on a statement by Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas. McCaul said, “Whether it was domestic or foreign, clearly when a U.S. military base is attacked in this fashion, that is an act of terror in my book.” Hollinshead tied this statement to one made by Brian Kilmeade from Fox News about “special screenings” of Muslims in the military. Although it was again vague, I believe his intention was to show how Rep. McCaul was somehow making a false or ignorant statement.

If you look at the quote Hollinshead provided, there is nothing stated anywhere that ties this act to the Islamic faith or the fact that the accused shooter was Muslim. It also does not state that this was an act of “terrorism.” I think there is no question that the Fort Hood shooting was an act of “terror,” and I don’t think it is appropriate to spin quotes the way Hollinshead did.

He also provides two examples from the past, one about an event at Camp Liberty and one from Fort Bragg in 1995. Hollinshead writes that a “white man” at Camp Liberty and “Neo-Nazis” at Fort Bragg committed these crimes. He then states that these events did not lead to “special screenings” for all white men in the military and that these were not considered “acts of terror.”

Hollinshead again used brief accounts of historical events to defend his opinions on recent statements made by individuals in the media. I feel it is irresponsible to try to relate these three events without having in depth knowledge of these events.

The U.S. military has stated numerous times since this horrible event took place that we avoid coming to any conclusions about this event until the facts are found. I doubt Hollinshead has any in depth knowledge of any of these events, and because of that I don’t feel he has the right to make generalizations about them.

Overall, I feel that the problem with Hollinshead’s column is his inability to be cerebral. Individuals like Glenn Beck, Michael Moore and Hollinshead spin events and short clips from the media to serve their own goals or to defend their personal opinions. This kind of shock media distracts us from the true story.

Joe Ostroski, senior, construction management major.

 Posted by at 5:04 pm

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