Mr. Ken Erhardt likes to play fast and loose with the facts and his letter about me on Nov. 16 is an example.
Mr. Erhardt's statement that I am "an advocate of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua" is totally false. What is true is that I publish a journal of opinion, Newsline, that has printed a range of views about Central America, mostly in opposition to Reagan Administration policies. As with any publication, including the Los Angeles Times, I don't personally endorse all of the opinions I publish. My personal views on Nicaragua--which I have expressed from time to time in Newsline--have been sharply critical of the Nicaraguan government for its curtailment of civil liberties and the press.
Mr. Erhardt is on even shakier ground when he assumes that journalists with a point of view aren't entitled to be considered press. I don't know about Mr. Erhardt's view of First Amendment, but my reading of the Constitution guarantees freedom of the press equally to those with opinions as well as to those who aspire to be "unbiased." Would Mr. Erhardt want himself or some government official to certify that individuals are appropriately unbiased to be considered media? For that matter, would Mr. Erhardt argue that a reporter covering Hitler's Germany had no right to "lay claim to informing the public" if he or she opposed the horrors of Nazism?