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Huckleberries Online

Editorializing on torture

This question and answer on Ask the Editors ties closely to a discussion on HBO last week. Here, opinion page editor Doug Floyd responds to a reader who questions why we didn't write an editorial about the torture death of two U.S. soldiers:

I should also mention that few of our editorials deal with national and international issues. Over the long haul, 80 to 90 percent of our editorials are on local, state or regional topics.

Finally, and this is probably the key point, our editorial board takes the press’s watchdog role seriously. We can sound off every day about the atrocities committed by terrorists around the globe. We can denounce them as loudly as we know how. But so what?

However, when we perceive wrongdoing by American service members, or local government, or any other public entity that is ultimately accountable to our citizen readers, then we do speak up. The inherent reason for that is that a good government can be made better, or can be prevented from becoming bad, when the people are informed and have a chance to demand adherence to high standards.

In that spirit, we will always be more likely to render constructive criticism about our own government than to protest the misconduct of an enemy.

Read the whole post here.

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.