Welcome to the Woodstock - Preservation Archives
Dedicated to the Historic Preservation of the Site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival

Hurd & West Shore Rds
Sullivan County
Bethel  NY


September 13, 2002

To: The Times Herald Record
      Letter to the Editor

From: Brad Littleproud (WPA member)
         Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Re: Woodstock pleas come too late - Steve Israel - September 13, 2002

At what point did it become acceptable for reporters to ignore facts and report information or distortions thereof to support their own bias. Although this is an age-old criticism of journalistic license, columnists like the THR's Steve Israel have a talent for reducing the standards of a newspaper to that of tabloid hack. Mr. Israel's latest partisan piece, "Woodstock Pleas Come Too Late", reports on the delivering of Bethel PAC petition document to the Town of Bethel from the Woodstock Preservation Alliance. Although reported that the petition was three months late, Mr. Israel was aware that the petition was submitted for consideration in the upcoming final EIS public period of comment. He was there when it was stamped and dated for submission, and handed to Bethel town supervisor Alan Scott. A second unnecessary correction is that Mr. Israel was aware that the WPA is opposed to the building of permanent structures on the top of the Woodsotck Festival site where temporary 2 x 4 and tree branch constructed concession booths were all that stood in that area. To say that the WPA is arguing the issue of building vending structures when vending structures were on that spot in '69 is an embarrassing, intentional misrepresentation of the facts. Mr. Israel, who according to Ms. Joanne Hague (WPA Board member) who delivered the petition, was reported to have made comments regarding the petition like, "Look at that. It must be 2 inches thick!", and poured over the signatures, obviously impressed. He then only chose to negatively report a single false signature that did not get screened out of the document. It can be said that if you choose to make your living with the pen, and you are fortunate enough to gain an audience for your thoughts, you have a responsibility to that audience. To take a God-given talent, and use it to twist, omit and manipulate the facts, persuading the reader to support your bias is disheartening to those who see the press as champions of free speech. Mr. Israel, you have done more to discredit yourself and the Times Herald Record, than the WPA's participation in the process of democracy.