Josh Mintzer: Conservative columnist needed, but should fact-check own side
To the editor:
Certainly it is in our community’s best interest to have different voices offering up opinions and viewpoints.
Especially in such a “blue” enclave as this, we owe it to ourselves to avoid the dangers of group-think and “the echo chamber.” With that said, could not the Gazette find a more capable conservative voice than columnist Jay Fleitman?
At first, I was quite pleased when I discovered that he was going to be writing an opinion column in this paper.
While I do not know him personally, I was very impressed with his even-handed, fair and balanced handling of the infamous “The Den/Board of Health” situation in Northampton a few years back; indeed, he seemed to be the only honest, straight-shooting individual on the entire board and the only one willing to defend a group of hardworking, young entrepreneurs against the entrenched, elitist interests in Northampton.
But the intellectually dishonest voice repeating tired, discredited tea party propaganda in these pages is not the same man I thought I saw back in late 2008. I can’t tell what his opinions are because he’s too busy repeating what the national GOP says. That he complains about nearly non-existent “widespread voter fraud” was proof he doesn’t bother to fact check his own side.
There must be more than a few conservatives in the Valley who can write challenging pieces, backed with facts and proper research, who can give us something to think about, people who can help us see “the other side” without devolving into the same tired canards.
I don’t blindly support President Obama and the Democratic Party and I’m sure I’m not alone in this desire to see a conservative viewpoint represented with better stewardship than Fleitman has demonstrated in these pages.