Today’s news:

Reader should get his facts straight on columnist

Stewart J. Frimer of Forest Hills, a reader of TimesLedger Newspapers, took issue with William Lewis’ Dec. 17 column “Conservative groups increase in criticizing Obama’s policies.” He sent a letter to the editor published in the Dec. 31 issue.

Frimer’s last paragraph includes a quote from former U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan that read, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts.” Frimer’s closing sentence in his letter read, “Lewis’ column is packed with lies.”

We conservative readers of TimesLedger Newspapers are shocked its editors did not delete Frimer’s last sentence that attacked one of their own columnists.

After reading Frimer’s letter over and over, I have concluded that he does not agree with Moynihan’s great line. Lewis was trying to explain what these various conservative groups are protesting and how they are increasingly engaged in rallies, street demonstrations and protest meetings.

Lewis pointed out in his Dec. 17 column that social protest is not new in the United States. Lewis wrote that “During the 1960s and early ’70s, we saw an endless array of protests from liberal groups, including the civil rights movement, the counter-culture movement and, during the late 1960s, the anti-war movement. Those anti-war protests were the largest during the period and received much attention from the news media.”

Lewis goes on to list 10 different conservative groups and what they are protesting. He mentioned a newly formed group called the Conservative Society for Action, which recently met in Plainview, N.Y. Their speakers attacked what they referred to as “the growing centralization of power in Washington and in Albany.” Lewis listed some of the government policies they are challenging “as being high income taxes, deficit spending, income redistribution, socialized health care, government control of private business, unparalleled class warfare and an assault on hard work and success.”

If Frimer would re-read Lewis’ column, he would find that Lewis never used the term “socialized medicine.” That term is Frimer’s, not Lewis’. There is an expression that I have heard many times regarding the word “facts”: “Don’t confuse me with the facts.” Frimer should make a public apology to Lewis for writing that “Lewis’ column is packed with lies.”

Apparently Frimer does not understand Lewis was trying to explain to his readers what some of these conservative groups stand for and their positions on various issues. This is a fact. Does Frimer realize we do not yet have a national health care reform bill?

It is in legislative conference and has not yet been signed by President Barack Obama. This is a fact. If it becomes law, it will not go into effect until 2014. This is a fact.

Philip T. Sica

Queens Village

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