From The Inbox

By this measure, Miceli produces a hit

You can’t please all of the readers all of the time, as Alex Miceli knows all too well, especially after his latest commentary

Alex Miceli is a columnist. Columnists don’t report news; they write columns based on facts, and they may use some of those facts to express their opinion.

A good columnist is like a betting line: half of the readers like it one way while the other half like it the other way. The fact that Miceli’s piece generated 38 published letters to Morning Read’s “Inbox” on Monday (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Nov. 2) indicates that his article (“It’s no golden moment for Golden Bear,” Oct. 30) was a resounding success.

Some of the contributors are threatening to stop reading his columns because they say he’s a Trump-hating liberal. That’s kind of funny ... because aren’t they themselves the definition of today’s liberal: If I don’t agree with you, you’re wrong?

Keep writing, Alex. I’ll agree with some of what you write, and probably disagree with most of it. But it’s entertaining.

Charlie Jurgonis
Fairfax, Va.

Just the news, please
I was surprised to see Jack Nicklaus decide to offer his opinion on the presidential race (“It’s no golden moment for Golden Bear,” Oct. 30). Maybe at age 80, he simply has decided that he doesn’t care what anyone thinks anymore and is OK with putting his political views out there for public consumption. Normally, famous athletes such as Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, et al., keep their views to themselves, probably for business reasons.

I offer no commentary on Nicklaus’ opinion, and I do not fault Alex Miceli and other journalists for covering the story. After all, Nicklaus is perhaps the greatest golfer of all-time, and endorsing a presidential candidate qualifies as golf news to me.

However, I think the story should have been left at that: a story on why Nicklaus felt compelled to offer his opinion, not what the opinion was. That is a way of covering the story while not turning it into a political opinion piece. It simply could have been reported what happened, but Alex Miceli’s piece turned into a hatchet job of not only why it was a bad endorsement, but made some not-so-subtle attacks on Nicklaus’ character, as well, which crossed the line. There are a variety of factors why people may support one candidate over another, and it’s probably not as simple as some want to make it.

If a prominent golfer had chosen to publicly endorse Democratic candidate Joe Biden, I also would expect that to be reported as “news,” but to turn that news piece into a commentary about why the endorsement was stupid and make some attacks on the golfer also would be out-of-bounds.

Just report the news and leave the political commentary and character assassinations out of it.

Jon Lucas
Little Rock, Ark.

What if Miceli had taken the other view?
Just wondering what all those conservatives would have said about Alex Miceli if he had agreed with Jack Nicklaus’ endorsement of President Donald Trump (“It’s no golden moment for Golden Bear,” Oct. 30). I’ll bet they wouldn't be telling Miceli to stick with golf (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Nov. 2).

It's always a matter of what poison you pick. 

Robert Fish 
Sun Lakes, Ariz.

Miceli’s courageous stand
Thank you, Alex Miceli, for your work. For building Morning Read, which I enjoy almost as much as my daily coffee in the still and quiet of a calm morning and a day just begun.

Thank you for your comments and thoughts about Jack Nicklaus’ recent essay about the election (“It’s no golden moment for Golden Bear,” Oct. 30). It took a lot of guts to write your response. Not everyone had positive feelings about your musings (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Nov. 2).

Miceli took a measured approach, and I appreciate the fact that he did not admonish the man’s opinion, or that he shared his thoughts and feelings. Instead, Miceli pointed out what I and my foursome questioned: Why would Nicklaus publish said thoughts and feelings publicly, and why now?

Did he think he’d move the needle so late in the game? Did he think he had to do something versus standing by and watching the score mount against his chosen team? Was he coerced or pressed into a statement from beyond his own center of control?

It made me think about Michael Jordan famously stating back in 1990 that he didn’t publicly support Harvey Gantt, a Black Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in Jordan’s native North Carolina, against Jesse Helms because “Republicans buy sneakers, too.”

Did Nicklaus not consider how the “other” 50-plus percent of the nation would receive his message?

Obviously, you and I do not know what or why he chose to publicize his opinion. All I can say, again, is thank you, Alex Miceli, for not letting it slide. That took a lot of courage.  Keep up the great work.

Jeff Wedner
Pittsburgh

The future ain’t what it used to be
"It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future” is a comment often attributed to Yogi Berra, once and forever a great baseball player and cockeyed philosopher. (In fairness, many great minds over many decades have expressed the same notion.)

It’s quite reasonable that one year ago, a prediction of a world-wide pandemic would have seemed far more possible than football, in the form of "College GameDay,” appearing at the Masters, Bryson DeChambeau telling Augusta National golf course to put up its dukes, or hooded sweatshirts becoming appropriate golf attire for the pros. Of those, only football at the Masters is COVID-19 related. But predictable, no sale. Come on, we’re talking about golf here!

What next? I fear that those tasteless, superimposed, advertiser names appearing on the pitcher's mound during the recent baseball playoffs will be seen crawling on the hallowed courses trod by the world's premier golfers. I shudder to think.

Ken Olshansky
Wellington, Fla.

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