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‘Surly Cur' Peyton 


Since you don't have a policy against publishing hateful attacks on individuals, please publish this letter, which inserts the Journal editor's name in place of Richard Salzman from your last edition (Mailbox, April 12). If you think that because Salzman is a public figure, it's OK to let Paul Hagen express his hate-filled allegations against him in print, please remember that newspaper editors are also public figures.

If you judge this letter to be untrue, that would still be no justification for keeping it out the paper. The letter about Salzman was also untrue.

In response to Carrie Peyton Dahlberg's editing of the North Coast Journal, it strikes me, sadly, that readers who are lied to rightfully feel a sense of ethical betrayal. The problem with our having expected better of Peyton Dahlberg is that we are absolutely not dealing with either an ethical or a decent person here.

Those who have dealt with Ms. Peyton Dahlberg know her form of journalism is attack-dog blood sport, forcefully engaging not merely in lying but badgering, beleaguering and bullying anyone opposed to that which she advances.

This is a woman who has introduced into Humboldt County journalism crafty push polling, professional out-of-area consultants, and advanced forms of character assassination. The creeping consequence of this has been a metropolitan-style guttering of reporting and journalism and the slick obfuscation of issues.

The North Coast Journal's once-decent, rural style of reporting increasingly resembles a knife fight in a phone booth, to everyone's detriment (except, doubtless gleefully, her own).

Lest anyone think my position is one of sour grapes (which will be the inevitable canine spin to come), let me point out that this is a woman who once wrote a column in the North Coast Journal bemoaning the presence of billboards along the bay -- then encouraged readers to join her cause by running a contest to pick the ugliest billboard.

The true insult and betrayal of her pernicious conduct is that all of us are now stuck with what she has done to our weekly newspaper, and will shamelessly continue to do.

Jim Hight, Arcata

I wish to commend you and thank you for publishing Paul Hagen's amusing little conniption fit. That entry is certainly one of the most hysterically entertaining diatribes published by any local tabloid to date.

I don't know at what juncture Mr. Hagen decided to grace this community with his residency (before or after his dismissal by the California District Attorneys Association?), but accusing Richard Salzman of introducing "into Humboldt County politics crafty push polling, professional out-of-area consultants, and advanced forms of character assassination" isn't simply absurd, it's a statement indicating a desperate need for pathological analysis.

Perhaps Mr Hagen was too overwhelmed missing filing deadlines to notice the number of push polls and paid signature gatherers brought in to this area to begin a recall against Paul Gallegos immediately upon first winning election to office. Prior to that influx, this community was invaded by paid consultants during the timber "wars" that raged here in the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, brought in by timber companies, real estate speculators, developers, and corporate hopefuls who were alarmed at the specter of unbathed tie-dye-clad anarchists, communists and devolutionists threatening the power, profits, and privileges of Wall Street banksters, junk bond dealers and entrenched political machines.

Mr. Hagen certainly has no reason to fear anyone viewing his letter as "sour grapes." His third place finish in a three-way race was the electorate's comment on his feeble professional record and his overwhelmingly creepy demeanor.
David Isley, Eureka

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