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To: Letters Editor The Inland Empire
VCT Web Posted 1/14/01
Re: "Council Sees what Penman can't or won't"
by Cassie MacDuff Saturday, January 13, 2001 - Click here for article
In her recent article, "Council Sees what Penman can't of won't" published in Saturday, January 13, 2001, issue of The Inland Empire, Cassie MacDuff criticizes San Bernardino City Attorney Jim Penman for being "insensitive" to ethnic minorities, for his infringing upon the "immigrant's right to complain", and for his unwillingness to apologize, which the author describes as "condescending and wrong-headed". I find MacDuff's remarks hypocritical and biased. While being so particular about the Mexican family First Amendment rights, she doesn't seem to acknowledge that Penman has a right to free speech too. To all MacDuff's concerns of "insensitivity", she does not hesitate to quote a "prominent Latino attorney" Florentino Garza referring to those who have supported Penman's position as "racists and rednecks", for which offensive epithets she does not seem to expect Garza to apologize. Further, although she expressed her disapproval of Penman's being "insensitive", she did not seem to have any problems with the City Council overly harsh and, in my opinion, unwarranted statement in which they alleged Penman of inciting "fear, prejudice, and hatred".
It would seem advisable for MacDuff to decide which principles she believes in (free speech? apology for offensive remarks? sensitivity for one's feelings?) and stick to them. Being principial with a double standard does not promote her credibility as a journalist and reporter.
Redondo Beach, CA
More links to articles and LTE's regarding this mess
Note: As of the date of this posting on the VCT site the above had not been published in the publication to which it was addressed.