Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | AUGUST 24, 2011 7:20 AM

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Hitler reference was distasteful

Having worked as a journalist for seven years of my life, including a three-year stint on Indiana’s incumbent No. 1 Division II newspaper, I am genuinely surprised that on Aug. 19, The Daily Iowan published a guest opinion bearing the astoundingly audacious headline “Corporations are people? So was Hitler.”

I am shocked at the poor judgment demonstrated in the publication of the piece.

I understand entirely that as a column delivered via wire service, whose contractual terms with the paper likely forbid traditional editing, Kevin Carson’s column is packaged with the odious headline that accompanies the piece in other media, including scores of political blogs and newspapers around the country.

I do not accuse The Daily Iowan of drafting this absurd, inaccurate, and inappropriate headline, which seems designed to make a political point by using a cheap and insensitive attention-getter.

Anyone familiar with even a cursory understanding of the history surrounding the Holocaust must be disgusted at Carson’s glib invocation of humanity’s darkest hour and the man who killed as many as 17 million people in less than a decade. The comparison to the idea of the corporation is entirely offensive to any rational reader.

Regardless of any economic injustices, which Carson refers to only anecdotally and with little else than potshots at Republican candidates, no corporation has ever — or will ever — commit atrocities on the scale of the Nazi Party.

That staggeringly distasteful headline should not have been printed, even if it came at the cost of not running the article itself.

Such tactless selections easily feed accusations of liberal bias, and as an instructor at the University of Iowa, I now will think twice before directing my students to examine The Daily Iowan for any other assignment than the identification of poor taste.

Zachary King
Second-year Ph.D. student, Department of English

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