The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


February 7, 2013

Readers' Forum 2-7 | Media had role in friar’s death

— Friar Stephen Baker is dead. I hope the media are satisfied now. For several days, the media published on the front page the same old story. Only the number of alleged victims who were coming out of the woodwork was changed.

The world loves a dirty story, and the media are only too eager to feed it to them again and again. I wonder how those in the media who are responsible for printing the same old story would like it if their personal sins were flaunted day after day on the front page.

If Jesus were still walking the earth and would encounter the gang in the media ready to stone the wretched friar, I suspect he would bend over and write stuff in the sand with his finger and, one by one, the media people would put their tails between their legs and sheepishly walk away.

Where were all these countless victims when those alleged abuses were taking place? I come from a family of seven. If any of this would have happened to one of us, our dad would have gone storming to the proper authorities and brought the matter to a head in no time flat. Was there no one among the alleged victims trained to do likewise?

I know we should not judge. But if the friar spends his eternity in hell, should we not put part of the blame on the shoulders of the media who drove him into despair?

Richard Ruth


Pro wrestling – sport or spectacle?

Am I the only person who didn’t know that professional wrestling is all staged?

I’ve always disliked the sport, thinking it was barbaric and inhumane. I was baffled by the fans who supported such an awful “sport.” Who wants to watch someone get beat up for fun? What does the winner get out of the deal, a large buckle that proclaims to the world that he is the biggest bully in the arena?

Recently, this myth has been dispelled for me. Professional wrestling is more like an extended fight scene in a movie. The winner is predetermined and moves are choreographed so the contestants do not get seriously hurt. Sure, they really do take some punches, but they are not really as powerful as they seem.

The spectacle is punctuated with the addition of blood capsules to further add to the drama. Through a combination of illusions and theatrics, we are tricked into believing these people are getting seriously wounded.

Some of the moves, if attempted by amateurs without extensive training, could kill or permanently injure, which is why these athletes work so hard to get the moves right. Sometimes a move can go wrong, resulting in a real injury.

These men are merely performers intent on putting on a good show for their attentive audience.

I have new respect for these athletes since it takes more than muscles to be a professional wrestler. I guess you learn something new every day.

Megan Riner


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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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