No room for opinion in political reporting

Thursday’s San Francisco Examiner front-page news story about the Board of Supervisors’ resolution blasting the $700 billion U. S. military budget injected political opinion. The story sarcastically stated that the supervisors were “too busy crafting unsolicited foreign policy positions” to realize that the “city of San Francisco is not a member of the United Nations.”

I didn’t go to journalism school, but The SF Examiner’s staff and management should know that news reporting is not the proper place for the reporter’s or the newpaper’s opinion. If The SF Examiner wants to state opinions, there are places for that — they are called editorials and opinion columns.

If The SF Examiner continues to inject its opinions into news articles, its credibility will be worthless.

John M. Kelly
San Francisco

Muni’s financial quagmire

Muni is consistently in financial trouble for the following reasons.

Fare evasions cost the public transit system as much as $20 million a year. Cost overruns due to completion delays pushed Muni $90 million over budget on capitol projects. Counterproductive union work rules waste money due to inefficacy.

Muni must address these issues and stop pushing for higher parking fees and expanded parking-meter hours.

E.F. Sullivan
San Francisco

Scandinavia: No socialism

The Wednesday letter-writer arguing against my Dec. 9 letter, “A new look at capitalism,” not only misunderstood it, he also twisted my words to the exact opposite of what I wrote and showed a glaring lack of knowledge about modern Europe.

My point was that we can learn something from the Scandinavian countries, which are neither “Old Europe” nor “socialistic” — since their means of production, distribution and exchange are not owned by the state.

The Danish, Norwegian and Swedish societies are based on a capitalistic, free-enterprise system, somewhat regulated to protect the environment for the benefit of all. Scandinavians enjoy great personal freedom, with a thriving economy and low unemployment. Education, health care and protection of the young, sick and elderly are considered national priorities. In that sense, they have a more universal and fair social welfare system, which we have a lot to learn from.

But that has nothing to do with “socialism.”

Jorg Aadahl
San Mateo

Gingrich is too vulnerable

Two important nationally recognized conservative opinion journals have now weighed in on the GOP presidential race.

One journal endorsed Mitt Romney for president as the only Republican who can beat President Barack Obama, while asserting that Newt Gingrich cannot. Their opinion was based upon the most recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll numbers and the numerous Gingrich vulnerabilities certain to be exploited.

The second journal also urged Republican voters to reject the candidacy of Newt Gingrich — as well as those of Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul. While not making a formal endorsement yet, the editors endorsed Romney in 2008.

Jim Hartman
Berkeley

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