Columnist chided for tirade on an unnamed coach

Mr. Me, Me Me -- columnist Steve Smith has struck a new low. He

writes an entire column about why his child did not get on a team

("Coach's decision inspires a bending of the rules," Saturday). Smith

does not back up his accusation with fact; an "anonymous person"

confided that the coach did not select Smith's child because the

coach did not like one of Smith's columns. Isn't that unsubstantiated

gossip? Smith is basing his entire tirade against the coach by a

person who does not want their name mentioned.

Smith often congratulates himself in his column on what a fine

father he is. Well, in this column, he blew it. He did no favors to

his child. Can you imagine the anxiety and dread any educator or

coach is going to have when dealing with his child. If Smith's child

is not chosen, or there is a disagreement, the threat of a column

being written about them looms. It would have been much better for

his child if Smith had made his dispute with the coach a private

matter.

It appears Smith has a problem with conflict. He does not let go

of it easily. He had a conflict with former school board member Jim

Ferryman over three years ago and still writes about it in his

column; in fact, somehow he brings up Ferryman in his tirade against

the coach. Let Ferryman go, and get on with your life.

Once I wrote a rebuttal letter to Mr. Smith's column when he

stated that bullying and teasing were OK, that it helped build

resilience in kids. He seemed very angry in the column in response to

my letter. He was upset that I said "shame on you, Mr. Smith," yet he

uses those same words against the coach that did not pick his kid on

the team.

You may have a legitimate issue about your child being excluded.

It is very difficult as a parent to stand by and see your child

hurting. But in this case, Smith stepped over the bounds of

journalistic professionalism. You used your column to avenge your

child, and in doing so, you lost sight of your ethics.

CYNDIE BORCOMAN

Newport Beach

What would Saturday be like without Steve Smith inventing a topic

for his column that provides him a forum for publicizing what a

splendid human being he is? He has, he would have us believe, never,

that's never folks, called anyone a name. He has never, that's never

folks, complained about a situation without offering a solution. Honk

if you wish you were that pure. Since, I assume, newspaper columnists

need credibility, you'd think he'd at least use the phrase "seldom if

ever," instead of "never."

Recently, he would have us believe, he came dreadfully close to

having a bad day, in which he actually failed to live up to the

stringent demands of his moral code. (Horrors.) Breathe easy folks;

he didn't crack; he only "bent" one of his rules. Come on!

He has this self-serving theory that when someone can't argue the

facts, his facts, by the way, they call him "names." Where are the

facts in the incident he's writing about? His own words are that it

"apparently" happened. And then later, he was "told" that it

happened. And later still, "if" it happened.

In my own experience, being called names has led to some rewarding

moments of personal growth. Tired of being called a drunk, I entered

rehab some 30 years ago. Stung by being labeled aloof, arrogant and

grandiose, I studied those words and the attitude and behavior that

led to their usage and found them to be painfully fitting. Go to the

dictionary, Steve Smith; look up the word "pompous" or the label

"illusions of moral superiority" and see whose picture is beside it.

GARY DRIES

Costa Mesa

I think that your Saturday feature "In Theory" is just excellent.

I look forward to that every week and have saved many of the

responses from many of the various religious leaders. They're just

excellent.

And the second thing I wanted to comment on is Steve Smith's

column Saturday about the coach. I have no agenda, but I do feel that

that was one of the most self-righteous columns I've ever read. And

certainly he brought up old grudges, and I think it was a very

unnecessary and unfair column to write.

I have no idea who the coach was, or anything about this, but it

just left a bad taste in my mouth.

NANCY BURGESS

Costa Mesa

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