March 17, 2010

Stephen King fires back after blogger's criticism

— The Associated Press

BANGOR — Stephen King has fired back at conservative critics who attacked him over a remark he made a month ago at a writers symposium for high school students.

A blogger jumped on King's statement at the Library of Congress about the importance of reading in which he suggested poor readers have limited prospects, including the Army.

''I don't want to sound like an ad, a public service ad on TV, but the fact is if you can read, you can walk into a job later on. If you don't, then you've got the Army, Iraq, I don't know, something like that. It's not as bright,'' King said April 4.

Blogger Noel Sheppard likened the comment to former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's remarks that if you don't get a good education, ''you get stuck in Iraq.''

''Nice sentiment when the nation is at war, Stephen,'' Sheppard wrote.

King fired back Monday.

''That a right-wing-blog would impugn my patriotism because I said children should learn to read, and could get better jobs by doing so, is beneath contempt,'' he said in a statement posted on his Web site.

King said he supports the troops but believes the war in Iraq is a ''waste of national resources and that includes the youth and blood of the 4,000 American troops who have lost their lives there.''

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