Wednesday, September 9, 2009


This post may well constitute a bit of navel gazing, but so be it (besides which, its my blog and I'll gaze if I want to). Twice within as many weeks, I have submitted letters to the editor of the Banner-Herald in which I took exception to the editorial board’s stance, and twice within as many weeks those letters have been published. The first letter concerned the General Assembly’s discontinuance of the Homeowner Tax Relief Grant program. The second letter dealt with the locale of Paul Broun’s Athens area town hall meeting.

This is not to say that the editors and I are always on opposite sides of any given issue, as often we are in substantial, and on occasion complete, agreement. Even though I disagreed with these particular editorial positions, the fine folks over at One Press Place published my letters with only minor editing. I’ve had a boatload of letters published over the years; most have been edited only scantly (in my opinion sometimes making them better and sometimes not – but that is the province of the editorial board).

For their willingness to entertain opposing views they have my thanks, as I fully realize that my manner of thinking constitutes a distinct minority in these parts. Many others locally with whom I may disagree are not nearly so respectful in their opposition, with hyperbole and invective being far more prominent than reasoned argument.

To many in the Classic City, the Banner-Herald, not to mention its parent company Morris Communications, is merely a conservative mouthpiece; one commenter recently went so far actually as to tar the publication as “Republican,” which I suppose was intended as the ultimate slur. As one who is indeed ensconced in the libertarian wing of the GOP, I would find this characterization so blindingly inaccurate as to be downright comic, except for the fact that many in this bastion of hard-left progressivism actually believe such claims. And no, I am not thereby accusing the Banner-Herald of being a shill for the political left – that distinction goes to the folks across the street. :)

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Jim Thompson said...

Thanks, James. I really appreciate the kind words. (For those of you who may not know, I'm Jim Thompson, editorial page editor at the Banner-Herald).

Let me return the compliment by noting that the letters you send are models of what letters to the editor should be: succinct, impeccably fact-checked, well-written and entertaining.

As I've said elsewhere, my aim is to have an editorial page that reflects a wide variety of viewpoints, and the fact that we are, as you note, sometimes in agreement and sometimes not, I think is some proof that I've been successful.

By the way, James, you may recall a conversation we had a long time ago about the possibility of you writing a regular column for the Banner-Herald. That offer still stands; get in touch if you're interested -- and I hope you are.iiertiv

james said...

That's me, Mr. Impeccable.