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Op Ed: Deceitful Dialog, Doubtful-Named, Damages DemocracyBy Henry Clay Ruark for Salem-News.com
No Latitude for Lying About Facts In Comments Here.
(SEASIDE, Ore.) - From Day One Salem-News has stood up for full, open, honest --and thus democratic-- American dialog. Our Comments format was shaped to encourage and permit precisely that kind of full statement, strong and potent precisely because it reflects REAL PEOPLE --in their own words, after cogitation on strong feelings.
ONLY THUS can trustworthy sentiments stating the deepest feelings and most significant understandings of EVERY ONE making any Comment on S-N channels be accorded any credibility, demonstrating the realities of true open-and-honest “informed public opinion” -- informed both by fact and by experience.
That is why NO SIGN-IN or any “MUST USE-name” was originally required: Open, honest dialog occurs at S-N as in any other honest conversation: One does NOT demand ID in a friendly conversation. --even with someone NEWLY-met !! For many of our readers, S-N has become that one single source so-far/found dedicated simply to achieving that sole purpose: Honest, open “conversation” shaping democracy -- surely that much more potent and powerful because of deep failures in the mainstream media, now significantly and heavily polluted by political-pandering propaganda, often from powerful corporate sources and plentifully paid-for by carefully-covered modes and means.
Those current dangerous failures are now widely recognized as “a cancer eating at the heart of our American democracy” via further politicized denigration. (See E.E. Dionne column “Enough Right Wing Propaganda” at www.wpost.com, 7/25/10; several others sourced and documented.) Even within the failing-media, one can know the source because of the standard long-required “Written by...”/line, introducing the person on the sending-end of every “conversation” encountered --by “honest name” !
At S-N, that vital source-ID heads each and every substantive report or Op Ed, with fully detailed further information given in our Staff-section and Terms of Service, as legally-required.
Have you read it ?
We openly, honestly and continously carry open and easily-understood guidelines--clearly stated for all to read and surely easily understand: See our “Terms of Service.”
That statement assumes YOU to be ONE-ONLY thinking American --not someone posing behind the false-front of “anonymous” OR using multiple names for both concealment and ostensible plural-power. Centuries of communications research and plentiful experience clearly demonstrates that use of multiple names is “always intentional and deceitful, dedicated to damaging rational, reasonable conclusion from realistic information”.
That is WHY it is now a growing tool for heavily funded Right-wing massive invasion of Internet sources, known to be underway by direct statement of those so involved. (Quotes, sources available on request.-hcr) At S-N we have allowed full flexibility in publishing Comments simply to further promote and encourage widespread, trusting-and-trustworthy participation -- obviously desperately-needed today. YOU should be potently aware of the First Amendment granting us “rights” and simultaneously demanding of us certain inalienable responsibilities, too.
IF you have any question on those responsibilities, your request to Editor Tim will bring you a detailed documentation of Supreme Court actions covering key cases, in full text and with professional summary. At S-N we always have welcomed open, honest -- and also very-democratic !!-- dissent, from ANYone, on point or about ANY issue: see our columns for massive main-and-minor/issue confirmation.
Dissent is the engine driving honest, open and democratic dialog --as in the famed Federalist Papers, disseminated in dailies current-then !-- and widely recognized as the birthing pangs for our “experiment in democracy” --still continuing, and in growing danger.
What we deplore and will defy, deny and defeat by demanding rapid reference and/or easy Internet-link to an authoritative source --thus known as reliable, recognized nationally as trustworthy, and of professional stature-- is resort to deceitful, distorting and perverting usages threatening the fundamental value of our dialog here.
That definitely includes intentional, deceitful use of multiple-names by any Commenting participant. We demand potent, powerful and fully professional source/information from every one of our S-N writers-- available on request to the Editor, whether or not cited in the report or Op Ed itself. Many of our published pieces require 20, 30 or even 50 documenting sources.
It is simple reality that most of us are not engaged personally in the complex participation demanded for professional “informed opinion”, thus demonstrated here. SO we do NOT demand that level of proven-fact from our Commenting readers.
But we do expect, on occasion for demonstrated need, compensating concentration on factual statement that can be supported by sourcing any and all points, preferably via Internet-link to the same level-and-kinds of foundation/fundamental sources as we demand from our writers. That seems only fair and equitable to us, and surely also strongly supports Comment quality.
As always --and unavoidable in any honest “Public Opinion” summary-- personal life-experience is worth a great deal, when honestly reflected and supported by documenting statement from originating authorities. YOUR personal status --occupation, training, any special expertise and/or experience, and likewise--are fully acceptable and fundamentally authoritative, too.
Sharing those very-fundamental bases for your feelings --and conclusions from them-- is highly desirable and greatly appreciated --AND admired ! Just make sure you can support whatever you choose to use, sharing with us what you have thus learned --sometimes “the hard way”-- thus adding more realistic, pragmatic, and communicative worth to what you write. We seek precisely that purely-shaping level and kind of insight, honestly stated and openly sourced.
What must be avoided, to guarantee both worth and value for the attention and time-demanded by reader participation, has been all-too-well demonstrated on several S-N threads lately: Unfortunate and perhaps illegal usage of false-ID and multi-name Comment-supply --as if from several persons when coming from a single traceable source-- demands both positive preventive action and a strong warning from S-N. Here is that warning: Deceitful abuse of our Terms of Service cannot be tolerated, will be the carefully-recorded content of our reports to both State of Oregon and FCC authorities and wiill be legally opposed as deemed necessary.
There is no possible question that such actions are damaging to the S-N reputation and professional image, and thus legally damaging to our status as a private business, dependent upon that reputation and image for our successful continuance.
Thus you and all other readers will understand our clear statement of the realistic working situation now at S-N --governed in depth and detail by our Terms of Service, to which you are referred since your current participation demonstrates your acceptance. Thank you for your careful and caring continuing participation, and welcome to our honest, open and democratic channel built for YOU!
At 21, Henry Clay Ruark was Aroostook Editor for the Bangor, Maine DAILY NEWS, covering the upper 1/4 of the state. In the ‘40s, he was Staff Correspondent, then New England Wires Editor at United Press-Boston; later Editor for the Burlington, Vermont 3-daily group owned by Wm. Loeb, later notorious at Manchester, New Hampshire UNION LEADER for attacks on Democratic Presidential candidates.
Hank returned to Oregon to complete M. Ed. degree at OSU, went on to Indiana University for Ed.D. (abd) and special other course-work; was selected as first Information Director for NAVA in Washington, D.C.; helped write sections of NDEA, first Act to supply math, science, foreign language consultants to state depts. of education; joined Oregon Dept. of Education, where he served as NDEA administrator/Learning Media Consultant for ten years.
He joined Dr. Amo DeBernardis at PCC, helping establish, extend programs, facilities, Oregon/national public relations; moved to Chicago as Editor/Publisher of oldest educational-AV journal, reformed as AV GUIDE Magazine; then established and operated Learning Media Associates as general communications consultant group. Due to wife’s illness, he returned to Oregon in 1981, semi-retired, and has continued writing intermittently ever since, joining S-N in 2004. His Op Eds now total over 560 written since then.
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