Fiction does Not Belong in Newspapers

Response to Chicago Sun-Times’ “Americans Slain in Gaza Deserve Better From U.S.”

The Sun-Times does a great disservice to itself, its reader and journalism by publishing guest columns like that of Joel J. Sprayregen (“Americans slain in Gaza deserve better from U.S.,” Oct. 12).

Sprayregen writes about the bomb that killed three U.S. diplomatic security guards in 2003. He claims, “The murders were not a spontaneous act without purpose. A crime of this magnitude had to be approved by Yasser Arafat.”

How can the Sun-Times allow such a statement be made with absolutely no evidence supporting it? All the statements Sprayregen refers to were made post-incident and do not indicate any Palestinian Authority involvement in carrying out the attack. Yet the publication of the article signals to readers that there is truth behind this accusation and that this writer has the authority to make such declarations as, “Even Hitler respected diplomatic immunity; no less should be demanded of the Palestinian Authority.”

The Sun-Times violates all journalistic ethics by publishing articles based on weak opinion and fiction.