Widgets Magazine

OPINIONS

Letter to the Editor: The Review is not its writers

To the Editor:

I have no desire to comment on how a response to an article opposing violent protest got into the weeds of how oil companies lobbied for the Iraq War. Some things are simply mysteries of the universe and are best left that way. Besides, the writers of the original article, Harry Elliott and John Luttig, can defend themselves.

However, I am obligated to note that Terrence Zhao’s article on Nov. 2 falsely conflated the views expressed by two writers in an opinions article with the views of The Stanford Review as an institution. This is irresponsible and false. Contrary to what Zhao claims, The Stanford Review takes no position on the pipeline or protests in question. It simply published an article submitted by writers who have an opinion. The writers are not even current staff members, but even if they were, it wouldn’t matter. This is Journalism 101.

In fact, the entire purpose of The Review is to publish unpopular views — ideas with which most people on campus and most people on The Review’s staff probably disagree. It cannot do its job if people like Zhao conflate the views expressed in opinions articles with the views of the entire institution. It won’t be able to publish unpopular opinions anymore.

The Stanford Review tries to carve out a space where countercultural ideas can be freely expressed. Regardless of his intent, Zhao’s falsehoods and conflations help to suppress those views, in practice.

 

– Elliot Kaufman ‘18
Managing Editor, Stanford Review