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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.

Josh Mintzer



Jay Fleitman: Wayward arguments about race litter responses to Gregory Clay column in Gazette

Monday, August 5, 2013

NORTHAMPTON — The editorial page of the Gazette was replete with letters in response to Gregory Clay’s July 17 column that were stunning for their anger and vitriol. It was unsettling to read. The editors of the Gazette were excoriated by these readers for having committed a transgression that breached an unspoken agreement that would have banned a discussion of …

Jay Fleitman: Undercurrents of an override in Northampton

Monday, July 1, 2013

NORTHAMPTON — It was one week to the day before the special election, and the Proposition 2½ override was nowhere on my radar. I was going to a meeting of the Northampton Republican City Committee to recruit volunteers for the Gomez for Senate campaign. I was perplexed by the many cars in the parking lot that were sporting Obama and …

Jay Fleitman: Views of southern Africa

Monday, June 3, 2013

NORTHAMPTON — My wife and I just returned from a trip that had us visit four nations in southern Africa including Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Despite having traveled elsewhere in Africa and in other non-Western countries, at some level before we left we feared that we would die of malaria, get mauled by lions, be arrested by some …

Jay Fleitman: A political draw on abortion

Sunday, March 31, 2013

NORTHAMPTON — Stephen Lynch, a Democratic primary candidate for the Senate, is pro-life. As this creates difficulties for him with his party’s base he is attempting a political sleight of hand by asserting his support for Roe v. Wade and continued federal funding for Planned Parenthood. His opponent on the Democratic side, Edward Markey, supported a constitutional amendment to ban …

Jay Fleitman: A report from the front on US Senate seat

Monday, March 4, 2013

NORTHAMPTON — In this neck of the woods, it is no surprise that most of the attention toward the coming special election for the U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts is being paid to the primary in the Democratic Party. But Republicans are also engaged in a primary battle, and I can report from that front. I have become involved in …

Jay Fleitman: ‘Downton Abbey’ conservatives

Monday, February 4, 2013

NORTHAMPTON — This will be a novelty: dueling columns on this page with “Downton Abbey” as a surrogate for the current American economy. For the uninitiated, “Downton Abbey” is a dramatic PBS series now popular across the U.S., Europe and Israel. It is a fictional portrayal of one of the dwindling numbers of noble English estates in a world in …

Jay Fleitman: A case of fiscal cliff diving

Monday, January 7, 2013

NORTHAMPTON — The best analogy I can make to the recent Washington melodrama known as the “fiscal cliff negotiations” is that of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. With $16 trillion in current debt, which does not include the $4 trillion that the government “owes” the Social Security trust fund, and with adding over $1 trillion in new debt yearly …

Jon Ortiz: Lack of tolerance in this community staggering

Monday, August 26, 2013

To the editor: Thank you Gazette for being brave enough to publish someone who voices an opposing opinion. I’m sure most of your readers will immediately call columnist Jay Fleitman a racist, sexist, homophobe, bigot, etc., for merely having a different opinion, but he’s probably used to it by now. The lack of tolerance and close-mindedness in an area like …

Legacy Comments9

I agree with Josh. Thus far, Dr. Fleitman's columns haven't distinguished themselves from the flood of Rove-approved talking points one can be exposed to anywhere. They are dull, unpersuasive, and pocked with faulty logic. I mean no offense whatsoever to Dr. Fleitman as a person: he seems like a good man, but political writing is maybe not his strongest suit.

And anyway, you'd have to be living under some kind of rock to not be familiar with every single issue you cut and paste, the counter argument, and the counter-counter argument which have been all over the news for months. It's not a question of giving everyone a book report of everything you've read, it's a question of taking all the information that saturates the media and forming an informed opinion, rather than just puking up facts taken wholesale from a partisan media outlet. The fact that you responded to Mr. Mintzer's comments with a pre-fab litany like you did shows that you do the latter. By the way, my genus is bigger.

Pascual: And a gold star to you for responding in typical liberal fashion: fixate on one typo and then try and poke fun. Yep, you're a real genus and on top of things. You're failure to respond with a single fact of your own is not unexpected - MSNBC doesn't give sources for their childish rants either. Try back after you hit puberty.

No, Survivor. YOU'RE the genus. That is a fact.

Sigh... here we go with the "I don’t blindly support President Obama and the Democratic Party" but conservatives are "...intellectually dishonest voice repeating tired, discredited tea party propaganda..." We've seen where the left under Obama has gotten us: record deficits, unemployment near 9%, U6 under employment near 18%, the IRS targeting conservative organizations (which by the way were the second article of impeachment of Nixon), Fast and Furious gun running into Mexico, NSA spying on innocent Americans, Obamacare killing jobs and cutting hours from 40 to 29, four dead Americans in Benghazi, no federal budget since Obama came into office (5 years ago) in direct violation of the law and more. What do conservatives propose? Lower taxes, pro-job policies including defunding Obamacare, a strong focused national defense, using the NSA to spy on our enemies and not on Americans, reigning in the IRS, spending control and putting this nation on a budget. The TEA Party stands for limited government, lower taxes, a balanced budget, personal responsibility and getting back to the Constitution. But, oh, hey........... those are just intellectually dishonest and tired, discredited tea party propaganda. Let's get back to the liberalism that is destroying this nation like a plague that devours it's victims from within.

Thanks for proving Mr. Mintzer's point about our pathetic excuse for a conservative alternative. Where's the blue majority's "blind support" of the Obama administration you hint at here? In the pervasive criticisms of drone strikes, or in in criticism of NSA spying? And where is your own critical perspective? In the litany of factually inaccurate Fox News talking points you list as if you actually had a clue whether there was any credible evidence behind them? All that the local conservatives seem capable of doing is to list tired and discredited ideas, and whine, "wee wee wee" all the way home. Maybe you could take personal responsibility for your own delusion, and for whatever personal disappointments you seem to want to blame on a phantom leftist conspiracy.

Unemployment 8.9% http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/08/whats-behind-gallup-unemployment-rate.html U6. I was incorrect. It is 14%. http://portalseven.com/employment/unemployment_rate_u6.jsp IRS targeting conservative groups (anyone not living under a rock would already know about this): http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/27/irs-auditor-reaffirms-conservatives-not-liberals-w/?page=all Fast and Furious gun running and the coverup. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/holders-incorrect-claim-on-the-fast-and-furious-criminal-citation-decision/2013/05/16/d15f26cc-be7a-11e2-97d4-a479289a31f9_blog.html NSA spying (again anyone not living under a rock.....) https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying Obamacare destroying jobs: http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21584017-health-reform-may-make-americans-work-less-will-obamacare-destroy-jobs Benghazi. Type "benghazi dead americans" into any search engine and see the hits. Those four dead Americans were left to die. Here's just one: http://www.ijreview.com/2013/07/69183-while-obama-and-hillary-slept-injured-benghazi-hero-david-ubben-left-on-rooftop-for-20-hours/ On the federal budget: Obama and the Dems had the House and Senate for two years. No budget. The Democrat controlled Senate has not passed a budget. Obama submitted TWO budgets in 5 years. Neither budget got a single vote - not even one Democrat could bring themselves to vote for his budget (http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2012/may/16/obama-budget-defeated-99-0-senate/ and http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/163345-obama-budget-receives-zero-votes-in-senate-). The House has passed a budget every year, as required by law. The Democrat controlled Senate has failed every year. I've sighted a variety of sources. Let's see your sources for backing up your point of view. Perhaps if you watched something besides MSNBC you'd already have known some of these things. But, you're just a typical Happy Valley liberal Obama-zombie.

Look at all those URLs! You get a gold star for googling. I didn't say anything that needed online backing, since I just made observations about your sad, trite, whiney online behavior. "Meeeegh, Redistribute Braaaaains." That's what we liberal zombies say. If you're nice, maybe we'll redistribute some much-needed graymatter your way too.

it's telling, by the way, that you spell it "sighted." I think you meant to say "cited." Unless, of course, you really only "sighted" the articles, and didn't actually read any of them before forming an opinion. That makes a lot of sense, actually.

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