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Hartley wasn't buying it. "Your reasoning for rejecting my letter," he wrote, "smacks of an institutionalized effort to suppress information about a candidate your newspaper has endorsed."
They argued via e-mail for all of last week, with Keene at one point suggesting alternative language and Hartley refusing to back down.
When I called Keene on July 28 to ask her about the exchange, she said, "All letters are fact-checked."
That's great. But is it the paper's policy to fact-check with the subject of the letter, who happens to be the Star's endorsed candidate?
"I'm not going to comment on the specifics of this [Hartley's] letter," Keene said.
Later that afternoon, she e-mailed the Pitch an official statement.
"We fact check every letter. In some cases, that includes talking to the person who is the subject of a letter. Only Star staff see the letters before they are published."
Hey, we get controversial letters, too, and we also work hard not to publish inaccurate ones.
But here's a promise that won't end after the election: Even though we're printing at the Star, we won't let political candidates help water down your letters to the editor.