The Public Editor from The New York Times responds –

First, thank you to anyone who did forward my post ‘Forget About Richard Dawkins I Have a Bone to Pick with The New York Times’ to Margaret Sullivan, Public Editor, at The Times. We did it! Margaret Sullivan did respond in The Times. To read her response click: Readers Protest ‘Hate Speech’ in Comments Section on Down Syndrome.

Second, I am grateful to Ms. Sullivan in that her response was more than anyone at The Times has ever offered regarding their readers’ comments and Down syndrome but it was not enough by a long shot.

Third, it was not a “win” for people with Down syndrome today, and so, I am a bit tired, sad and discouraged. I am not, however, done.

I think my feelings, thoughts and beliefs with regard to her post were most succinctly summed up by the comment posted today by B. Mull:

“It’s problematic to open a comments section on the subject of whether certain individuals have a right to exist. I think the public editor should acknowledge that the Times screwed up”.

Unfortunately and predictably the reader’s comments to her post were as venomous as before but this time towards me. My husband, Ward Peck, valiantly engaged with many of the ugliest comments this evening. I do not have the stomach for that sort of thing but one comment I made was:

My post which Margaret Sullivan referenced was predicated on the assumption that ‘disability is natural’. Our son who lives with Down syndrome is not abnormal he is merely different. Difference has no negative or positive value it just is. Our son is not ‘Down syndrome’ he is a kid like all children. He loves The Avengers, cheese burgers, his Bubba, he plays baseball and he loves reading.

P.s. – My husband ROCKS. Without his support none of this would have been possible.

P.p.s. – Our son ROCKS and not because he has Down syndrome but because he is a lovely little boy who works hard, is very bright, creative and makes our life quite spectacular.


6 thoughts on “The Public Editor from The New York Times responds –

  1. I’ve just read through the comments on the Editors piece and was again saddened by the detached intellectual nature of them. Especially riling was the snotty argument that said you were trying to imply that DS was like race and so race was a disease.
    Folk are entitled to their opinion, I get that, but the public forum of online comment is a great place for pseudo intellectuals to hang out and make comment without experience.
    How different is this to the online community of parents of kids with disabilities where support dominates and friendliness is assumed.

  2. You have your views, various readers and commenters at the Times have theirs. The joys of a free press!

    The one thing I find, um, interesting regarding parents, like yourself, who love their kids with DS & worry that a “shortage” of people with DS will negatively impact their kids (fewer people with DS = fewer services for people with DS). Which, on one hand, I sort of get.

    On the other hand, you’ve got parents of kids born with, say, Tay-Sachs or Syndrome who love & adore & advocate for their kids, but are selfLESS enough to want nothing more than a “shortage” of TS or Rett (& advocate for research that will help achieve this).

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