The Thing About Mirrors

A couple of interesting comments at have led me to believe that I need to clarify something: Just because we cover something doesn't mean we agree with it.

Last week's fine cover story on Dr. Jane Orient and the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons upset several folks, who said we shouldn't be giving such whackos coverage. I couldn't disagree more: It's downright crucial, I think, for people to know about the existence of a group of real medical doctors whose executive director says downright crazy things—like secondhand smoking can be good for you, and that the biggest cause of death from the Chernobyl disaster came from abortions—especially since this group's headquarters are right here in good ol' Tucson, Arizona.

Some people say that we should cover topics like the AAPS, but that we should be more opinionated against said topics in our coverage. Folks ... when a doctor tells you that it's a "fallacy" that HIV causes AIDS, do we really need to jump in and say that such a claim is stupid?

We had the same problem several years ago when we did a story on local graffiti artists. Even Tom Danehy ignorantly went off on the paper and yours truly for running the piece.

One of the Tucson Weekly's jobs is to be a mirror that reflects our community, while being opinionated, entertaining and provocative. And since Dr. Jane Orient and graffiti artists are part of our community, they merit coverage, too—whether you (or we) like them or not.