MY View BY JOHN McLOONE In the middle Everything doesn’t have to be political, does it? I started off Monday morning with a call from Jeanette, a now former subscriber. “You’re nothing but a …
BY JOHN McLOONE
In the middle
Everything doesn’t have to be political, does it?
I started off Monday morning with a call from Jeanette, a now former subscriber.
“You’re nothing but a liberal newspaper. I Googled it, and it said your paper is liberal,” she told me.
Jeanette was upset about an editorial cartoon that probably ran in hundreds of newspapers statewide. It depicted a stadium scene and had lyrics to songs with words changed to reflect the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant, like this: “We will…We will…Infect you!”
That earned me the label of “liberal.”
Jeanette said she and her husband are farmers, and they’re sick of being lectured about their choice not to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
I tried to explain to Jeanette that I’m far from being liberal, but I’m a big believer in free speech. I don’t believe in restricting it. Our newspaper is open to all views, liberal, conservative and anything in between.
Jeanette and I had a spirited conversation. She called to argue, so I guess I stooped to her level. I assume I was making some excellent points because she hung up on me.
She called back. “I called to cancel my subscription, and I forgot to do it.” Our courteous staff took care of her. “Geez,” she said, “you’re a lot nicer than the last guy.”
Fast forward a couple hours and I received an email from Kim.
“You keep giving these anti-mask people so much space in your paper. You don’t know how dangerous that is to give them so much publicity.”
I used the same reasoning that I used with Jeanette. Kim was a little more civil, though I guess communicating on email, she didn’t have the same opportunity to hang up on me. And she didn’t cancel a subscription either, so I’m only down one, so that’s a good thing.
I realized at that time that the two ends of the political spectrum are controlling our country today. Problems aren’t solved by discussion and discourse. They’re solved more the way Jeanette did it, by slamming down her phone and yelling “CANCEL!”
How is that helping? it’s obviously not, and it only causes more and more division.
The next time it happens, I’m going to do my best to stay out of the middle of the fray. Fret not: We aren’t going to change the way we cover things. Free speech will still be allowed in this free press. I have come up with a more simple solution. Jeanette – next time give Kim a call. You too can duke it out, and leave the rest of us out of your misery!