I did receive a thoughtful and I think a fair response from Scott Ayers at the Herald in regards to them printing activists opinions. Specifically David Cahn and Carl Shook whom you can read about in previous posts.
Here is a portion of the letter:
“We don’t ever label our letter writers unless they choose to label themselves or they are obviously well known, such as the county sheriff or the mayor of Bellingham. You say Mr. Cahn and Mr. Shook are “well-connected activists” but there is certainly no way for me to know that. Our letters column is a place for all members of our community, “activists” or not, to share their opinions. We do not call every letter writer and quiz them about their activities or ask about what organizations they may or may not participate in.”
I’m basically ok with the Herald’s approach on this. They have quite fairly never asked me why I submit letters and never asked me what groups if any did I associate with. Mr. Ayers acknowledged this also in his letter.
I still wonder a bit how they choose whose opinions to publish. Do they seek a balance or just throw darts. And I have a hard time buying that they have no way of knowing who is an activist or not. Should I suggest that they search their own database? Or Google? Mr. Shook has been interviewed by the Herald as a spokesperson for an activist group and Mr. Cahn claims to have submitted articles to the Herald and has been interviewed by the Western Front.
So the message? Beware that the opinion letters might contain the talking points of an activist group.Tags: Local Issues, Media Issues