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Letters to The Platteville Journal for Aug. 13
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IRS, Watergate and Fox

In responding to Tom Skubal’s letter Aug. 6, I was going to give a point-by-point rebuttal to his 12 assertions about what a criminal/inept person President Obama is. But Mr. Skubal surrendered any claim of legitimacy when he made two almost laughable claims.

First, he stated that the “IRS scandal (makes Watergate look like a misdemeanor).” Really? For those of you too young (or maybe too old) to remember the facts relating to Watergate I will just give a partial list of the people who went to prison as a result of that “misdemeanor”:
•    G. Gordon Liddy: convicted and jailed for break-in (future Fox News contributor).
•    John Dean: Nixon’s chief legal counsel, 18 months in prison.
•    John Ehrlichman: Nixon’s chief advisor for domestic affairs, perjury, obstruction of justice, 18 months in prison.
•    H.R. Haldeman: Nixon’s chief of staff, perjury, obstruction of justice, 18 months in prison.
•    John Mitchell: attorney general under Nixon, goes to prison for 5 years but reduced to 7 months for obstruction of justice.
•    Howard Hunt: one of Nixon’s “Plumbers” goes to prison for 33 months.

If I could be so bold as to borrow from Mr. Skubal, the list could go on and on. If the IRS “scandal” rises to this level I will in person apologize to Mr. Skubal.

The second piece of fiction mentioned by Mr. Skubal is his claim “that there is a very good reason for why Fox News is the most trusted news by the vast majority in this country.”

Really? I think what Mr. Skubal really meant to say was the most watched cable news network.The truth is that on any given weeknight about 7 million people watch NBC Nightly News, 7 million watch CBS Evening News, and 5 million watch ABC World News Tonight. Fox gets a little over 2 million.

I am not really surprised by the hyperbole found in Mr. Skubal’s article. After all, he gets a lot of his news reporting from Fox evidently. And what have at least seven independent surveys revealed about which group of Americans are the least  informed of all news consumers — people who only watch Fox News.

The most recent example of how only watching Fox News would misinform its viewers came shortly after the passenger plane was shot down over Ukraine. Fox News pundits spent 24/7 ridiculing what they felt was a timid response by President Obama and comparing Obama’s response to the action President Reagan took after the Russians shot down a Korean passenger plane in 1983. The claim was that Reagan showed his leadership skills by immediately (my emphasis) condemning the Russians . The word “immediate” was used over and over by very pundit on every program the entire weekend on Fox News.

No other news outlet tried to draw a comparison between Obama and Reagan on these two tragedies, only Fox. And for good reason. The reality is that Reagan had no immediate response to the downing of the plane. He was on a 25-day vacation on his ranch in Santa Barbara, Calif., and did not want to be disturbed. It was only after his advisors begged him to come back to Washington and make a speech about the incident did the Gipper reluctantly cut his vacation four days short. And that was four days after the downing of the plane. I guess Fox has a different definition of the word “immediate.”

Oh, by the way, I got this information from Reagan’s own memoir.

Tom Osting

The Platteville Journal will print most letters to the editor, regardless of the opinion presented. The Journal reserves the right to edit material that is libelous or otherwise offensive to community standards and to shorten letters the Journal feels are excessively long. All letters must be signed and the signature must appear on the printed letter, along with a contact number or email for verification. Some submitted letters may not be published due to space constraints. “Thank you” letters will not be printed. All letters and columns represent the views of the writers and not necessarily the views of The Platteville Journal.