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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Wire deserves thanks for posting Loubal-Damon exchange

The El Cerriro Wire deserves thanks for not protecting readers from controversy, even in these trying times. Meanwhile, the El Cerrito Journal has chosen to keep residents in the dark about controversial issues. By the way, I agree that the Journal tends to be pretty even-handed, and that JR Deaton is (and Chris Treadway was) an excellent reporter. But I do believe the Journal has an obligation to report serious matters. Can we get them to perform their function properly so even the non-webbies can find out what is happening?

Why did the Journal refuse to publish the Loubal-Damon exchange? This is not a personality conflict. There are real issues which nobody else tackled. I offered proof for all charges, provided examples of Damon's accusations, like his July 15 letter claiming some of his colleagues are "anti-business anti-development dry rot that will have to be cut out and eliminated," and asked for a Journal editorial. This is not about me. No one has a right to be published, but a newspaper has a duty to report important facts. Most likely the Journal's concern was not I being uncivil, but embarrassment over Damon's predictable response, along the lines of his e-mail to the El Cerrito Wire. Don't they realize that Damon's bizarre, unfair and unwarranted personal attacks are a trick to make even valid discourse unpalatable? Fortunately, the more Damon wriggles by smearing others and muddies the issues, the more he gets enmeshed. Gina Brusatori can counter, or just ignore, his silly charges. Right now people have more important global concerns. But they still deserve to know the truth about what our Council is up to. The petty shenanigans of our lame-duck mayor are not irrelevant. The Council is right now making important decisions, with long-term consequences. Our only weekly newspaper should not shelter citizens from knowledge. The Knight-Ridder editorial page banner quotes Thomas Jefferson: "Our liberty depends on freedom of the press and that cannot be limited without being lost." Sadly, a more appropriate masthead would be the three "See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil" monkeys. If newspapers let political dirt be swept under the rug, to fester and become ever more noxious, my only recourse is samizdat. Is this the USA, or am I back in the old Eastern Europe where authorities always claimed everything was fine?

Peter Loubal
Run dates: 2001-10-01 - 2001-10-15

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