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Letters to the Editor

'Prince' justified in coverage of student arrests for alleged lewd behavior

I am writing in response to Tage Howerton '03's May 8 letter defending his friends, Dennis Alshuler '03 and Sloan Bermann '02, who were arrested on charges of lewd conduct April 27. Howerton's accusation that the The Daily Princetonian coverage of the incident demonstrated a flagrant lack of journalistic integrity is off the mark. Howerton must remember that despite the fact that the investigation of the incident was incomplete, two students were arrested in connection to the incident. A student arrest is a newsworthy item, and the 'Prince' had every right to run the story as it did. When the pending court case has been resolved, the 'Prince' should make public the verdict.


Howerton goes on to complain that the 'Prince' ran a one-sided story that permanently smeared the reputations of these two students. He implies that the allegations that led to the arrest of Alshuler and Bermann are rumors that are not, in fact, grounded in truth. Howerton should have had a frank discussion with his friends about the facts of this case before he jumped to their defense in a public arena and demanded an apology on their behalf. He does his friends a disservice by defending their actions. Any apology that comes out of this incident should come from Alshuler and Bermann and should be directed to the University community at large, especially those students they harassed.

Howerton objects to the 'Prince's article because he believes it infringed on his friends' right to privacy by making public their embarrassing actions. I admit that the 'Prince's article did not paint a positive portrait of the young men in question (who were reported to have been allegedly mooning and masturbating in front of an arch sing audience). In fact, if I were trying to smear someone, I might make up a story just like this one. What Howerton is forgetting is that Alshuler and Bermann brought the facts of this case upon themselves. I submit that if Alshuler and Bermann dropped their pants and exposed their posteriors and their genitals to an audience of dozens of shocked students, then they loudly forfeited any right to privacy in this issue. Howerton's outrage at the 'Prince's coverage of this incident is out of place. Alshuler and Bermann should cut their losses and be glad that the 'Prince' did not run photos of the incident. Ben West '01