Dear Source,
After reading both the news article regarding the termination of Iris Kern's show, and her Open Forum piece about it, I am concerned that Kern is trying to paint the station owner with too broad a brush. While I heartily endorse, and actively defend, the First Amendment and what it represents to our citizenry, I feel it is also only reasonable to point out that the same applies to the owner of the station. He too has the right to express himself, through his selection of on-air material and personalities. It is, after all, his station.
If a station owner feels that a certain show or its host is not putting forth the message that he wishes his station to promulgate, then he has every right to change it. By owning the station and maintaining it, he has earned the privilege of deciding what the message of the station is going to be…just as Kern has the right to state her position or ask her questions.
Kern, however, is subject to the approval of the station management as long as she is utilizing their offices to propound her views. If she wishes to express views contrary to those of the station, she has every right to get her own station where she can say whatever she wishes, within the guidelines of federal law.
Kern is right when she says that there is a broad sense of outrage over the attack on the World Trade Center, and a widespread desire for "vengeance." The people of any country, or the adherents of any doctrine, do not operate differently from any other member of the animal kingdom when they are attacked. Those who feel that they are equal or better than their attackers will meet aggression with aggression, and those who feel inferior to their aggressors will respond with submission. It is not surprising that the citizens of the United States seek an aggressive response to these heinous acts of aggression. No nation that has the power and influence of the United States can afford to allow an attack such as this to go unanswered and unpunished. For centuries, this country has come to the aid of peoples oppressed by criminals, dictators and tyrants. We can do no less when we are the target than we would if it were another country. These acts must be met with the severest possible punishment. And by 'severest possible punishment' I don't mean that, as Kern said, "whoever did this must be found and put away forever". Nor do I think we should "confront our enemies with strength and with kindness", either. Quite the contrary. There can be no kindness or mercy shown to these madmen.
Those responsible for these outrageous and inhuman acts must be eradicated as completely and as swiftly as possible. We as a country cannot allow these monsters to remain alive and at large any more than we would suffer a rabid dog to run at large or a wildfire to burn uncontrolled. Rabid animals. wildfires, terrorists…all represent a clear and immediate menace to life and security that cannot and must not be negotiated with. I am frankly amazed that Kern would, in one breath, decry the "…'slap on the wrist' sentencing for perpetrators of statutory rape…" and with the next breath ask that we not seek vengeance for an act of war. Our country has been violated – raped, if you will, by these acts. We owe it to ourselves and to all the rest of the human race to take every action required to eliminate terrorists and their allies wherever we encounter them. The violation of the Pentagon and the World Trade Center are only the latest acts in a long and bloody assault on freedom and peace. It merits far, far more than a slap on the wrist.
Rich Waugh
St. Croix

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