The very liberal and outspoken Zac Echola has a right to his opinion but not to the facts regarding Forum columnist Roxane Salonen (online letter).
While attacking the woman's opinion is nothing new, he tried to disqualify her as a journalist because she was a Christian of the orthodox and conservative persuasion. His exact demeaning phrases were "church gossip columnist" followed by "a terrible writer."
Running her columns through a spell checker and grammar checker found no assaults on the English language so his charge of "a terrible writer" carried no proof. She doesn't write for a church newspaper and no one will ever accuse The Forum of being a church newspaper. Her story which Echola found offensive was not gossip so he lost two of the three points in "church", "gossip" and "columnist". Therefore, I conclude that Echola was just trying to be personally offensive. He certainly succeeded.
I find Salonen's columns to be refreshing and informative. It is one of the only reasons I read The Forum. I won't go so far as to accuse Echola of being sexist. However, referring to a female columnist as a "church gossip columnist" tends to open one up to that charge since most church columnists are female and referring to a woman as a gossip reinforces a bad, sexist stereotype.
Noah lives in Fargo.