WEBSTER COUNTY, Ky. (3/13/13) - I’ve been good for a few weeks, but I feel that old urge to jump up on my soapbox creeping up on me again. Sometimes it just can’t be helped.
So, by now most of you have read the controversial ad that has been running in The Journal-Enterprise over the last couple of weeks. Several of you have cold. Now if my politically correct filter was operating properly, I’d just go on and talk about another subject. But I broke that thing years ago.
So here is the deal. The Journal-Enterprise does not back politicians or political parties in any official capacity. As a member of the media it is our job to report the unbiased facts, and to allow equal time to all sides of an issue.
When it comes to an ad, you pay us money to print what you want to say in our paper. Some places advertise products they want to sell, while other, like churches, advertise ideas that they want to sell. We don’t pick and choose who we allow to advertise in our paper, whether we agree with them or not.
The first amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press or interfering with the right to peaceably assemble.
One caller said that if he brought in a letter to the editor and we didn’t guarantee to print it that we were “supporting whoever paid for that ad.” The thing is, we print letters to the editor when we have room for them. Advertising is what pays the bills and allows us to keep the paper open. Why would we promise to give you something for free that someone else had to pay for?
There were a few people who called because the ad mentioned people getting a check from the government and they draw social security checks. If you read it, the ad wasn’t bashing everyone who gets a check from the government. It was bashing lazy people who get a check from the government. I think everyone who reads this can think of at least one person who could work but doesn’t want to because they can sit home and draw a check.
Yet another caller questioned the fact that we didn’t print the name of the person who paid for the ad. By law, when a person runs for office, the name of the person or group that paid for the ad must be run. That doesn’t apply here because no one is running for office.
One caller told me that the bible says we should pray for our leaders, and I agree with him. We should pray for all of our elected officials. But the bible doesn’t say that the person who placed the ad should blindly support the president. He has every right not to like the president, just as others have the right to love him.
Another caller said that the ad was racist and that we were racist for printing it. I’ll point out that nowhere in the ad was anything said about any race. It was clearly anti-Obama, but if not liking a person makes you racist, then there were a lot of racist people during George W’s last term in office.
Some of the callers questioned the data in the ad. I have not verified the data in the ad, and I don’t know that anyone else here has. As I told the caller, if a car dealer or a furniture store called to place an ad, we wouldn’t go to their store to verify the prices. They’re basically renting a block of space in our paper, and as long as they don’t do anything offensive (such as using foul language or images) they can generally put what they want in that block of space.
As for the correctness of the data, the ad itself called for you to verify it for yourself. You may very well check it and find that it is incorrect. I don’t know.
J-E News Editor
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