Sunday, May 19, 2013
By BRIAN C. JONES
The Sept. 9 Maine Sunday Telegram placed a commentary by Susan Feiner, professor of economics and women and gender studies at the University of Southern Maine, on the front page of the Insight section, above the fold ("Going for the gold").
Her topic was the gold standard. However, she managed to insert several derisively sarcastic remarks about the Republican Party.
The title "professor" implies professionalism, there being some commonality to the two words. So I would like to remind the professor that snide conduct does not improve the level of respect for her. Rather, it calls into question her ability to see both sides of an issue, something I would prefer to have as a prerequisite to teach in the alma mater I fund with my tax dollars.
Then there is the issue of placement in the paper.
Charles Lawton is always trying to make a contribution to our understanding, and in the Sept. 9 paper it is about whether the government is impeding economic recovery. The facts confirm my conclusion that less government would be better for employment. His column appears as usual on the last page, below the fold, almost out of sight. I would miss it if I did not see the smile in the picture.
Mr. Lawton's brief column was far more interesting than Ms. Feiner's because it contained facts that were not intermingled with derisive and sarcastic party politics. Therefore, I trust it.
Ms. Feiner should stick to the topic. If she wants to bash a party, make that a separate op-ed. And here is what really concerns me: I suspect the university might need to guide her on sticking to the topic in her classrooms as well. Do they? Can she answer objectively? I doubt it.
I might read another of Ms. Feiner's commentaries, just to test that I am being overly sensitive this Sunday morning, but I will always read Mr. Lawton when I can find him.
Brian C. Jones is a resident of Scarborough.