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October 1, 2014

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Letter: From Ronald Rich - "Who guards the guardians themselves?"

Note: The Icon printed this letter exactly as it was received.
Dear Icon:
A question in our Latin class (long ago!) was, "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?", or, if I have it right, "Who guards the guardians themselves?". The media have freedom of the press, but the constitutional guarantee is supposed to be for all citizens, not just a special class. How can we be protected from editors who distort things themselves?
The Lima News printed a letter of mine this week, but with unauthorized changes and no allowance for quick, public corrections. Also the Bl. News messed up a recent letter of mine, first rejecting all of it, with no info to me about that. Church papers in the past totally garbled (albeit inadvertently) letters from me and a seminary professor in Costa Rica who asked, "What can you do but tear your hair out?" Even if corrections are given, they never catch up with all of the original readers.
I've edited a lot too, as a native-English-speaking chemist in Japan, and know the temptation as Lord Acton put it, approximately, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Certainly some articles and letters need to be greatly amended. So, how can we correct the correcters (editors) themselves? Aha, the Icon is the answer, right? Well, at least for good, little Bluffton, I guess.
Thanks, Icon, for accepting this squawk, and please help us figure out how to spread this capability to everyone.
Ronald Rich

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