Editor still doesn’t get it

To the editor,

Lori Cox (“Student: words not my own,” Oct. 1, 2003) is right on one point. The idea that Barbara Ehrenreich’s work is “liberal propaganda infused with religious bigotry” did not originate with anyone named Orndorff – at least as far as I know.

But that thought also did not originate from Michael Tremoglie writing about Ehrenreich in Front Page Magazine.com. According to Tremoglie, that came from “some legislators in North Carolina.”

I can only hope the ever-vigilant Ms. Cox will forgive me for not using a footnote here, but they make for rather boring and hard-to-read letters to the editor. Much of the material from Tremoglie which seems to have worked Ms. Cox into a froth involved statements about wages, benefits, taxes and businesses which Tremoglie apparently gleaned from public sources somewhere, which he does not reveal.

But this, of course, isn’t the main point, even though Cox, who seems to have nothing important to do, appears to be obsessed with it.

The real point is that this is Trey Orndorff’s opinion, too. I did help him dig up material on Ehrenreich for the letter about which Lori Cox spends so much time and effort complaining. Trey and I both thought someone needed to reveal something about Ehrenreich’s leftist, socialist leanings. Somehow, that exclusive interview with Barbara Ehrenreich by The Northerner, in which she is asked hard-hitting questions about her socialist views, just never happened. Surprising?

Something, however, needed to be said because we clearly did not get so much as a mention of Ehrenreich’s views in the stories about Ehrenreich in The Northerner before her university-sponsored appearance on campus.

Even after her appearance, her far-left stance came up in The Northerner only because some students, including Trey, bothered to stage a protest before Ehrenreich’s presentation.

When Lori Cox spoke to me about this letter, I asked her how much time The Northerner staff typically devotes to investigating letters to the editor. Her answer was, shall we say, more than a little ambiguous. Perhaps someone needs to interview Lori Cox.

Cox and her staff have clearly devoted a great deal of time and a great deal of print space to this particular letter. I have to wonder why. Could it be that the real concern is not with the sources of information in the letter, but in the content of that information?

Since the point of the letter was to challenge the “fluff” that passed for reporting The Northerner originally did about Ehrenreich, it does make one wonder just a little.

Where is the equity in a publication with an editor who seems to bend over backwards to harass those with an opinion anywhere to the right of the far-out left? (Or is she just out to “expose” members of the Student Government Association?) Where is the professionalism in an editor who speaks rather casually to my son and me, and then quotes us out of context? Where is the judgement in an editor who thinks her hysteria about a letter to the editor is a headline story above coverage of a gubernatorial candidates’ debate on campus?

The status of “reporting” in The Northerner is interesting, to say the least. For example, Ms. Cox was able to find an editor at the left-leaning Kentucky Post who agrees with her, and this is supposed to be news. Does this pass as “journalism” at NKU?

Now, before I send this, let me do a quick check. Do I need to footnote anything here? I can only hope this meets the approval of NKU’s official and only “Ministry of Information” – otherwise known as The Northerner.

Harold N. Orndorff, Jr. (Note: While I am campus minister with the Christian Student Fellowship at NKU, the views expressed here have no connection to CSF.)