Letters

Letters from the week of December 2, 2004

 The Devil and Michael Crow

Undermining overachievers: Regarding "Quid Pro Crow" (Joe Watson, November 18), I'd like to personally tell Mr. Ira Fulton and Mr. Michael Crow to get fucked! I'm completely disgusted at Arizona State University. "Unconstitutional" is a word that comes to mind.

Separation of church and state should be enough to keep these two overachievers from undermining our rights. One has an agenda that includes paying people off, the other speaks loudly because he sits with Mr. Fulton's hand up his ass. Religion and education do not mix at a public university with an extremely diverse student body.

The audacity of Mr. Crow to react to the opinion of a Mormon right-winger for fear of losing that payoff!

For Mr. Crow to think he can change the student newspaper to reflect this view of morality or move it off campus is outrageous. If the State Press gives in, there's no hope for a free press, and no free press means hiding aspects of reality. We don't live in an era of having to hide in the closet over a nipple. As soon as the George W. Bush administration is gone, we'll move on with our lives. Welcome to the new millennium!
Scot McKenzie, Phoenix

The right (wing) stuff: This is just what is bound to start happening more and more now that Bush has been reelected. His followers are saying that they have a mandate -- because he got elected by a slight majority -- to stick religious morality up our asses. They don't, and a pierced nipple isn't something worth kicking the State Press off campus over, either! Want to see a revolution? Keep up this kind of stuff.

For Ira Fulton to even react formally to that picture (which was done very tastefully, if you ask me) is completely out of bounds. He thinks he has bought the right to tell public employee Michael Crow what to do, and apparently Crow is fully willing to play along. Crow should be fired over this assault on First Amendment rights, not to mention his stepping on the campus art museum and banning political signs in campus windows (who cares about the frat boys he's clamped down on?). He doesn't get to dictate stuff like this at a taxpayer-supported institution!

And . . . haven't we seen enough of right-wing Mormon idiots around here? I mean the Mormons who control the Arizona Legislature and their polygamous country cousins up in Colorado City, who rape and enslave underage girls.

Mormons like Ira Fulton have no right to tell anybody what to do. This is hypocrisy! Why can't Fulton just stick to what he does best: raping the environment by developing the hell out of this area? He should give money to the university to assuage his guilty conscience over the foul deeds he's doing, instead of trying to call in favors.
Denise Clayton, Ahwatukee

The buck stops where?: So the big problem is: "Crow reacted by . . . threatening to sever all financial support for the newspaper"?

Huh? If the State Press is so up in arms about having its financial benefactor chime in on content, all it needs to do is stop accepting money from the university. If it can't pay for itself, then it needs to follow the directions of those who do pay for it or lose its funding.
Geoff Johnston, via the Internet

A controlling interest in ASU: I really enjoyed reading "Quid Pro Crow." As a native Arizonan, I like keeping up with the drama in the Phoenix area, and this story is a great one! A British commentator on NPR earlier this week made me realize what scares me about the nature of modern politics, and this article just confirms my fears. Even as good consequences have come from grassroots religious movements such as civil rights in America, radical and repressive acts can come out of the meshing of religion and government.

A church having a controlling influence over a public institution is wrong. Ira Fulton's control of ASU's president illustrates why this is wrong. The president of any public university should be removed if he allows a high-profile donor to try to run that public institution like he had bought a controlling interest in a corporation.

It goes to show how inept the ASU administration really is if it is considering essentially shutting down a facility helping children for a parking lot for a Mormon facility on campus.

Students, prepare those loyalty oaths: Here comes the radical right!
Alexis Glenn, Gainesville, Virginia

An eye-opener: I'm a former State Press-er and current ASU journalism senior. I'd like to thank you for "Quid Pro Crow." I was hesitant to read it, but it turned out to be an eye-opener.

The e-mails directly from Michael Crow truly reveal his agenda and mindset. I just wish the State Press were more public about the events so as to muster support from students and outside organizations. I had no idea this was happening to our great paper.
Jacki Shoyeb, Tempe

The price of free speech: I'm completely sick of watching the two recent so-called free-speech or First Amendment debates. One is about girls in a dormitory wanting to put up [political] window signs. The other was written about in New Times about the State Press being "intimidated" by President Crow as he threatened to cut off its funding if it didn't refrain from printing articles about genital piercing, or what have you.

Let's be clear: I really don't care who anyone supports in an election. And a picture of a breast or pierced genitals doesn't shock or offend me in the slightest.

I'll come to the point: While the use of flowery language regarding the First Amendment might be tempting to use as a hook to interest people, these are not free-speech issues at all.

The girls in the dorm are renting space so they can live there. They have been told that they must follow the rules of the owner.

ASU owns the State Press. The State Press claims it is independent. However, it's on campus and takes money and resources from the university to produce the paper. It has been told it must follow the rules of the owner.

The First Amendment doesn't give you the right to do or say as you please on someone else's property. It does not even apply.

This means that I can tell you that you cannot, for instance, smoke cigars in my house. Smoking a cigar is a legal right you have, but if I don't want it done in my house, your rights to do that are not even an issue.

Free speech? If I don't want you saying obscene words, or insulting someone, or discussing an issue in my house, you will comply or you will leave. Those are my rights.

As an ASU student and a taxpayer in Arizona, I ask the leadership of ASU to spend not one more minute arguing free-speech issues with those who do not understand the concept.
Kyle Sutherland, ASU criminal justice major

Editor's note: Arizona taxpayers own ASU, not Michael Crow. ASU contributes to the State Press' budget because it is a learning tool of journalism students, but it doesn't own the newspaper. Also, the First Amendment protects freedom of speech and of the press, whether or not landlords agree with what is said or written.

Speak and write responsibly: Love and truth are greater and more important than First Amendment rights.

On 9/11, thousands were killed in our nation by terrorists. Today thousands fight a battle in Iraq led by hate-filled propaganda and outright lies. Words lead to actions. The pen is mightier than the sword. Let's not be so naive and foolish as to believe otherwise.

How about being responsible for the things we say and write? Yes, even college students can and should be responsible.

Encouraged by lies and hatred, four LDS chapels have been set on fire causing millions of dollars in damage in the last year. These are called hate crimes.

In siding between the principles of free speech and those of love, truth and respect, choose love. Always choose love.

A wise lady once told me, "If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all."
Andrew Matishen, American Fork, Utah

Both sides of the story: Journalism has really taken a fall over the past few years in this country. It seems like we are busy giving accolades to mediocre news reporting. We are less concerned about studying both sides of the story. The "Quid Pro Crow" article was right in line with propaganda from the likes of Michael Moore and Adolf Hitler.

If you had wanted to present a good argument, you might have tried looking at both sides instead of just being blown by the winds of popularity and social ignorance. Your newspaper is nothing but gutter trash.
Jason Reed, via the Internet

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