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Your Center-Left Columnist Responds To His Readers

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I wasn’t sure I wanted to do this. And I don’t know if it’s going to be a regular thing. But, for now, I'm writing a “Reader Response” article. The reason: Because I can. I’ve received a few comments below some of my articles which have been extremely in depth and well-researched, and I believe these commenter(s) deserve a rebuttal.

Oh yeah, the comments: They’ve all been extremely negative.

And don’t get me wrong. I’m cool with that.

I love a good conversation. I don’t like arguing it publicly, though, at least on the Internet. On comment boards, these things get out of control and often degenerate into nonsense.

But being that I’ve only gotten four comments so far, I feel like I can thoughtfully respond to the commenter(s) who have taken the time to not just read, but respond to what I had to say – and believe me, whoever you are, there is no greater flattery.

What I’ve decided to do is copy-and-paste the comment into this article (some are very long) and below will be my response. This article will be very long as I feel the reader(s) deserve detailed answers for the detailed comments.

The comments left below my articles are on varying subjects – as the opinion editorials I wrote, are – but I feel I’ve responded to the best of my ability. I have to admit, the commenter(s) made some awesome points, and at times seemed to have done a lot of research.

From “Horror From The Airwaves”; June 2, 2009.

Hate to tell you Randy but a lot of folks do take talk radio VERY seriously (including those trying to shut it down with the Fairness Doctrine). With mainstream media so closely aligned with the Obama administration, conservative talk radio and Fox News Channel are the only alternatives for voices of dissent. And that’s why Fox News Channel's ratings have grown to more than MSNBC’s and CNN’s combined over the past year. Alternative media listeners are not necessarily misinformed, stupid or even conservative – many are simply seeking relief from the crushing conformity of politically-correct, pro-administration, mainstream media. If you don’t want them migrating to the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity, offer them some objective journalism – something they can’t find in mainstream media today.

I’d be very happy with what you call “alternatives for voices of dissent”, however, I personally don’t believe what’s on conservative talk radio qualifies as dissent – unless you consider “Bruno” a real fashion journalist.

I’d like to repeat, of course, that my column is a center-left opinion piece, so when I say talk radio and television news entertainers are actors, playing a part very much like the Hollywood stars they love to hate (side note: I’d even argue much of this anti-Hollywood jeering is basic jealousy, since the best Hollywood entertainers are able to convince their audiences they can play several characters instead of just one, the way news entertainers do), I don’t speak as someone who actually reads their minds, nor have I seen evidence of these people showing liberal values off the air, or anything to that nature. It’s my opinion, simply because my mind can’t comprehend taking these guys seriously.

I also don’t believe I’ve said, “Alternative media listeners are…misinformed, stupid.” In fact, I believe I pointed myself out as a, what you call, “alternative media listener.” I even considered Glenn Beck a reasonable person until late 2006, when he became famous. His studio, until around that time, was based out of Philly and while I knew he was conservative, he was also a no-nonsense sort of guy who didn’t feel compelled to talk about politics all the time. By the time he got signed to CNN, then Fox News, he basically turned into a shill for the anti-Obama media, playing into militia movement rhetoric and the 9/11 Truth scene (though he has never come out and said he believes 9/11 was an “inside job” as many of his fans do), believing anything the American government does is bad, simply because Democrats are now in charge of it. His self-induced tears and on-camera hissy fits are also strange to say the least.

Let’s consider the facts about someone like Sean Hannity, the second-highest rated talk radio and news entertainment performer in the United States.

One of the most basic elements of Hannity’s entertainment is his cropping of videos and audio clips on his shows. Just last week, July 7, Fox News White House reporter Major Garrett interviewed President Obama about his thoughts on the end of the Cold War, paraphrasing that Obama said, “the Cold War reached its conclusion because of the actions of many nations over many years.” Here’s Garrett and Obama’s exchange about the Cold War, in full:

GARRETT: In your speech this morning, you said the Cold War reached its conclusion because of the actions of many nations over many years. Mr. President, are the Russian sensitivities so fragile that you can't say the Cold War was won? The West won it? And it was led by a combination of Democratic and Republican American presidents?

OBAMA: Well, listen, the -- I think that you just cut out Lech Walesa and the Poles. You just cut out Havel and the Czechs. There were a whole bunch of people throughout Eastern Europe who showed enormous courage.

And I think that it is very important in this part of the world to acknowledge the degree to which people struggled for their own freedom. I'm very proud of the traditions of Democratic and Republican presidents to lift the Iron Curtain.

But, you know, we don't have to diminish other people in order to recognize our role in that history.

Garrett, of course, was indirectly asking our president if he believed it was the U.S. or the rest of the world that was responsible for defeating the Soviet Union. On “Hannity”, later that night, the Garrett-Obama exchange was aired this way:

GARRETT: In your speech this morning, you said the Cold War reached its conclusion because of the actions of many nations over many years. Mr. President, are the Russian sensitivities so fragile that you can't say the Cold War was won, the West won it, and it was led by a combination of Democratic and Republican American presidents?

OBAMA: There were a whole bunch of people throughout Eastern Europe who showed enormous courage, and I think that it is very important in this part of the world to acknowledge the degree to which people struggled for their own freedom.

We don't have to diminish other people in order to recognize our role in that history.

Hannity clearly omitted President Obama’s mention of years of American presidents roles in our eventual Cold War victory over the Soviet Union in order to further Hannity’s claim that President Obama somehow hates America, a claim disputed by video Hannity had undeniably seen, but cut out in order to misinform his viewer to reach the same opinion as the character Hannity plays. Is this a voice of dissent, an outright liar, or an actor?

A month earlier, President Obama gave a moving speech in Cairo, a speech that he promised on the campaign trail, and a speech that was well received all over the world.

In that speech, President Obama stated the following to an Arab audience:

OBAMA: I am aware that there are still some that would question or even justify the events of 9-11. But let us be clear: Al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 people on that day. The victims were innocent men, women and children from America and many other nations who had done nothing to harm anybody. And yet al Qaeda chose to ruthlessly murder these people, claimed credit for the attack, and even now states their determination to kill on a massive scale. They have affiliates in many countries and are trying to expand their reach. These are not opinions to be debated; these are facts to be dealt with.

That night, Hannity began his show smearing President Obama and this speech, claiming the following:

HANNITY: He also decided to give 9-11 sympathizers a voice on the world stage.

OBAMA [video clip]: I am aware that there are still some that would question or even justify the events of 9-11.

Hannity ended the clip there. He did not show the rest of the paragraph, which refutes exactly what Hannity is trying to claim of the president.

Because of technology and basic tools like the Internet at our fingertips, it takes a 3-second Google search to see Hannity’s misnomer. Again, is this the work of a newsman, a liar or an actor? Hannity knows how easy it is for an audience member to see the truth behind his croppings, so he can’t possibly be taking himself seriously, right?

As far as Fox News’ ratings doubling both MSNBC and CNN: Sure, that’s true. But we’re talking about 1.5 million (MSNBC, CNN) people compared to about 3 million people (Fox) – prime time numbers. I’d be the first to tell you Fox is the most entertaining. But that means about 6 million Americans are watching cable news – or, 2 percent of the population. I barely think that’s something to gloat about.

From “End Of An Era: The Bulletin Stops The Presses”; June 9, 2009

Randy, your theory that The Bulletin went out of business because it was too conservative is interesting but, unfortunately, runs counter to the facts. For example, it does not explain why the New York Times – certainly not a conservative paper –lost more than half of its revenue in less than a year (and just put the Boston Globe up for sale because the union would not take an 8% pay cut). Your assertion that conservative talk radio is popular only because people have nothing better to do while driving does not explain why Fox News Television (which folks are hopefully not watching while driving) now has more viewers than CNN and MSNBC combined – and the latter two continue to decline in viewership. And your implication that Americans continue to shift left in their attitudes runs counter to last April’s Pew Research Center findings that Americans have shifted over the past year to more conservative positions on both gun control and abortion. In May, Gallup confirmed that the majority of Americans for the first time now define themselves as pro-life. Finally, your notion that the Republican Party continues to tank defies the most recent CNN and Gallup polls showing Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ratings slipping below Dick Cheney’s, the latest Quinnipiac University poll predicting Democrat Chris Dodd losing to Republican challenger Rob Simmons in the 2010 senate race, and in New Jersey, the Rasmussen Reports poll predicting Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie defeating incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine. If anything, we are beginning to see a shift to the right. But that’s not the entire reason why The New York Times, CNN and MSNBC are tanking. Rather, it’s because they stopped doing their job of critically examining the power structure in Washington. Those outlets did fine when they appropriately questioned George Bush’s policies on a wide range of issues prior to the last election. That is what Americans expect a free press to do. But now, instead of critically examining the current administration, they continue to look backward to the prior administration while simply singing praises for Obama. Discerning Americans instinctively know they’re not getting the whole story and turn to the conservative media outlets as the only available source of critical journalism. And most are simply weary of the same old Bush-bashing – he’s long gone, after all. If the mainstream media outlets want to survive, they need to start doing their job of casting a watchful and critical eye on whomever is in power in Washington, Democrat or Republican. 

In this comment, there are many, many issues put forth. I’ll try to comment on all of them.

First off, I think we can all agree on the fact that as long as newspapers keep the word “paper” in their names, they will continue to decline. One of the goals of Philly2Philly.com is to take advantage of the news media’s reluctant shift over to the net with alternative voices and fresh content. The New York Times and Boston Globe are going to tank as long as they have presses. But so is every paper. As for The Bulletin, it pains me to say it, but the small paper never had a real readership. Picking up a copy from a Center City newsstand, it was often embarrassing to see how few advertisements were pasted across its pages. Most subscribers were those who read the original Evening Bulletin and were reminiscent of the days when “Nearly everybody” read The Bulletin.

That being said, I believe after editor Kevin Williamson and beat reporter Jim McCaffery left, they decided to more-less copy the style of papers like the now-defunct New York Sun, The New York Post (besides its sleazy gossip columns) The Washington Times, and The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The problem with this business model is that most conservative newspapers aren’t profitable, and never have been.

According to An April 26, 2008 article by NY Times’ Tim Arango, The New York Post loses an estimated $50 million a year. Rev. Sun Myung Moon, billionaire businessman, Unification Church mass marriage orator, and owner of The Washington Times has sunk anywhere between $2-$3 billion into his paper, and it has never made a profit, according to John Gorenfeld’s book, “Bad Moon Rising”. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette found through court papers that the Tribune-Review has lost between $20 million and $30 million since its conception in 1992.

What’s the point of all this? Few have ever read conservative media in its paper form. Billionaire businessmen own most of the outlets and use their print editions to further a conservative agenda – knowing they will make up the money through other revenues and that because their approved words are in print, the issues they’ve reported on are legitimized.

The fact that The Bulletin went after this business model, I believe, has set its doom in order. Bulletin publisher Tom Rice announced at the July 4 Philadelphia Tea Party protest that he will begin republishing on August second. In spite of what I’ve just said, I wish him luck. He’s a good guy with a good heart.

Conservative audio and video is much easier to tolerate, mostly because those respectfully listening and watching are not always conservative. Reading in this age has become a chore for many of us, and, this opinion writer personally believes the reason conservative audio/video makes money while conservative reading does not is because no one wants to do chores knowing they’re not going to get anything real out of it, so there is a much smaller audience. Most television, especially cable, doesn’t try to disguise itself as anything but trash. The same goes for news.

The polls you site, I believe, have little merit. Is Chris Dodd losing because he’s a Democrat or because he put a provision in the AIG bailout bill that allowed bonuses to be handed out with taxpayer money? And at that, aren’t we talking about polls for a senatorial election that will take place over a year from now in which Dodd will first be challenged in a primary?

The fact that Dick Cheney has higher approval ratings than Nancy Pelosi also means nothing.

Let’s keep in mind that Lyndon Johnson still polled around 50% after 1966, even as the Vietnam War and ghetto riots reached their boiling points. On March 31, 1968, he announced he wouldn’t run for a second term as president. His ratings then skyrocketed. There are many theories as to why this is true, but my opinion is probably the simplest: Those Americans who disapproved of his job were glad to see him go – he’d finally done something they agreed with! He’s still responsible for 40 years of conservative rule because of his controversial presidency and the failure of many of his social programs, as well as Vietnam.

If someone asked me if I approved of Dick Cheney today, I’d respond with a resounding “Hell yes!” I approve of Dick Cheney no longer being the vice president. On the other hand, I’d also tend to wonder why I was being polled on my opinion of someone in the private sector.

The next comment, under my article “Fox News Wins Suit To Misinform Public – Seriously” (June 29, 2009) was particularly devastating. The commenter seemed pretty angry and did a whole lot of digging to prove his or her case. I commend and thank him or her for taking the time to not only read and analyze my article, but provide such a thoughtful response.

 Randy, if you had just dug a little deeper you would have found an article by Lawrence K. Grossman, a former president of NBC News and PBS, published in the prestigious Columbia (University) Journalism Review on March 1, 2001, shortly after Akre (but not Wilson) won the original lawsuit against Fox. Why did Wilson lose the suit while Akre won? Mr. Grossman states that, “Wilson, who served as his own lawyer… came across as overly aggressive, a zealot rather than a dispassionate reporter. The jury probably figured that Wilson was eligible to be fired on grounds other than whistleblowing.” And Mr. Grossman points out that far from trying to suppress Akre and Wilson, Fox was simply trying to make the series bullet-proof against Monsanto’s aggressive legal team – with no help from Akre and Wilson: “… Rupert Murdoch's Fox -- unquestionably worried about the ‘dire consequences’ it would suffer if any part of the story were the slightest bit off.” As aptly demonstrated in the movie Food Inc., you’d better get it right if you are going to take on Monsanto in the courtroom – and Fox wasn’t taking any chances. And Mr. Grossman reveals that WTVT actually did run the series largely intact – far from your allegations that it was censored for Monsanto: “A month after Akre and Wilson filed their suit, WTVT did broadcast what seemed to this observer to be a strong and effective three-part investigative series on the subject, produced by a different reporter, Nathan Lang. His series was hardly any different in substance from the versions that Akre and Wilson and the station had been battling over the previous year.” And what about your allegations that the appeals court gave Fox the legal right to lie? Not quite true. In an article published in Broadcasting and Cable on February 24, 2003, Dan Trigoboff states that, “The appeals court said Akre failed to state a claim under federal whistleblower protections. The court found that what the FCC has referred to as its ‘news-distortion’ policy—opposing the intentional falsification of news—has not been published or put into a necessary law, rule or regulation.” Not only did the court never declare that WTVT distorted the truth but rather it definitively determined that the law on which the original decision was based did not exist and that Akre failed to establish her case. Hardly a big conspiracy between Fox and Monsanto, and absolutely no evidence of mainstream media cover-up. Sorry Randy, if you are going after Fox News you need to do better than repackaging six-year stale blog stories about a conspiracy that never existed. And maybe you should brush-up on your Google search skills as well. Seriously.

First off, I don’t think I said there was a conspiracy in my article. It just happened that at one of the lowest times for reporting – the lead up to the Iraq War – this trial was going on. Merely a coincidence some might call irony.

This commenter also brings up the case of Steve Wilson, Jane Akre’s reporting partner. That is fine, but my article was not about Steve Wilson, it was about the fact that after Jane Akre was awarded money, she was then forced to give it back when Fox-funded lawyers got the case overturned and how the mainstream media steered clear of the entire debacle.

According to the academic media research book “Battleground” by Robin Andersen and Jonathan Grey, part of the reason for the anger around the suit was not just the First Amendment issues it brought up, but the fact that Monsanto (the company that was producing a synthetic bovine growth hormone, BGH, in Florida that was banned in Canada and Europe because of its links to colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, bacterial and antibiotic residues left in milk, whom Akre and Wilson went after in their report), was a client of Actmedia, an advertising firm owned by Rupert Murdoch, who owns NewsCorp, the parent company of Fox News.

Conspiracy or not, this at least sounds like someone’s interests were in line with pulling the original – or the more than 80 revised scripts of the original – report. This fact is never mentioned by Larry Grossman or Dan Trigoboff in their respective articles.

It seems you believe Larry Grossman’s Columbia Journalism Review’s article is in-line with the truth of the case, but how do you know? Grossman never actually compares for the reader, a side-by-side report of what is in each television report. He simply states they are similar and expects the reader to trust him. Grossman does not even ask Akre or Wilson for comment.

A St. Louis Journalism Review report of the side-by-side reports found nearly a dozen differences, “some profound and some subtle.” The original jury that awarded Akre $425,000 found that the report was “a false, distorted, or slanted news report.”

The Fox-funded lawyers even admitted in court that they never found any distortions in the original version of Akre and Wilson’s report.

But I am getting off the topic of my original article. I merely stated no mainstream news organizations reported on the topic. Do you consider the Columbia Journalism Review a piece of mainstream news? According to an August 22, 2007 Editor and Publisher article, CJR has a circulation of 19,000, which includes 6,000 student subscriptions. According to its own numbers, 72% of these 19,000 readers are media professionals. I personally do not consider this mainstream. It’s more of a trade magazine – though the term “mainstream” is not objective, hence my column being “opinion.”

Back to the actual lawsuit. The defense’s argument was that there were no written rules against distorting news in the media. No one ever claimed Akre lied about being pressured into reporting a false story – they merely stated it was their right to do so. In the end it came down to what was legally binding: a “policy” or a “regulation.” They found that regulations are, policies are not. Therefore, the case was overturned. This loophole, or whatever you want to call it, hasn’t been dealt with since the case, so when Sean Hannity crops video and audio clips as I explained earlier, he is merely violating a policy – no harm done. Fox never changed the law (though Rupert Murdoch has successfully lobbied in the past to change several media monopoly laws); they merely gave credence to vague language.

At that, I agree with you, commenter, that I have attacked Fox News by name more than the other news networks, but I don’t believe there’s a real difference. They’re all entertainment. It just happens that CNN and MSNBC follow Fox’s lead from the center and left as their gimmick. Fox was the first to turn such great profits by balkanizing media to the point that, as Kurt Vonnegut once stated, “Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative.”

Fox News may be the worst, but they’re all awful. 

From “The Tea Parties”; July 6, 2009:

Randy, any journalist worth their salt would have jumped at the chance to attend that Tea Party before writing an article about it. Here was a golden opportunity to observe first-hand who was running the event, to speak with the people who were attending, to listen and understand their stories and to write a solid, fact-based article. But by your own admission you were off having too much fun to actually research your subject matter.  Instead, you preferred to rely on stale, second-hand sources and make-up a story that culminates in – surprise, surprise – another unsubstantiated attack on Fox News. Or perhaps you were afraid that the people you would have met at the Tea Party might not all conform to your stereotype of nuts-cases and neo-Nazis but instead include ordinary Philadelphians with genuine concerns, legitimately exercising their right to free speech. Suggestion: try actually engaging with people before demonizing them. You might learn something and your writing would be a lot more original and interesting.

This kind of comment is tough for a writer. Being someone who makes a living as a freelancer, I am constantly looking for jobs in various aspects of the writing world. I edit books, transcribe audio, write copy, and work on SEO content for adult education websites, along with various journalism and opinion. If one of my clients were to not actually read my article but just go for the comment below – a rarity – I might not get or keep that particular job. Such is the life.

In the comment, this commenter uses few facts but accuses me of relying on “stale, second-hand sources and make up a story.” Ouch!

Well, as stated in “The Tea Parties”, my article was not about the Philadelphia Tea Party in particular. I merely quoted someone who was there and spoke to a camera (by my best estimates, Herb Denenberg’s YouTube rant was not doctored and is in line with many of his previous quotes in the pages of The Bulletin) as a lead up to the rest of the article.

This commenter also accuses me of having too much fun to research my subject matter. On July 4th, yes, that’s true. It was my day off and I did no work on that particular day. I began writing Sunday.

(We have a closed-off block party every year, something I wouldn’t miss, the Phillies were on, and I’m a stone’s throw away from the fireworks.)

Anyway, as the center-left opinion writer at Philly2Philly, my inclination was to write about the Tea Party movement as a whole, because I felt like they came out of nowhere, especially since President Bush is responsible for eight years of overspending and creating a deficit.

This commenter claims my “attack on Fox News” is “unsubstantiated.” Of course, I’d disagree.

In preparation for the April 14 Tea Parties, Fox News aired several statements promoting the protests, inviting viewers to join – hardly the responsibility of a news organization. Glenn Beck encouraged viewers to “celebrate with Fox News” at the protests. Text below Beck labeled the protests as “FNC [Fox News Channel] Tax Day Tea Parties.”

Tea Party promotions were featured on every Fox News show since at least March 24. On the day of the protests, Fox host Megyn Kelly stated, “You can join the tea party action from your home if you go to TheFoxNation.com ... a virtual tax day tea party."

John Gibson, on Happening Now, expressed “hope” that “millions of people” would participate.

On April 14, Sean Hannity entertained his audience from the protest in Atlanta, Georgia. Glenn Beck was at the San Antonio, Texas protest. Neil Cavuto was in Sacramento, California. Greta Van Sustren was in Washington, D.C.

Neil Cavuto, reporting from Sacramento stated, “They were expecting 5,000 here, it’s got to be easily double, if not triple that.” A hot mic caught Cavuto earlier, stating that he believed there were only 5,000 at the protest – no more.

On July 4, the second Tea Parties were promoted, but sparsely attended, with little media coverage, likely because July 4 came on a sunny Saturday, when very few watch the news. However, on FoxNation.com, a Fox-run opinion website, readers and web surfers were encouraged to sign up for their local Tea Parties.

I mean, I just don’t remember seeing Fox so proudly attending anti-war protests, in which many, many more people were often on hand over the last eight years. At that, I don’t remember MSNBC or CNN doing that either. Why Fox? Why now? This is part of what I was looking to uncover in my piece.

Moving on, this commenter claims I am making caricatures of Tea Party attendants, as a “stereotype of nuts-cases and neo-Nazis.” That’s just not true. I found out The Bulletin was going to be publishing again on August 2 because I watched a YouTube a video of Bulletin publisher Tom Rice saying so, and I consider him neither a nutcase nor a neo-Nazi. In fact, I have a lot of respect for the guy.

However, it’s just a fact that many of Ron Paul’s supporters, who began these Tea Parties in the first place, are 9/11 Truthers and white supremacists who believe anti-Semitic theories about small groups that secretly control the world. Not all of them. But a portion. Just read RonPaulForums.com or Infowars.com to see for yourself. As stated in my article, the Anti-Defamation League has warned that these protests are recruiting grounds for white supremacists and neo-Nazi hate groups. It’s not like I just made this stuff up out of thin air.

Further, the official Duval County, Florida Republican Party Facebook page celebrated protestors holding signs depicting Barack Obama with an Adolf Hitler Mustache, standing in front of a swastika. Remember how outraged conservatives were about leftist protestors saying Bush was a Nazi? Well, I don’t remember any official Democratic Party officials celebrating this disgusting portrayal the way Republican Party officials have.

Thanks for reading my columns and I hope to gets lots more response in the future. 

 


Comments


1:03 PM
Wed Jul 15 2009
Keep up the good work!

Randy, you’ve come a long way in your response to the readers. Clarifying your role as a “center-left columnist” rather than a news journalist is important – and honest – because it level-sets readers’ expectations. You also bring a greater depth of research to your positions than was evident in the original articles. And by conceding that CNN and MSNBC as well as Fox News are guilty of faulty journalism - and that leftist protestors as well as tea party participants have unfairly demonized U.S. presidents - you introduce a balance also lacking in the originals.  

It’s obvious that a lot of hard work went into your response to the readers. But that’s the level of effort that should go into every column – the first time. If you don’t want someone shooting holes in your articles, bullet-proof them from the outset. You are the one depending on this for a living, not the readers. 

But a couple of the comments deserve deeper reflection. Although you reiterate that you cannot take conservative commentators seriously, their message is resonating deeply with an ever-growing number of Americans. Rather than simply dismissing these listeners you would do well to try to understand them. Similarly, whether or not the tea parties are promoted by Fox News, they too have drawn a growing number of attendees. What can be motivating these people? There’s definitely an opportunity for a story there.  

And the reader was correct that there is no substitute for face-to-face interviews, even if it happens to be on the Fourth of July. Sometimes working on holidays goes with the turf and the most successful people don’t always distinguish between work and leisure in their professions. Strike while the iron is hot!

Finally, it is clear that your readers are committed to seeing that you do your very best in crafting intellectually honest, well-researched and “fair and balanced” articles for Philly2Philly.com – which deserves the very best. And you should expect the readers to challenge anything that falls short of that standard. But you seem to be moving in the right direction, so keep up the good work!