Letters to the Editor

Letter: Meyer ’17 column is what journalism is for

Monday, September 26, 2016

To the Editor:

As an alum of The Herald and longtime newspaperman, I was gratified that The Herald had guts enough to publish the Sept. 16 column by Daniel Meyer ’17, “Lamp/Bear sucks,” which was critical not only of that sculpture but also of its lender, former Brown trustee Steven Cohen. It’s also good to see that you evidently haven’t been intimidated by other big givers rushing to Cohen’s defense. Despite what they say, Meyer accurately described the illegal trading that added to Cohen’s fortune and led to his being barred from handling other people’s money. The rest of Meyer’s column is fair comment on the facts.

Brown has a centuries-long history of not being too particular about the sources of its benefactions — including the slave trade and the original Big Oil trust. Give enough, and you too might become a trustee or get your kid admitted, or both. But that shouldn’t preclude anybody else from raising doubts about the propriety of accepting tainted largesse.

I’m with the student journalists on this one. If this sorry election year has done anything constructive at all, it has raised doubts that rich guys must always rule.

J.V. Reistrup ’58