Newspapers have been in decline in both circulation and revenue for a long time because of increased competition. First came radio, and then television, as major sources for national news. Then came the Internet, and the decline of newspapers continues. In a 2019 Pew Research Center survey, only 13 percent of American adults preferred to get their news from newspapers, and only 14 percent have paid for local news in the past year.

The newspaper industry has never been in a greater need for controversy in order to sell its newspapers. If there is no controversy present, there is a tendency for the newspaper to manufacture one. The following letter dated February 13, 2001, is a prime example of manufacturing a controversy, as well as the old adage, “You can’t believe everything you read.”

No retraction was issued.

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