To the editor:
Once again, the Review-Journal’s editorial page policy has seeped into the news pages. This time, it’s a sad excuse for a “news” story that is actually a hit piece on Hillary Clinton about the fees and expenses for her speech to the UNLV Foundation fundraiser on Oct. 13 (“High style, steep fees: That’s how Hillary rolls,” Aug. 17 Review-Journal).
With documents “obtained through the state public records law,” this poor excuse for an exposé tells us: “She usually requires those who pay her six-figure fees for speeches to also provide a private jet for transportation — only a $39 million, 16-passenger Gulfstream G450 or larger will do.”
The article goes on to reveal she travels with aides, uses two advance staff to check out the venue ahead of time, requires she stay in presidential suites and a bunch of other seemingly outrageous demands. All while using loaded phrases such as “her lifestyles of the rich and famous ways” and “she insists on controlling every detail of the private event, large and small, to ensure that she will be the center of attention.” Oh brother. It makes me wonder if she also wants all the green M&Ms removed from her dressing room.
First of all, most, if not all, of the contractual requirements listed throughout the story are basic boilerplate language in just about any high-profile speaker’s contract. But the real clue that we’ve been reading nothing but manufactured outrage up to this point comes more than three-quarters into the story, when it’s revealed the UNLV Foundation negotiated a fee of $225,000 for her speaking fee — a savings of $75,000 off her usual fee of $300,000. And also that her expenses — you know, the outrageous presidential suite, entourage, advance people, the Gulfstream and all the rest — will be paid for by, wait for it, Hillary Clinton, out of her discounted fee.
Now we find out how important the word “usually” is, way back up at the top of the story. Unfortunately, people who didn’t read to the end would miss the importance of that one word, a full 27 column inches before we find out the truth. It is this type of writing and editing that makes the Review-Journal unworthy to call itself an actual “newspaper.”
To the editor:
Regarding recent letters criticizing Donald E. Schmiedel’s letter on proper Spanish grammar (“Spoiling Spanish,” Aug. 12 Review-Journal): First of all, signs properly written in Spanish or any other foreign language are not meant to placate non-English speakers. Las Vegas is a destination for people from all over the world, and proper signage in every language gives a good impression of a progressive city.
Second, if you travel to other countries, English is often a common language, and official signage can be in multiple languages and scripts.
Third, people both here and abroad, in private and public, misspell and make grammatical errors. Pointing out an error in order to correct it is not inappropriate.
The comments in two letters from the Aug. 18 Review-Journal (“Stop placating non-English speakers” and “English-speaking country”) appear to disparage Mr. Schmiedel because the language he referred to is Spanish.
Mr. Schmiedel was my professor at UNLV for many years. He is an extremely well-educated and nice man who helped make this former Cuban refugee’s graduation from the university possible. He was my adviser for years, helping me to finally manage to get enough credits to graduate, while working full time. He taught me to appreciate the history of my Spanish roots and the beauty of the language through literary exploration.
LILIAM LUJAN SHELL