It's his business
To the Editor:
I've lived in Whitestone for over 40 years and have read the Queens Tribune since it started publishing. I was shocked to see the headline of your Sept 17th issue that reads "Democratic victor vs. Pagan Lord." This has to be the most disgusting, raw, blatant political hit piece I've ever seen. In addition, you go so far as to use a cutesy, flattering picture of Kim alongside a very unflattering photo of Halloran. Wow, guess you couldn't find another photo huh? Who on earth do you think you're kidding? Are you taking direct payments from the Kim campaign? [The answer is YES. - QC]
Let me ask you this; what would you think of a newspaper that had a headline,
"Democratic victor vs. Jew" or
"Democratic victor vs. Muslim"
"Democratic victor vs. Hindu"
Do you have any journalistic integrity? Why don't you tell us about Kim's religion? Because it shouldn't make a difference, that's why! You really should be deeply embarrassed to publish such trash. You owe an apology to your readers and to the people of Queens county for writing such a vile and biased headline. I'm not associated with Halloran or the Republican Party, nor am I a pagan, but his religion, like everybody else's religion, is his business and should not be used against him like a political hammer. This is a simply disgraceful misuse of your ability to publish a local paper. I plan to make some more noise about this. This is the year 2009 and bias based on religion should be a thing of the past.
You should be fair
To the Editor:
Thank you for the news on Dan Halloran and his religion. Since you seem to think this is so important to the voters give us the religions of everyone who is running for office. I think this column is very biased. It is plain to see who you endorse. Newspapers should be fair and unbiased.
Lucie M. Shannon
Focus on accomplishments
To the Editor:
Last Tuesday night, after it was apparent I had not won the Democratic Primary in District 19, I called Kevin Kim and congratulated him on his victory. I pledged my support to Kevin and told him I would assist him in any way I could. Kevin is intelligent and articulate and is a great candidate for City Council.
With his win in the Democratic Primary, Kim now has to face Republican Dan Halloran on Nov. 3. While I disagree with Dan on many issues, Dan is also intelligent and articulate. I am looking forward to a lively General Election campaign where Kevin and Dan will debate the issues and the people will choose which candidate can best serve them in City Hall. At the end of the day, as a true Democrat, I hope that Kevin, and his Democratic values, will be victorious.
Last week I was appalled at the front page story of the Queens Tribune about Dan Halloran's religion. I may be a little sensitive because my Catholic mother and Jewish father just celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary last week, but the article about Dan's religion was despicable. Since I grew up in a home where my parents practiced different religions, I came to understand that freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. As someone who has studied the U.S. Constitution and the history of our great nation, I have also come to understand that freedom of religion was the basis of the early European settlements of this nation and is one of the fundamental rights of all Americans. How dare anyone claim that one religion is superior to another? That article was shameful!
I hope that such disgusting, sensationalist journalism will cease and allow this campaign to move forward based on the ideology, experience and qualifications of the two candidates. Let the campaign be about overdevelopment, education, ethics in government and services for seniors. It should not be about the religion of the candidates.
It is particularly disturbing that this trash emanated from the press. You should know better! We, as a society, rely on the press to report the news and inform us of what is happening in our world. It is not the duty of the press to chastise and criticize a religion in favor of another religion. As you should know, our right to freedom of the press emanates from the First Amendment of the Constitution. You should read the First Amendment because that same amendment also forms the basis of freedom of religion in our nation.
Why should we care?
To the Editor:
Though a life-long Democrat, I found your post-primary cover, and the Halloran article, examples of the worst kind of fear-mongering politicking. There was absolutely NOTHING in the article to suggest why anyone should care about Dan Halloran’s religion, however unusual, or how it might influence his performance in office. It was clearly run to instigate animus towards him in otherwise potential voters.
Moreover, if your cover featured Kim in a political context, then the cover picture & headline for Halloran should have, also. If the cover featured Halloran in a religious context, then Kim should have been presented that way, too.
What is his religion? Is he Buddhist? If so, doesn’t that make him a kind of pagan, also? We just don’t usually think of applying the word to a world religion.
Is Kim Christian? If Christian, to what church does he belong? Does it believe that it is the only true faith? Does it believe that anyone who doesn’t accept Jesus as personal savior is going to hell? Does it believe the Jews killed Christ? Does it believe the Catholic church is a false sect?
Or does he have no religion?
I know that Kim is a Gary Ackerman staffer, and your paper is an Ackerman publication, whatever the official legalities might be now. Apparently you have decided to become a campaign organ of one candidate for office. Whether or not he is the best candidate, you have prostituted your journalistic integrity.
Is this relevant?
To the Editor:
I am offended by your cover article which labels republican city council candidate Dan Halloran as a pagan lord and a heathen. Your decision to sensationalize Mr. Halloran's personal religious beliefs distracts from any relevant aspects of the council race and goes against the underlying American principle of separation of church and state. Catholicism, Islam or any religion for that matter can be made to seem foreign, but your failure to mention Mr. Kim's religion and choice to focus only on Mr. Halloran's faith and not his policy creates a truly unfair slant.
In your article, "Change has Come: New Faces" you highlight the diversity brought by candidates of various ethnic backgrounds and sexual preferences, but failed to mention Mr. Halloran's unique beliefs as part of the "ever-changing face of the people of Queens." I expect better of the Tribune and feel Mr. Halloran deserves more impartial treatment The two candidates are running for City Council not religious counselor and your reporting should be carried out accordingly.