In several columns, Bee Editor Mark Vasché has written about the paramount role of the press, particularly in relation to the community its serves. I agree.
Both nationally and locally, the war in Iraq continues to be the lead story. More importantly, in this region, 21 soldiers have died. Yet, I have seen few examples in which Bee reporters or columnists have taken to task our federal representatives with hard questions on this issue. Our political leaders only appear at fund-raisers or direct us to their sanitized Web sites. This cannot be acceptable to a responsible press.
I propose The Bee use its clout to sponsor a public forum where our national representatives are challenged with questions from local reporters, scholars and general audience that represent all perspectives in a civil discourse about the war. In advance of the forum, let our congressional leaders clearly spell out their respective positions in a series of commentaries. Why wait for an election year?
Taking the initiative on this issue, I submit, will put meat on Vasché's principled bones.
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SAMUEL O. REGALADO