"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007
Today I posted in response to a letter that appeared in the Durham Herald Sun. You can read my post, which contains the letter in full, here.
The first comment the post drew was this from an Anon:
[Letter writer] Schlegel shouldn't be faulted for having bizarre thoughts; after all, she had some pretty serious trauma fighting cancer. She is probably more to be pitied for having trouble grasping reality.I read the comment a few times trying to decide whether it was a troll's comment that simply deserved deletion.
The Hurled Scum was absolutely dead wrong in publishing the poor woman's letter, exposing her aberratiions (sic) for all to see. I liken it to pointing and laughing at someone having a grand mal seizure. At this juncture, what is gained by publishing the ravings of someone who is obviously trouobled (sic)? Hurled Scum does it again!! What a rag!!!
I've decided to treat the comment as being a genuine expression of belief by a person whose conscious intentions are well-meant.
That said, I take very strong exception to just about everything the commenter says.
To label Ms. Schlegel's statements as bizarre and attribute them to her cancer without detailed clinical knowledge of her condition is presumptuous in the extreme.
It also ignores some very salient facts including the following:
1) Ten of millions of cancer survivors are thoughtful, skilled, intelligent and able citizens who are as free, if not more free, of bizarre thoughts than the average citizen.
2) Everything Schlegel said in her letter has been said by people paid to write news reports, columns and editorial for our largest circulation newspapers; and to host and comment on our cable channels.
Most of those people are not cancer survivors. They are just people like Schlegal who've embraced zany and dangerous ideas.
3) There was nothing I read in Schlegel's letter that I haven't heard again and again from people here in Durham I've know for ten, twenty and thirty plus years. And most of them are people who've never had cancer.
I could say more but I hope I've made my points: lots of people who've never had cancer say what Schlegel said; there's no reason to believe she said what she said because of her cancer; and her opinions are ones many, including many in media and in Durham, share.
Therefore, in publishing her letter, the Herald Sun, was giving voice to one segment of community opinion.
That was a reasonable thing for a newspaper to do even as I disagree with just about everything in Schlegel's letter.
Again, you can read her letter here.