Practical joke goes too far
September 27, 2002
So Roger Marolt has been busy over the past few years pulling the wool over our eyes. Apparently he has been writing letters to the editor under multiple aliases that sometimes don’t even reflect his own point of view and, in fact, “speak contrary to what I believe in.”
Equally surprising was the fact that The Aspen Times and the Aspen Daily News editorial staff neglected to positively confirm the validity of the letter writers before printing the letters. This, despite a policy of confirming the actual existence of the letter writers in advance.
While I appreciate a good practical joke, going forward are we, the readers, supposed to assume that letters to the editor are a joke and are not be taken seriously? And, conversely, if the letters to the editor section is not a legitimate forum why bother writing one in the first place?
Alternatively, if I believe in a cause why couldn’t I write 10 or 20 letters to the editor with fictitious names in favor of my cause and try to create a groundswell of support, when in fact I may be the only supporter?
The editors of our local papers have a journalistic responsibility to not allow their papers to be turned into a farce. After apologizing to their readers, perhaps they should consider re-examining and enforcing their own policies.
As for Marolt, he figured the “Kannard” letter would “expose a rift in Aspen that exists between the locals and wealthy landowners.” This is exactly the type of thing that exacerbates the perceived problem.
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He creates caricatures of wealthy people (Kannard, Ronald Aberwait, and who knows how many others) that fit preconceived notions of selfishness, snobbism, etc., and holds them up as examples of what is wrong with this town.
Never mind the fact that the wealthy people of this town support the arts, contribute to the recreation centers and are the reason that his family’s accounting firm exists (how many accounting firms are in Leadville?).
Oh, and by the way, the wealthy of this town also subsidized Marolt’s employee housing unit. Keep up the good work, Roger.