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Letters to the Editor 11/24

November 24, 1998

Put a sock in Mail Call

To the editor:

Now that the election season has come to an close, I believe that this newspaper needs to take a journalistic introspective look at how it covered the candidates.

Most folks were satisfied with the work of the beat reporters, although it appeared that the newspaper was overwhelmed by the shear number of candidates in the primary. On this point, the newspaper failed the community. But as I traveled the campaign trail, folks expressed several other concerns with questionable journalistic practices.

First and foremost is Mail Call. Everyone understands the entertainment value, but anonymous calls, where there is no accountability, are potentially dangerous. It is at the very least, a questionable journalistic practice. Unsubstantiated accusations and subliminal references to bigotry are dangerous messages. All campaign calls should be placed on the opinion page where the letters are signed and responses can be made.

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Second, it was evident that press conferences called by the candidates were not all covered. Is the newspaper playing favorites? Does the newspaper have a clear policy?

The newspaper needs to understand that its use of the term "life-long resident" sends out a disturbing message to many folks in Washington County. It makes the folks who were not born here seem unworthy, as opposed to the folks who moved here, chose to live here and in many cases chose to raise their families here.

Finally, Judy Lyon's Wolf's letter to the editor deserves a response from the newspaper's editorial board. Out of seven challengers for the Board of County Commissioners, the newspaper endorsed four all men. Most folks find it hard to believe that not one of these three women were qualified. What kind of message are you sending to the women in the county? What do you tell the young girls who aspire to political office?

These are a few of the concerns and observations I have made. I hope that the newspaper will take a long hard look at how it covered this last election.

Randy Changuris

Brownsville

At least Bill has Hillary

To the editor:

In response to Bill Thompson's article Nov. 14, "I figured Newt for a lot of things, but never a wimp." I'd like to add a comparison to the list he mentioned in comparing Newt Gingrich to Bill Clinton.

An important difference between the two is Hillary Rodham Clinton's masterminding and promoting Bill Clinton's public persona. How else would the public accept his moral failings and lack of integrity. She's the recognized "woman behind the throne."

D. Archer

Hagerstown

A place you can trust

To the editor:

We are in a world today where it seems impossible to find anyone you can trust. We have a president and a governor who lie. All this does is trickle down to everyone else. So who or where do you turn to?

Well, I have some great and exciting news. After trying to find this answer for over 20 years of my life I found it.

I would like to invite anyone and everyone to join me in this great discovery at Longmeadow Church of the Brethren. I promise you, you won't be bored or embarrassed. You won't be judged by what you wear or who you are.

You will find out about someone who you can always trust, who will never leave you and who loves you regardless of your past.

Don't be afraid to come because you don't know anyone. Ask for me. I'll be glad to be your friend right from the start. If you don't have a way, call us. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

Chris Swope

Hagerstown

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