Ari Armstrong writes a weekly column for the first letter was written by Sveto Djokic in response to the column “Radical Environmentalists Undermine Human Progress.” Here’s the critical section:
Do letter writers realize that by responding they are simply acknowledging and dignifying Linn and Ari’s inane comments and opinions, and giving them even more reason to continue writing their column? The Armstrongs obviously relish what they’re doing, stirring up readers’ emotions and ire. Since their debut in the Free Press there have been many letters to the paper countering the many statements they have made, and still they continue to write a weekly column without regard to insights that writers have provided.
Then there is the Free Press. The main question is, why does the editor continue to run the Armstrong column? The editor would quickly answer by reciting the First Amendment. However, when all the layers of rationalization and justification are peeled off it comes down to selling copy. Bottom line, a newspaper (editor or editors) thrive on the fact readers are picking up the newspaper, reading the opinion page (at least), and responding to controversial opinions and half truths.
What, if anything, can be done to counter the Armstrong’s weekly opinions? The most effective approach is to practice “shunning” the Armstrongs. That is, do not respond to the Free Press with a letter or letters to acknowledge and dignify their opinions. This also starts making the editor wonder if readers are picking up the newspaper or just ignoring it.
I love the idea of writing a letter to encourage people not to write letters. Plus, I suspect that attempting to kill the column by claiming that it sells papers isn’t the best strategy.
The second letter, written as a response to the first letter by Robert Laitres, is even better.
In his recent letter to the Free Press, Sveto Djokic suggested that the Free Press stop printing stop printing the regular Armstrong column, or that others stop replying to them.
I would disagree even though there so-called ideology is the product of what is best known as pseudo-intellectualism.
If one looks at their columns, what one finds is that they keep repeating the same things over and over again. When faced with hard facts by others, they ignore them, resort to some theoretical haven, or accuse others of not knowing what they are talking about.
They, therefore, represent exactly what is also found in such individuals as former Free Press columnist, Rick Wagner, “I already know and don’t have to listen to anyone else.”
Such individuals believe that they have somehow found something new. They haven’t.
It is but the resurrection of old ideas repackaged, and presented once again. It is only accepted by those who are gullible enough to accept it, or do so because it suits their purpose to do so.
Those who wish to understand them might like to read the book “Anthem,” written by their heroine Ayn Rand. There we see these poor souls wandering aimlessly through some forest, searching for they know not what, until the chance upon some temple.
Notably, it is something that was constructed by others, not themselves. Such is what the Armstrong ideology is all about.
I say let the Armstrong column run. But, let those who disagree with them also be heard in order to point out how intellectually shallow and false is their theology of materialism, selfishness and greed.
The Armstrong’s deceive nobody but themselves and their acolytes.
The description of Anthem is priceless, as are the long-winded complaints about lack of originality without any hint of why the ideas the Armstrongs advocate might be wrong. Yet most of all, I love the confusion of “there” with “their” in a sentence accusing them of “pseudo-intellectualism.”
I have to think that the editors of the Free Press published that letter with a good chuckle. I don’t see any other way to read it!