I remember a few sayings I heard while growing up: “Don’t poke the bear,” “Never hit a bee’s hive with a stick,” “Never spit into the wind” and “When hunting, stay downwind.”

It is tragic when others have to pay for the sins of a few who have tried to make a buck at the expense of others.

Sony Pictures was out of line with its movie “The Interview” that included a plot to assassinate a standing leader of a foreign country, even if done in jest. Sony CEO Michael Lynton should know that. He was just trying to make a buck. But how would the U.S. public have reacted if the shoe was on the other foot?

Charlie Hebdo was out of bounds in its approach in poking fun at Islam’s prophet just to increase its circulation. Its error was a case of “never hit a bee hive with a stick.” It caused hatred toward a minority. Incidentally, the publication had been banned once, even there in France, back in 1981 for mocking the death of Charles de Gaulle, former president of France.

Then there are the actions of the American press relating to the incident in Ferguson, Mo. — the media drove that incident across the nation, eventually causing the death of two New York City police officers who had nothing to do with what happened in Ferguson.

Stories printed solely to drive ratings or increase circulation should not be tolerated at any time.

Charles Soule, Lewiston

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