Republic Editorial writer Linda Valdez used the Sunday Viewpoints section to call for a "quieter discourse," and to chastise the media and political figures for their "inflammatory rhetoric." Valdez made it clear that she doesn't count herself among the inflammatory media elite.
But media celebrities who got rich exploiting grudges and demonizing political opponents won't stop as long as the audience is cheering.
Valdez also makes it clear that she is not apologizing for her past behavior, she views herself as one of the good guys and is urging her readers to hold the "inflammatory" politicians and media personalities accountable.
But who is going to hold Linda Valdez accountable? Here's a piece that Valdez wrote a few year ago. It's still on the Republic website and I've never heard her retract it or apologize for it.
The piece was written during the French headscarf controversy, and the title of the piece is "Faith is a good thing-until it becomes hatred." Here's Valdez' idea of hatred.
The French said it straight up with their ban, which includes Islamic head scarves, Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses. They want to preserve France's secular foundations.
That's a good idea.
That's a good idea? What? Are you telling me that an editorial writer for the state's largest newspaper supports laws banning people from wearing crosses, head scarves or "Jewish skullcaps"? Valdez goes on to make a Constitutional argument to justify her position, and the argument boils down to: sure, we have free speech and freedom of religion, but you can't yell "fire" in a crowded auditorium, so you shouldn't be allowed to wear your Jewish Skullcap at the grocery store.
Take a moment and read the entire Valdez piece from 2006. After all, I don't want you to think that I'm taking her words out of context.
After you read her full article, ruminate on the fact that Linda Valdez is now calling for the politicians and the media elite to be more tolerant.
I'll start to believe the local media's call for a "quiter discourse" when media management actually applies that standard to the people calling for the discourse. When Valdez apologizes for her outrageous characterization of people of faith--or when the newspaper lets her go--they can lecture the rest of us about the level of discourse.
Until then, they are just temporarily cutting back on the vitriol...and replacing it with hypocrisy and condescension.