The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

A response to VOX’s letter

Having read VOX’s letter to the editor, which was published in the Opinion section Jan. 28, it’s apparent that there are some people who do not understand the function of a newspaper, insofar as to how its editors and advertisement team may proffer opinion.

I’m writing to offer an explanation, which will address the glaring misconceptions of their letter. First, the assertion that the Cynic ever condemned “Jesus Lady” is entirely incorrect.

Both the Life and News sections covered her appearance — objectively, it should be noted — but neither condemned her.

To have done so would have been, to use VOX’s language, “irresponsible and harmful” in a journalistic sense. But for some reason, they would endorse non-objective criticism of her.

Whatever VOX thinks about the Cynic’s official views, which they may garner only from its staff editorials, it is extremely evident that VOX’s main concern is not with the Cynic’s journalistic integrity, but rather with the fact that an advertisement, included in copies of the paper, expressed views that disagreed with theirs.

Their objection seems to do with the fact that the pro-life ad was “political.” Well, sure, in the sense that it didn’t endorse any candidate, referendum or amendment.

Planned Parenthood, however, routinely does, and the Cynic publishes their advertisements.

What strikes me as odd is that VOX cites as a breach of journalistic integrity that the Cynic published a political advertisement; but when it proceeds to elaborate on those violations, VOX seems to just list a number of reasons why they don’t like various — and unrelated — pro-life movements.

Which is fine.

If VOX finds pro-life ideology disagreeable, they are free to write a letter outlining why pro-life arguments are fallacious, or unscientific, or whatever.

But to levy an attack on the Cynic’s integrity based solely on their own ideological preferences, it being disguised as a concern for the ethics of a newspaper, is as dishonest as it is ridiculous.

Newsflash: Cynic ads don’t represent Cynic staff opinion. If they did, all of its writers would get their haircuts from Supercuts and join the Peace Corps.

Interestingly, the VOX letter contradicts itself in the first two sentences of its fourth paragraph.

VOX states that it’s acceptable for the Cynic to publish ads that provide perspectives from “politically divergent groups,” but they then go on to say that this is different from “cashing checks” from groups that do not “respect a woman’s choice to have an abortion.”

Wait, what? You mean more than half of the nation has an opinion that is not fit to advertise?

Why can’t an organization that disagrees with abortion buy ad space from the Cynic, but a group that supports it is perfectly allowed? Are only organizations that agree with abortion allowed to buy ad space?

Moreover, why should VOX be designated the arbiter by which we judge an opinion according to its publishable merit?

And is there any room to disagree with abortion — perhaps by disputing the amount Planned Parenthood receives from the federal government, or by questioning the dubious constitutionality of Roe v. Wade — before Vox accuses you of trying to institute the legal codes of Saudi princes to oppress women?

Whatever the case, it remains to be seen how the Cynic’s journalistic integrity was ever in question.

Or why VOX bothered to write in without a real argument.

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A response to VOX’s letter