A recent letter to the editor (May 10) slandered the good works and international reputation of the recently deceased David Rockefeller.

The writer (Frank Thiboutot) accused Mr. Rockefeller of “dark politics,” assaulting “traditional Christian social values” and pushing for “open borders, refugee resettlement, secret trade deals …, abortion and homosexual marriages.” For these (among other) “nefarious” acts, the writer rejected any recognition of Mr. Rockefeller’s bequest of $25 million to Maine organizations, which was properly applauded in an earlier edition of the Portland Press Herald.

Journalism serves a vital public function by informing the public on all issues in a balanced and responsible manner; it poorly serves the public by joining only one side of an issue.

Indeed, partisan reporting is a major contributor to political polarization of our country, which is eroding the ability of all government to address major issues.

The Press Herald is one of the most respected newspapers in Maine, but it betrays that history by publishing fringe views that practically no one in Maine supports. Mainers support gay marriage (we just voted on that), the right of a woman to choose abortion, and the United Nations. That is the Maine that I know and respect, and the Maine that has and deserves to have a national reputation for clear thinking, independence of mind and moral foundations.

David Rockefeller was a generous, kind and humble man, whom I knew very briefly and whose enormous love for and gratitude to Maine, where he spent every summer of his life, were profoundly reflected in his generous and final gifts to Maine. He did not ask for our thanks and appreciation, but we should acknowledge that he is owed them both in large measure, and we should honor his life, not slander it.

Tom Franklin