Dear editor:

Daniel John Sobieski’s letter (February 21) is typical of the defense he consistently musters for corporate America.

By attacking the news gathering methods of ABC-TV and the network’s PrimeTime Live investigation of the Food Lion chain, Sobieski is right in lockstep with other letters he has written to newspapers always defending the shady practices of big corporations.

Sobieski opens himself up to a basic fundamental taught to journalism students. That fundamental is to always ask: “How do you know that?”

In his letter in the Chicago Reader, Sobieski states, “ABC wanted a blockbuster scandal for ratings sweep week.”

How does he know that? Did he interview the people at ABC-TV and did they tell him that?

Sobieski obviously received all his information from the right-wing Rupert Murdoch-owned TV news station, Fox-TV News, which aired the unused portions of the PrimeTime Live investigation.

He also states in his letter that ABC conspired with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) to manufacture a scare story–ABC because it wanted high ratings, and UFCW because it wanted to hobble Food Lion’s expansion plans.

Again, how does Sobieski know that? Did he sit in on the PrimeTime Live meetings, or did he get all of his information from the conservative Fox-TV News report?

ABC-TV stands by its story on Food Lion. How do I know that? Because Diane Sawyer of PrimeTime Live said it, that’s why.

Sobieski’s naivete on how undercover investigations work is overshadowed by his relentless attacks on the media–unless, of course, the right-wing media is attacking liberals, President Clinton, Hillary Clinton, investigating Whitewater, FBI-filegate, Travel-gate, or anything else that is near and dear to his conservative heart. Then, and only then, all bets are off and any method used to get the story is perfectly OK.

Bill Corcoran

S. Fairfield