As a long-time BND letter submitter, I read Richard Yesley’s recent letter, “Just the facts, writers,” with great interest. I think maybe he’s expecting a little too much from letter submitters.
Letters appear on the opinions page of the BND. An opinion by definition is “a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.”
I personally try to keep my letter contributions fact-based, but my remarks might come at least partially from an Internet source that may or may not be Snopes-vetted. You have to be very cautious of the old adage, “It must be true because I read it on the Internet.”
Other letter providers may not have the electronic capability and/or the inclination to do so. They may just have a personal opinion on a given subject and just want to express it. You know that old saying about what “opinions” are like, right? Everyone has one but only a few care to put them in print.
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At the end of the day I’m afraid it is what it is and a letter has to be accepted at face value without benefit of footnotes or references.