Squarcia: Columnist disapproval

Melissa Leach

It has come to my recent attention that this newspaper has become a forum for ‘tabloid’ like slashing concerning people’s ideas and opinions. In recent weeks, certain columns have moved away from voicing concerns and solutions to personal attacks on people’s character, intelligence and beliefs. These editorials have not only offended people, but have jeopardized the respect this newspaper has earned for 78 years.

It appears that when one has nothing else to write about, they must begin a tirade of insults, which amounts to nothing more then incomprehensible nonsense. But apparently, this nonsense has been drawing a lot of attention; and so I guess the rule of thumb ‘it ain’t broke don’t fix’ applies here, because apparently negative attention is better than no attention at all. For those of us who thrive from a constant spotlight shining on our face, this seems to work just fine. Don’t get me wrong; I understand that not everyone is going to agree with everyone else’s opinions – and thank goodness because what a boring world this would be if they did. But, when those opinions fail to be based on any type of validity, accuracy or comprehensiveness, then they have no business being included in a paper that prides itself on the production of quality journalism.

The opportunity to be a columnist is a privilege and that privilege comes with a lot of power and responsibility. To be able to have one’s voice heard in such a manner is rare.

Most people either do not have the means or the capabilities to do so; and it is sad when people abuse that power, reducing themselves to nothing more then a mere complainer.

Columns are meant to provoke change; to give better solutions to problems that are ongoing or that pose a threat to others. Columns are meant to spark debate, to get people thinking and hopefully to act. They are not meant to vent personal vendettas, to complain about poor choices one has made or to talk about personal relationships – send those to Dear Abby, maybe she can help. Moreover, editorials are at the very least expected to have the correct facts, not just facts a columnist believes to be true.

It is unfair that the people who work for this paper now and who have worked for it in the past, must be associated with the poor journalistic techniques that a certain columnist has adopted. Perhaps my solution for Mr. Mordini would come from the wise mouth of Marcel Marceau who said so eloquently: “It’s good to shut up sometimes.”