In response to the July 11 Perspectives column by Charles Cooper, "Microsoft and the 'Savage Nation'":
While I generally enjoy Charles Cooper's writing and agree with his opinion pieces, this one shoots itself in the foot.
Microsoft has a vested interest in the profitability of MSNBC and in the impact that the channel has on Microsoft's reputation. It is precisely because of this that Microsoft cannot interfere in the editorial freedom of MSNBC. Cooper's story gives a nod to the critical coverage that Brock Meeks provided for the Microsoft antitrust trial yet fails to understand it.
If any members of Microsoft management attempted to influence the "editorial content" of MSNBC programs, the network's credibility would be destroyed. More than a partner, Microsoft is also a controversial news figure. Would Brock Meeks have been as openly critical of Microsoft if he had reason to fear for his job? Cooper's conclusion is off the mark.
Microsoft and MSNBC should be congratulated for maintaining a degree of editorial independence that allows such an event to happen, not criticized. The fault lies entirely with MSNBC for attempting to exploit a controversial figure's reputation, without the courage to stand by him through the inevitable hailstorm of criticism.
Joseph F. Pinegar
Overland Park, Kansas