The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday August 12th

Editorial on the Koch case based on distorted facts

TO THE EDITOR:

As an editorial writer, columnist, newspaperman and journalist for more decades than I can count, I can say without fear of contradiction that your editorial (“Protesters be warned,” Sept. 15) was among the worst I have ever read.

You’re entitled to your opinion, which would have taken three paragraphs. You are not entitled to so thoroughly and deliberately distort and omit the facts of the case as revealed in Monday’s trial of Haley Koch.

It might have helped if you had read or understood what others, including The Daily Tar Heel reporter, wrote about the trial and Judge Buckner’s decision. Both refuted your factual contentions item by item. I am no less confident that the University does not welcome your applause for its supposed attempt to intimidate others who might be tempted to offer vigorous dissent.

Koch was exercising her First Amendment rights, you were exercising yours. Hers brought credit to the principles underlying freedom of speech. Yours were a disgrace to the principles underlying freedom of the press. Happily, the First Amendment entitles both of you to your behavior.


Hodding Carter III
Professor
Leadership, Public Policy

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