‘Matches’defense of columns falls flat

Noyes is wrong in his defense of the Hoff columns because they were only incendiary.

In Karl Noyes’ Wednesday column “Matches to Muhammad,” he defends his decision to publish John Hoff’s useless diatribe against North Dakota.

He says, “While Hoff’s columns could have been a tad more tactful, they needed to be published to inspire the debate they did.”

The only question is: What debate did they inspire? Look closely at Hoff’s first column. It is nothing but hate speech. There is not a single “issue” raised in the whole thing – only a nonstop series of bitter, hateful comments about an entire population of people. And all this based on some bad experience. Let’s be logical; was it due to his own personal problems, or was it really due to the problems of 600,000 other people? I’m going to go with the former on this one.

Noyes is wrong in his defense of the columns because Hoff’s comments were utterly incendiary. There was nothing constructive whatsoever in the first column, and the drinking issues raised in the second were only a thin veil to lend some false sense of legitimacy to his otherwise useless stream of contempt. Noyes writes that publishing the cartoons would have been an act “not to inspire debate but rather to incite hatred and needlessly disparage.” I feel Hoff’s columns also did not inspire debate and were needlessly disparaged.

Imagine if someone wrote a full article about Iraq, claiming what a hellhole it is and how the people are stupid and evil because they shoot at each other and blow themselves up. What if they said those idiots deserve enmity and nothing more? I’d like to believe the Daily would not publish such a column, and yet they published and defended almost exactly the same thing when it was written about a different group of people. How is that acceptable?

I urge the Daily to use just a little more discretion on what they publish. It is one thing to be controversial in the name of free speech and in the promotion of constructive dialogue, but when one writes just to say how much they hate someone, recognize it for the simple bigotry that it is and treat it appropriately.

Casey Briscoe is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected].