Seven Degrees from Normal

Two people, eighteen years of marriage, seven college degrees.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Wow, you mean they can read?

The local paper in Crawford, Texas endorses Kerry for president, and how do those straight-shootin' Texans respond? With threats, naturally.

The editors, God bless 'em, have responded with much more thoughtfulness than some of their readers deserve, noting that:
In the past, when individuals disagreed with an editorial, they would write a letter to the editor politely expressing a different point of view in contrast to the views of the publishers, which we have usually published. Occasionally someone would cancel a subscription or an ad, but this was rare.
The goal of the editorial page has been to provide an arena for the expression of a variety of thoughtful opinions, some by the publishers, some by columnists, and some by our readers.
The new mode of operation, I am told, is that when a newspaper prints an editorial of which some sectors might disagree, the focus is now upon how to run the newspaper out of business. Out the window are the contributions the newspaper has made to the community in the past and the newspaper’s extensive investment in the community.
We do understand peoples’ rights to pull subscriptions and ads, and to express a differing opinion, but we have some trouble understanding threats and payback since in politics there are often a variety of options. For the publishers to herald one of the options should be no cause for persecution.
They've also posted all the emails they've received. Hearteningly, they run about 10:1 in favor of the endorsement. The people who didn't like the endorsement come across pretty much like the troglodytes they are. Here's a good one:
To Whom It May Concern:
After reading an article on the internet about your publication endorsing John Kerry for president I went to your website see for myself if this was true. Sure enough the website says "Iconoclast endorses Kerry for President." I did also see that it is in the editorial section, but to use the newspapers name as the backer of the editorial is outrageous and irresponsible. Newspapers are supposed to be unbiased, and state the news leaving it up to the reader to decide his or her own opinion. Again, if someone at the newspaper has a preference for presidential candidate and wants to place an editorial then so be it, but what a laughing stock you've made of yourselves by having a newspaper back a certain candidate…whichever candidate that may be!!!
Any TRUE journalist or new publication would know the ENTIRE BASIS of any journalistic outlet is to give the public the news, with no opinion or bias.
Educated citizen

Silly, silly newspaper! With this kind of logic, "Educated citizen" would not have passed my freshman composition course at a Texas university. I wonder what he or she thinks "news" consists of, if not opinion. What would a newspaper consisting entirely of "fact" look like? Would it have stories like "Water freezes at 32 degrees Farenheit"? "Hot things can burn you if you touch them"? "The president wore a red tie?"


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