Letters To The Editor 1/31/2019
Editor: On Jan. 22, a local TV channel aired a story about ice falling off the roof of a tractor-trailer traveling west on Interstate 80 in Monroe County and hitting an eastbound car.
The ice broke the windshield of the car and a person was taken to a hospital. The truck driver will be charged with hit and run, I guess, if authorities can find out who it was.
A Pennsylvania law adopted a few years ago requires drivers to clean the roofs of their trailers before driving. Sounds good, right? But I have no idea how they expect drivers to do that safely. Meanwhile, I see many owners of cars who are too lazy to even clean a spot big enough to look out the windshield, let alone the rest of the car.
Incidentally, they can stand on the ground to do that.
As an independent trucker for close to 20 years, and a truck driver for 44 years, I got up on the roof of my trailer after a recent snow, as required by law, and cleaned the four inches of ice off the roof of my trailer. I almost fell off twice. That’s 13 feet, 6 inches to the ground if I fall. But who cares about me?
My concern is, if I fall and break my back and can no longer work, who can I sue? Certainly not the state. But if a piece of ice falls off a tractor-trailer, there no problem about who to sue. On TV, there’s constant commercials from lawyers, saying, “If you’re involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer, call us. We’ll get you money.”
Then again, many of our legislators are lawyers. They pass legislation to keep the money rolling in to their law firms in perpetuity, don’t they?
JOHN T. PETROCHKO
Editor: The news is turning into a loser, a problem caused by commitment to an analog product in a digital world.
On the national stage, the lack of investment in investigative reporters at major media outlets helped lead to the election of Donald Trump as president.
This, in turn, leads to an ill-informed electorate. Lackawanna County offers a laboratory-like environment for all to witness these effects. In an economy driven by circulation, clicks, and advertising, can you really blame local media for not being able to find the truth?
Look at the plethora of alphabet broadcast news agencies, which all employ very expensive harlequins to read current events, or worse, feed the public slanted opinions. These broadcasters become “personalities” and the news becomes secondary to the branding.
Corporations spend millions chasing ratings and nowhere near enough chasing down stories. Without a sufficient number of journalists pouring over records and asking hard questions, we end up with candidates who have fleas. Worse yet, some of them get elected. We don’t find out about their vast indiscretions until it’s too late and we end up with a major infestation.
Editor: The majority of news media in America has thrown away the standards of journalism and blurred the lines between fact and opinion.
Freedom of speech and freedom of the press go hand-in-hand. When most members of the media have a groupthink, pack mentality, it undermines a republic. View it as free speech: If speech only went one way, you would not have a free society, would you?
Unlike doctors, lawyers and other professionals, some journalists are not held to rules of professional conduct. These so-called journalists are destroying the freedom of the press. I think the mass media are committed in this country to sabotaging this presidency and that undermines this republic.
Most of the mass media participate in advocacy. When nine out of 10 stories are negative from major broadcasters, it is not a coincidence. It has been endless false reporting about the president and Russia, the Covington Catholic High School kids wearing Zake America great again hats and the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court situation.
The objectivity is gone, it is a constant attack on a legitimately elected president. The major media outlets are out to destroy President Trump. We live with yellow journalism, which relies on sensationalism and lurid exaggeration to attract or influence readers or viewers.
Editor: I believe the kids from Covington Catholic High School have zero culpability in the recent confrontation in Washington, D.C.
They allegedly were harassed and called heinous names by a group known to be provocative. Then, a Native American supposedly got in the personal space of one student and beat a drum inches from his face. The kids remained calm and non-threatening. The bottom line is that they were attacked verbally simply because they were white, Christian and wearing make America great again hats. Could they have walked away? Probably, but they shouldn’t have had to do that. They were in a public space.
They are kids and adults allegedly chose to harass them. It is remarkably like the situation involving Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in which some people jumped to conclusions without sufficient evidence. Based on the hysterical response from the liberal media, if you don’t believe that progressives are willing to destroy anyone who has a differing view, you are not paying attention.
Editor: The novel, “The Ugly American” was published in 1958.
It portrayed Americans abroad, particularly the diplomatic corps in southeast Asia at the time, as pretentious, loud and ostentatious. In the 1960s, the administration of President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps, which helped to soften the nation’s image.
Now, we see the Trump administration, especially with President Donald Trump in charge, displaying all the worst traits depicted in the 1958 book. Perhaps someone may want to rewrite that publication and call it, “The Ugliest American.”