To John Balentine,

I found your Feb. 9 column, “COVID lockdown story points to media failings,” misleading, lacking integrity and indicative of a type of writing that spreads misinformation.

Your editorial suggests that because the media as a whole did not focus on a certain “John Hopkins study” this indicates the failure of media as a whole.

In reality, this so-called “study” was merely a “working paper,” submitted by three men, only one of whom was an economics professor at Johns Hopkins. This paper was not peer-reviewed and utilized questionable methodology (source: Connor Boyd, Gina Martinez, Paul Best, Daily Mail, Fox News, Feb. 2, 2022).

The paper reviewed literature focused on the question, “Are lockdowns beneficial in reducing COVID 19 mortality?” The meta-analysis it undertook “systematically excluded from consideration any study based on the science of disease transmission” (Seth Flaxman, associate professor, Oxford University). The paper’s definition of “lockdown” was dubious and misleading.

It’s not a question of whether the conservative media or left-leaning outlets chose to include this so-called study in their reporting. Nothing about this study even warranted it to be classified as news.


As a former editor, you have a responsibility to maintain a high standard of integrity. People count on you to vet your sources.

The bottom line is that you are a former member of the media, and focusing this editorial on a so-called study that has no integrity, was not subject to peer review and utilized questionable methodology speaks to your own failing.

How about appealing to people’s better selves, as opposed to focusing on stirring up dissension, hate and mistrust?

You can do better. Thanks for listening.

Rosie HartzlerWindham

Comments are not available on this story.