February 3, 2004

Letters to the Editor: 02.03.04

MyDoom virus

Why does Libby Pearson ("Practice Safe E-mailing," 1/30/04) simply repeat the slander that "it is widely believed" that Linux users are responsible for MyDoom and other viruses? Believed by whom? The clueless establishment media? Commercial anti-virus companies with a stake in customers who use virus-vulnerable software? We saw this kind of scapegoating during the Vietnam War and the McCarthy era. In fact, it is now "widely believed" that a professional spamming group with possible ties to organized crime is responsible for MyDoom and is using SCO and Linux as a cover story. Microsoft would also be a target because of Bill Gates' recent anti-spamming efforts. I suggest Pearson and other Maroon staffers look at two Web sites: www.groklaw.net and www.osdl.org/about_osdl/members. I assume the companies listed as members of the Open Source Development Lab, including IBM and Intel, will soon come under FBI scrutiny as part of the virus investigation.

Stuart Thayer

Tampa, FL

Polar Bear Run

I am disappointed in the Maroon's decision to publish the photo of students streaking in its January 27 article "Students Bare All in Mad Dash Across Quads." This decision is not faulty based on content. Rather, it displays a lack of journalistic standards and thoughtful consideration.

Publishing the full-frontal photo was unnecessary. Readers could have learned from the article if not the headline alone just what transpired on the quad Friday, January 23. The photo could have even been placed inside to liven up an otherwise poor page three. A wide variety of people visiting University of Chicago pick up the Maroon and should not be subjected to your carelessness without warning. Placing your most engaging photo below the fold shows a slight awareness of its shock value. Still, a front-page placement is a rash, sophomoric declaration of the freedom of student press intended only to shock.

A shocking photo should be weighed with consideration to the community and its absolute, vital role in telling the story at hand. As The Spokesman-Review's Code of Ethics states, "The decision to publish must weigh community sensibilities and taste against the news value of the event." This photo contains none of those elements. College students streaking is as eventful as a frat party.

Lack of judgment and journalistic ethics disserves your readers and fellow journalists. I trust you will exercise more thought and consideration in the future.

Dave Holman


Shoreland ballroom review

The reviewer of the show at the Shoreland ballroom was obviously grievously misinformed. She showed up without contacting anyone from any of the bands or the Shoreland Music Committee and arrived with no intent to listen to the bands objectively. The Emily Shrine is, in fact, not a Hyde Park band (in fact, they are completely unrelated to the University and have headlined at the Metro), and anyone who had attended the concert should have understood that. The Shoreland Band Committee was dismayed at the review. They expected an objective, unbiased observation. What they got was a bitchy, whiny diatribe from someone who does not know the meaning of rock. This was not a Yanni concert; you sit down at a Yanni concert, not a rock and roll concert. Plainly, the Maroon needs to teach its reviewers to stand up and rock out.

Sarah Birgé Molika Ashford Steve Manuszak