Letter: Poor letter vetting

April 27, 2014 

As Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not his facts. I really wish the Herald would do a minimal amount of vetting before publishing letters based on falsehoods. A recent letter (“Lopsided cartoon,” April 22) supporting the position of Cliven Bundy, the welfare queen in a ten-gallon hat, claimed that Cliven’s “family has owned this land since the 1800s and have been grazing their cattle on this same land." This is false. The Bundy family moved to Nevada from Arizona and bought 160 acres in 1948. No one disputes the ownership of the 160 acres. The family began grazing cattle on federal land in 1954, and paid applicable fees up until 1993. A federal court found Bundy's claim of "grazing rights” to be bogus. So much for the compelling narrative of the brave citizen standing up to the nasty old federal government. It makes a good story, but doesn't square with the facts.

Robert McDonald, Richland

Editor’s note: A minimal amount of vetting likely wouldn’t have shown the falsehood mentioned above. Initial accounts of the dispute repeated Bundy’s lie about his family history. It wasn’t until after the April 22 letter appeared in the Herald that more accurate accounts of Bundy family history were widely reported.

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