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A Letter to the Editor of The Oklahoman

Ms. Dyer-Fry, I am writing you in regards to the recently published piece about Florida State’s choice of mascot not as a football fan or graduate of the university, of which I am both, but as a person who respects journalism enough to know that this particular article is far from it. I do not object to the question of whether the name of an Indian tribe should be used as a mascot, which is a fair matter for debate, nor do I even object to Mr. Tramel giving this piece an obvious slant, which is license for a sport writer (ignoring why a writer focused on sport would approach this as a topic). What I do object to is the publishing of this article, clearly written as an editorial or a PR piece for Mr. Narcomey, under the guise of journalism. This opinion piece was written using a single source (let’s not pretend Mr. Gray’s quote counts), which begs the question; would you publish a piece on a national issue and only quote one politician from only one of the parties? Would Mr. Tramel even publish a Sooners game preview without consulting more than one source and gathering information from at least one source on each team? For the sake of your profession I sincerely hope not. This piece was written with the obvious intentions of creating a stir and website visits which it has clearly done, however, I would expect a newspaper of the size and history of The Oklahoman to rise above this type of yellow journalism. In the future perhaps your you can persuade your writers to practice their chosen profession with a little more respect, or at least keep such lazy "reporting" confined to the opinion and editorial pages where it belongs.

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