Dear UMReporter, UCMPage's Headlines Editorial "Hyperbole" And "Inflammatory," Not Libel
From: Ben Sharpe
Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2003 2:12 PM
Dear Mr. Smith,
As a "news junkie" I frequently view both the UMReporter and the UCMPage.org. I often do not agree with the UCMPage's editorial characterizations of the news items to which this site links. Indeed, sometimes I am not sure how they arrive at the headlines based on the text of the linked material. On other occasions the UCMPage offers a valuable service by challenging the hegemony* of the religious media establishment. The headlines on the UCMPage site are clearly editorial even if you or I consider them to be misleading, wrongheaded, or even brilliantly insightful. In other words there is nothing you can do about it. Welcome to the wild and wooly world of the new media. In fact, as long as you are giving your editorial opinion you can, in like manner, offer a link to the UCMPage with slanted or even inflammatory depictions of what appears on that site. Certainly you understand this as you are an associate editor of a mainstream religious publication. It may not be "good journalism", or even responsible behavior, but it is not libelous. I think the readers of the UCMPage.org and the UMReporter are capable of distinguishing between journalism and editorializing. I am fairly certain that you share this capability.
Indeed, my own web page (www.orthovox.org) is a featured link on the UCMPage and I have occasionally been embarrassed to be associated with some of the editorial hyperbole present on Rev. Warrener's site. However, the internet being what it is, I have trusted in the intelligence of my (few) readers to be able to judge each website based on its individual merits. I think you can do the same.
I do wonder, however, why you are so irritated by this gadfly that you feel you must try to intimidate it into silence.
Ben Sharpe Fayetteville, NC
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