Letters for September 20, 2001

RN&R’s non-coverage was reprehensible
Re “Upward and Onward” (RN&R Editor’s Note, Sept. 13):

While I understand that pulling the paper from the presses might not be the most cost-saving thing to do, I am terribly disappointed in your decision to not run coverage of the events in New York and Washington, D.C.

To use the cliché of “we must go on” is a thinly veiled attempt to cover up for your obvious mistake of not pulling the paper so that you could get SOMETHING, ANYTHING newsworthy in this week’s issue of the News & Review.

Also, you are painfully wrong in saying that the events that you covered are important “if for no other reason than that we need to keep on going.” Indeed, I offer to you that any items that would run in a newspaper two days after a heinous attack on your country that weren’t pertinent to that story ARE FRIVOLOUS!

The decision not to cover these events means you were painfully derelict in your duties as an editor of a newspaper. To have an option to stop your run and print something timely and real, and then to choose NOT to do so, makes me question the intent and substance of the News & Review.

If, with the limited resources we have, the Sagebrush can pull together and get a special edition out to the students of Nevada, then certainly an organization with the resources you have could, nay, SHOULD have done the same.

Benjamin Larson
Editor-in-chief Sagebrush

No coverage a lousy decision
Re “Upward and Onward” (RN&R Editor’s Note, Sept. 13):

I am so angry right now. I completely disagree with your Editor’s Note. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Your paper has now made itself trivial. I cannot believe a group of intelligent people such as yourselves would make such an ignorant and lousy decision.

We, as humans, have to realize that we must take some time to realize and recognize tragedies. It has become too easy for us to “go on and continue.”

As Americans, we should be ashamed at ourselves for going on and continuing our everyday life when the USS Cole was hit by terrorists. But some entertainment couple must have broken up or got married, or maybe there was just too much going on in sports. So that is what the media covered, and that is why we “went on” the very next moment it happened. And now, during this tragedy of losing so many fellow Americans because of a completely evil act, we should pick up our bootstraps and move on? Yes, I guess, little by little, but not so much as to cover some Burning Man incident on your front cover.

You should have at the very least had a listing of the Americans we have lost in this tragedy, which is easily accessible on the Internet. It will be a long time before we forget this tragedy, and it will be a long time before I pick up your paper again.

Karen Bunker
via e-mail

Jimmy Boegle responds: I strongly feel that we do have to go on with our lives after such a tragedy. I know that, personally, it helps me deal with it. What has happened makes me sick to my stomach. I’ve cried more over the last few days than I have in years. And I know that as things unfold even more, there will be more crying. But by going on with family and work commitments, by going on with grocery shopping, by going on with life in general, it allows me to deal with things. I truly believe what I wrote.

As for the RN&R’s decision to not pull everything and dedicate ourselves to some coverage of the horrible tragedy, one of the reasons we decided not to do so was the fact that our coverage would have been simply sophomoric had we made the decision at 9 a.m. Sept. 11 to do so. The way our deadlines work— and they are out of my control—most of the pages at that point are finished or nearly finished. While we could have pulled some of our finished pages, it would have meant unduly taxing our small and emotionally taxed staff more than I felt was appropriate.

Even our latest deadlines are Wednesday morning. That means that the latest parts of the RN&R finished would have been a good 24-36 hours old, even for the earliest RN&R readers. Everything in that coverage would be extremely old, possibly inaccurate (as facts change so quickly in a developing situation like this) and irrelevant. Such coverage would have been an insult to our readers, and even the very nature of the tragedy itself. I stand behind our decision to do what we did 100 percent.