Bennett crosses a shameful line

Bennett crosses a shameful line

February 3rd, 2012 in Opinion Letters

Bennett crosses a shameful line

On the date of Judge Bob Moon's funeral (Jan. 28), you published a "cartoon" showing lack of compassion for people. It mocked the friendship between Judge Moon and Judge David Bales. Judge Moon's compassion and love for people and guidance in their personal lives and in their careers will be sorely missed by many. You allowed your political cartoonist to hit a low in integrity, class and compassion for his fellowman.

Judge David Bales is a man of integrity, honor and compassion. He has been a loyal friend to Judge Moon. Judge Bales does not deserve this public ridicule.

Some months ago, I made a telephone complaint to your office about the mean spirit of some of Mr. Clay Bennett's cartoons. A gentleman said that Mr. Bennett was well-respected all over this country. I said that I would assume that the Times Free Press approved of these mean-spirited cartoons. I said that many people would be deeply offended by his mean-spirited representations. This time, you allowed Mr. Bennett to cross a shameful line.

FRANK AND JUDY BAILEY

Hixson

Cartoon the mother of all cheap shots

Having spent 22 years of a former life in newspapers, I understand some of the basics of editorial cartooning -- specifically, that a cartoonist should be provocative, but at the same time free from editorial interference. Accordingly, I had no issue with Clay Bennett or his occasionally good work until Jan. 29.

For the record: I do not live in Hamilton County. I was not acquainted with the late Judge Moon, nor am I acquainted with Judge David Bales.

Judge Bales was and is fair game, and the Times Free Press has taken him to task when necessary. Judge Moon had issues that were similarly well-chronicled, as they should have been. No problem on either count.

Perhaps I misunderstood the cartoon. Perhaps Mr. Bennett's sole aim was to take a shot at Judge Bales. But the cartoon struck me as the mother of all cheap shots, as Judge Moon is no longer around to defend himself.

The man is dead. Was a parting shot really necessary?

In professional fighting, a bout stops when one man can't continue. Then again, what do I know? Mr. Bennett is, after all, a Pulitzer Prize winner.

BOB GARY JR.

Ringgold, Ga.

Band participants also good studnts

As a retired teacher, my interest in the education of children is a top priority. In a time when we hear more bad than good in my profession, I want to point out one positive that is almost always evident. That is the success of students who participate in band.

These children are not only good musicians, they also are excellent students. Rarely will one find a band student who is not a dedicated, all-around, good kid. No discipline problems here!

Last Friday evening, I was privileged to witness the Sale Creek Panther Pride marching band perform all decked out in their new uniforms. Not only was the band performance awesome, also the athletes, students and fans showed great enthusiasm, excellent sportsmanship and behavior. As an alumana and former teacher at Sale Creek, I have never felt so proud in my entire life.

The word "PRIDE" stands for "People Really Interested Do Extra." This school is doing an extra special good job. My hat is off to the students, teachers, band boosters and parents. We may be small but we've got PRIDE!

BETTY LEGG

Sale Creek, Tenn.

Newspaper reflects death of decency

I object to the political cartoon in your paper on Jan. 28. It saddens me to observe that the Times Free Press has fallen victim to the plague that has consumed the rest of our society; the death of respect and common decency. I feel the publishing of the cartoon about Judges Moon and Bales on the date of Judge Moon's funeral was highly inappropriate.

It saddens me to see that a newspaper, that at one time was highly respected, has fallen to the level of the tabloid press, willing to print anything to gain attention, regardless of the pain it may cause others. I would sincerely hope that your editor would at least apologize to the family of Judge Moon for this lack of common courtesy.

TOM CRIPPS

Bennett, paper should apologize

I usually love the political cartoons in the Times Free Press. However, the Jan. 28 cartoon was in bad taste. I have never seen a political attack on a person the day of their funeral. I am talking about Judge Bob Moon, who died suddenly, shocking his family and the community, and the cartoon by Clay Bennett.

Everyone was mourning the loss of Judge Moon when Clay Bennett came out with his political attack of Judges Moon and Bales, knowing Judge Moon could not respond. It is a cheap shot to attack someone who cannot defend themselves. It also showed no respect for the Moon family in their time of loss.

In the past, community leaders who have died have been painted in a gracious and respectful light. The Bennett cartoon of the day was neither of these.

He, along with the newspaper, need to make a public apology to the Moon family for their making of Bob Moon's passing a political event, instead of the passing of a community leader who will surely be missed.

SGT. KEN SHRUM

Chattanooga Police Department (Retired)

Cartoon a tasteless attempt at humor

I seldom agree with the opinions written by the Chattanooga Times and view it more with laughter rather than as a source of serious commentary.

Today's cartoon (Jan. 28), depicting Judge Moon's chair with a dummy character of Judge Bales, crossed the line of journalistic ethics. Never in my life have I seen a more sick, tasteless attempt at political humor. It is common knowledge that Judge Moon and Judge Bales were dear friends and it also is common knowledge that Judge Bales is one of the first person's who found Judge Moon dead. If Bennett has no more shame than to poke fun at his political enemies less than 48 hours after a tragic death, then I suggest your editors take a break for a while and do some research on "simple human decency."

JOHN CLARK

Carolina result isn't surprising

The Republican debates have been a circus. I have never seen so many lying politicians. I laughed when Gingrich, of all people, called Romney a liar.

Newt, who has been married nearly as many times as Elizabeth Taylor and possibly had more affairs, and more baggage than the old Railway Express, carried South Carolina.

This surprised my wife, since South Carolina probably has more evangelicals than any state in the Bible Belt. It didn't surprise me. I'm a Southerner! I've seen this kind of "Christian" (hypocrites?) turn their heads when it served their purpose.

The Democratic Party lost the South when blacks received the vote. The race issue turned the South over to Republicans. Too many Southern Democrats are racists.

Nevertheless, I'm pulling for Gingrich since my first choice, Cain, was eliminated for womanizing. It would have been wonderful to see two African-Americans running for president. Rednecks and racists would have had no where to go, ensuring Obama's re-election.

If Gingrich gets elected, he would put a colony on the moon. That's a Newt "grandiose" idea. However, the colony would consist only of millionaires. The poor and middle class couldn't afford to go. They would need government assistance, and that would be "socializing" the moon.

WILBOURNE C. MARKHAM SR.

Walden, Tenn.