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Don’t judge the newspaper by its opinion page

Maybe I’m more sensitive than most, but when I get a subscription cancellation, I’m bothered. A few weeks ago we received a 300-word cancellation notice essentially ripping columnist G.S. Stoppel and myself.
Stoppel’s column runs in the Commercial Record, Allegan County News, Union Enterprise, Courier Leader and Flashes. My column is published in all ten of our community newspapers.
The former subscriber writes, “I have endured your lengthy personal stories, mostly regarding your various mishaps, all of dubious veracity.”
She adds, “It has become evident that you lean far right. All that’s missing from your photo is your red MAGA hat. This week (two weeks ago) you were holding forth on how RFK Jr. would be an acceptable and viable candidate for president. Yeah, the anti-vaxxer…..”
I know I sometimes write about my personal trials and tribulations, and I recognize many of you could care less about my life. I get it, and probably should refrain from adding my personal experiences to my columns. Point taken.
However, when it comes to RFK Jr. and his presidential bid the argument I made that his voice needs to be heard. I did not indicate I would support his presidential bid. I do believe however, he should be heard, just like the third Democratic candidate Marianne Williamson, and frankly I’m afraid legacy media will relegate their positions and platforms to the back pages or end of the TV news.
Others have said I lean far right as well. Then there are still some that say I’m too liberal, so I get a little confused with how I’m labeled. I know I don’t owe a MAGA hat, and I can tell you I haven’t voted a straight party ticket in my lifetime of voting.
But that’s me. The former subscriber also has choice words for Stoppel. “It is abundantly clear that he spends his days navel gazing and vomiting word salad onto paper, most of which is nostalgic pablum or folksy and feeble attempts at humor.”
Ouch, those are harsh words. Stoppel is an accomplished author, academician and reverend. You might not like his writing style or topics he chooses to write about, but don’t demean the author.
In fact, that is exactly the point I will make. You have cancelled us because of two columnists you don’t like, yet there are so many other facets to a newspaper. I suggest you, and others who don’t like what they read on the Opinion Page, skip it. There is so much else to enjoy.
Our multi-dimensional newspapers offer breaking news, community events, features on people and places, obituaries, school news, sports news and of course businesses that advertise their services and specials. It makes no sense, when you have so much to read, to cancel a subscription over an opinion.
A few years ago, I had a fella say he was cancelling because he couldn’t stomach the vitriol being written by a frequent letter writer in the paper. He said he didn’t agree with anything the man had to say and it was wrong for us to print his letters.
I explained that in my eyes a newspaper is supposed to present all opinions- whether you or I like them or not. I added, “Whom am I to be the arbiter of truth?” Everyone has their own opinions, and if they want to express them in their local newspaper, whether I agree with them or not, I’m going to print them.
He agreed and has been a faithful subscriber ever since. Hopefully the thousands of additional readers we appeal to each week also agree. Don’t judge the entire newspaper by its Opinion Page. Read it all and I’m positive you will find a section or two you will like.

3 Replies to “Don’t judge the newspaper by its opinion page

  1. Actually a newspaper is supposed to publish the news. There are plenty of platforms for your opinions outside of what passes for a “newspaper”. I agree with the person who unsubscribed. Your opinions slant far right and puts you in the same class as every other liar out there. RFK is a joke and the fact that you can’t/won’t accept that says all we need to know.

  2. RFK Jr, environmentalist and opponent of big pharma, is Far Right? That’s what the Left used to be about: taking on the establishment. Now that the establishment has co-opted the Left, they live in the Upside Down.

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