Why we publish opposing views

By The Madison County Record | Apr 16, 2015

Regular readers of The Record know that we offer three categories of arguments: “Our View,” “Their View,” and “Letters to the Editor.”

“Our View,” expressed in myriad ways, is that the courts exist to interpret the law honestly, decide legitimate disputes equitably, and see that justice is done – not to provide a means for the unscrupulous to gain unfair advantage over their fellow man.

“Their View” presents the perspectives of diverse members of our community, some share our perspective and some don't. “Letters to the Editor,” likewise, can be either pro or con, and we don't discriminate against dissidents.

Why do we offer a forum for our opponents? There are several reasons.

One is to provide a service to the community. We think Metro East residents deserve to hear both sides of an issue and make up their own minds.

The publication of dissenting views also provides fodder for subsequent installments of “Our View,” allowing us to respond to criticisms leveled against us and demonstrate their failure of fact and logic.

Perhaps most important, as firm believers in the healing power of humor, we recognize that the contrary opinions expressed in “Their View” and “Letters to the Editor” on occasion provide, if inadvertently, a belly laugh for our readers.

Last year, for instance, we published a letter from plaintiffs attorney Paul Napoli alleging the numerous benefits of our community's status as a judicial hellhole. It was a masterpiece of unintended comedy and, subsequently, the starting point for another installment of “Our View.”

We later published an even funnier letter from John D. Cooney, president of  the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, denying our hellhole status and insisting that there is no lawsuit abuse in Illinois.

Just last week, we let Cooney weigh in again, with a hilarious characterization of Gov. Bruce Rauner's recent comments on corruption in our state, including segments of the judiciary. Cooney called those comments “outrageous, irresponsible, and anti-democratic.”

No hellhole? No corruption? Cooney's a comic genius!

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