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Tim Rogers’ Reporting Is ‘Shoddy Journalism’

December 4, 2009

Dear Nica Times:

I continue to be disappointed by the one-sided, anti-Sandinista reporting by Tim Rogers on events in Nicaragua.

His substitution of opinion for solid reporting is something that your newspaper, with its long tradition of journalistic excellence, ought to be ashamed of.

Your editorial in the Nov. 20 issue of The Tico Times (Nicaragua’s Killer Bees) marked a low point for this page, which reflects the newspapers’ opinion. It looks like you just turned over the week’s editorial writing assignment to Mr. Rogers to fill with more of his ridiculous musings.

He seems to have no knowledge of, or show any appreciation for, the history of the Sandinista revolution or the so-called contra movement; these contras were hired mercenaries, funded by the U.S. under Ronald Reagan, who mined the Corinto harbor and carried out many other acts which, if done by U.S. opponents, would have been labeled as terrorism.

Now Mr. Rogers writes a glowing report of a “Re-contra” effort, supported perhaps by some well-meaning critics of President Daniel Ortega, but also by the crooks who corruptly ruled the country for much of the past 10 years, or who were hired guns for the U.S. in the 1980s.

And Mr. Rogers’ continued reference to the “mortars” which Ortega supporters are using is another ridiculous twisting of the English language. What does he mean by these “mortars?”

The term conjures up all sorts of false images, which is probably Mr. Rogers’ intent. Gringos I talk to believe they’re some sort of military-type artillery.

When they read that the U.S. embassy was subjected a few weeks ago to “mortar attacks” they believed this was like some sort of artillery canon. What are mortars, really? Are they home-made firecrackers? Rocks launched by home-made slingshots? How about sticking to straight facts, expressed in plain English.

Readers expect more from The Tico Times than such shoddy journalism.

John Lawson

San José, Costa Rica

Editor’s Note: In the context of weaponry, a mortar is a launching device, not an explosive projectile, which would be a mortar round, or a bomb, or a shell. Therefore, a”homemade mortar” would be a launching device made at home, not military-grade weaponry. In the case of the attack on the U.S. Embassy, the Sandinistas fired homemade mortars packed with a type of improvised explosive projectile made of gunpowder mixed with rocks – providing a strong enough blast to break two of bullet-proof windows at the embassy.

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