I am responding to an invitation from Christopher Lohmann to express my opinion. I fully support Mr. Stanford's decision to include Ann Coulter's column in the editorial section of the Steamboat Pilot & Today.
Her opinions represent the conservative right and while I don't often fully agree with her, I do find her thought provoking. I also equally support the inclusion of Ms. Dowd's column, although I'm often not really sure whom she represents. Both writers are polar opposites, but just as thought provoking. Neither writer represents my personal point of view, but they frequently present valid points.
Mr. Lohmann feels insulted at the suggestion that he is trying to censor the paper. Sadly, that is exactly what he is attempting to do. He is trying "silence a point of view" by enforcing a "quality" that meets his approval. What of the memories of those who fought and died in this country defending free speech? Unfortunately, that also includes Mr. Lohmann's right as well. The purpose of a newspaper is to present the news. It should be unbiased, fair and accurate. Too many papers have forgotten that in their quest for readership. In a small town with only one legitimate local paper it may mean alienating some readers at times.
Bookstores and libraries do indeed have control over their inventory and indirectly over what "lies inside the covers." Specialty bookstores and libraries are fairly common. Try finding a pro-choice book on abortion in the Christian Science reading room. Mr. Stanford's "dismissive" and "hostile" attitude is understandable given any attempt to control what he is allowed to print. I suppose Mr. Lohmann and his friends can boycott the advertisers on his cable or satellite provider because they include "The O'Reilly Factor" in their programming. Perhaps they can stand around a bonfire burning Coulter books while reading passages from "Mien Kampf."
The height of hypocrisy is not in Mr. Stanford's attitude but rather in Mr. Lohmann's attempt at controlling the news media.
Thank you for providing a largely unbiased and varied source for news and commentary. Mr. Lohmann might try reading "The Local." I doubt that Ms. Coulter's column will ever be printed there.