To the editors:

Michael Miner’s “Hot Type” column describing the demise of the Chicago Tribune’s middle east correspondent Jonathan Broder [March 11] constituted a weak defense of and apology for Broder’s plagiarism. In describing Broder’s middle east coverage, Miner states that: “Every line he wrote was carefully read, and as he wrote what he saw, which was Israel stumbling toward chaos, protest rained on the paper.” Putting aside the unsupported assumption made by this sentence, to state that Broder “wrote what he saw” is absurd in light of his dismissal for plagiarism. Unless of course what Broder saw was other newspaper clippings. In trying to identify with the pressures a journalist faces, Miner states “. . . your desk is covered with bits of paper and you are not sure what anything means or where anything came from.” A professional, whether a journalist, lawyer, or academic, cannot maintain any credibility or achieve excellence with such slack ethical standards. Miner should reflect more about a journalist’s professional standards and competence, including his own.

Orna L. Shulman

N. Lake Shore Drive