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On The Chronicle

There has been a lot of discussion on our Bulletin Board about a
recent Monday, Monday column that attacked Coach K and the Duke
Basketball program. Many of you are upset by this attempt at
humor, and it is fair to say that it just echoes the viler screeds
of the tin-foil-hatted Duke haters of some of the worst Internet
bulletin boards.

This column, on its own, is not worthy of comment. What is worthy of
comment has been the recent decline in the quality of the Chronicle.
The editorial staff apparently believes that controversy is
good, regardless of how that controvery affects fellow students.
Our hearts sank when we read last year's column comparing Luol
Deng to a baboon. Reading the anti-Semitic writings last fall,
which might have come straight from The Protocols Of The Elders
Of Zion, we wondered how the many Jewish students at Duke felt.

The Chronicle is, after Cameron, perhaps the most frequent way the
Duke student body represents itself to the outside world, thanks
to the Internet. The audience is broader, so the responsibilities
are greater. In the past, we have been proud of how the Chronicle
has handled itself as an independent organization, but perhaps that
relationship needs to be reconsidered.

Short of that, we'd suggest everyone - students and alums - make
it a point to contact the advertisers in the Chronicle and tell
them that they are advertising in a publication which has shown a
distinct lack of editorial judgment.

If you were offended by the orangutan reference, or the anti-semitic
column which ran not too long ago, or the grossly unfair rip on
Coach K and the basketball team, this is your chance to make your
voice heard.

In the immediate future, though, there is something the students
can do to show their displeasure: Boycott the Chronicle on Monday.
More than that, tell the advertisers in the Chronicle that you
are boycotting, and tell them exactly why. Newspapers are in
the business of selling eyes to advertisers, and there is nothing
more effective for showing the newspaper that you are upset than
for them to see stacks of Chronicles that are not picked up, and
smaller checks coming in from advertisers.