1 2 3 > 
1 of 3
The Mercury… Hypocrisy At Its Best!!!
Posted: 12 March 2013 05:39 AM   [ Ignore ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  796
Joined  2012-10-10

The Mercury has a stated policy of charging for letters to the editor that include political endorsements.  Yet, in Monday’s paper, they allowed a lengthy policial endorsement letter… and published it without cost.  Why?  What are the rules?  Why are the rules enforced for one, yet allowed to be blatantly dismissed by others?  To make such a statement as restricting citizens access to their local newspaper to state political leanings… then allow one to sermonize as to why specific candidates should be elected to office is hypocrisy at its best!!  Shame on you!!

So, what are the rules?  It is obvious that all endorsement letters will NOT be charged for.  Why was Monday’s letter allowed?  There must be some unwritten, unpublished rules/criteria that the editorial staff uses as guidelines.  Is it where you work?  Is it your educational background?  Is it your ethnicity?  Is it where you live in the community?  Is it age?  Is it the social circle you run in? 

If The Mercury intends on continuing this pathetic policy of allowing only those who can afford to pay the cost of publixhing endorsements to do so, then at least enforce it equally across the board.  I’m certain the author of Monday’s endorsement letter could afford the cost per word much more so than many whose voices should be allowed to have a similar platform… but are silenced by our local newspaper’s policies.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2013 07:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  141
Joined  2012-10-21

I would guess that the Mercury made an error and forgot to label the letter as a paid endorsement.  Maybe someone from the Mercury’s staff will visit this thread and comment on it.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2013 08:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  962
Joined  2012-10-12

I must say Larry, I am as puzzled as you.  That was clearly an endorsement letter. One explanation might be that it was printed as a contributing writer piece rather than a letter.
Another might be that the letter/editorial was so rambling that the Mercury thought it was harmless. I liked that part where you can’t say no to Bill Snyder after he saved all the schools.  (I agree, it is probably not a good idea to say no to Bill….but no to what?)  Did Bill endorse these candidates?
Whichever explanation is true, this would be a bad precedent and, as you say very contradictory to stated policy.  I would think an explanation is in order.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2013 08:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  962
Joined  2012-10-12

Kathy,
The Mercury has been noticeably absent from this forum for a long time, so I wouldn’t expect a response.  I don’t think they even read it.  I don’t think there is a “hat” anymore.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2013 09:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  796
Joined  2012-10-10

I won’t hold my breath for any response.  The discussion board has become the ‘red-headed stepchild’ of The Mercury.

In this case, this is a flagrant display of a local ‘fish wrap’ attempting to sway an election.  Or… an honest mistake.  If it was a mistake, the solution is an easy one.  Refund the monies collected for paid letters in this specific election cycle.  Then, allow endorsement letters… non-paid… as was the previous practice.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2013 10:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  141
Joined  2012-10-21

While I don’t agree with the Mercury’s policy of charging for endorsement letters, there’s nothing stopping people from coming to the forums and encouraging others to “vote for candidate X” for free.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2013 10:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  962
Joined  2012-10-12

Larry,
I must say I never liked the clutter of endorsement letters on the editorial page.  Most of them were organized and written by members of the campaign.  At least now, most are short and are labeled as advertisements rather than genuine outpourings of support.  The shorter they are, the more I am apt to believe in their sincerity.  The long ones would indicate some financial support.
I agree with the policy.  If a candidate wants to buy advertising, then let him/her buy it. “Letters to the Editor” are meant to be expressions of opinion on issues, not concentrated campaigns for candidates.
Many of those letters in the past, I am certain, were written by committees.
That said, this rambling diatribe which is inaccurate on many points, and rambling on others, should have been a “paid advertisement”. As you point out, agree or disagree with the policy, but be consistent in its application. And you are right, The Mercury will most likely not respond.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2013 10:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  962
Joined  2012-10-12

Kathy,
I had a request from an anonymous source asking if you agreed with the content of the letter/editorial in question. Do you?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2013 11:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  141
Joined  2012-10-21

“an anonymous source”?  Good grief. 

Was John Ball’s long letter about himself labeled as a paid endorsement?  I’m not sure about how it was labeled in the printed edition of the Mercury, but the online version lists it as a “‘column.”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2013 01:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  962
Joined  2012-10-12

I got a note from Ned.  They simply failed to note that it was a paid endorsement.  She paid for it…dearly I would guess. That aimless rambling must have cost a bundle…which it should. 
Once again, I totally agree with the Mercury’s policy on these endorsements.  I think they are right.
By the way Kathy, the source is only anonymous to this forum.  It appears you were right and they simply failed to print that this was a paid endorsement.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2013 01:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  141
Joined  2012-10-21

I know who I would infer the “anonymous source” is.  Maybe one who used to frequent the forums and complain about posters hiding behind monikers and now is doing the same?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2013 01:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  962
Joined  2012-10-12

My lips are sealed…:-)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2013 01:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  796
Joined  2012-10-10

Not that I dispute you, Michael, but why would Ned send you a private message and not the original poster?  If the readers of this discussion board are to assume someone got a “special message” that said “We’re from The Mercury, trust us!” are to belive it, I’ve got some oceanfront property near Skiddy, Kansas for sale!!!!  Wonder if there will be some sort of further clarification on tonight’s editorial page.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2013 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  44
Joined  2011-07-27

I’ve always wondered how one gets the Mercury’s designation of “contributing writer”.  Most of ramblings published from “contributing writers” on the editorial page is blatantly politically partisan.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2013 03:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  796
Joined  2012-10-10

It would seem any person who posts to this discussion board is a “contributing writer”.  Hence, if registered for posting here… we should get our letters to the editor published free of charge!!!  :>)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2013 03:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  962
Joined  2012-10-12

Ned sent me a message because I asked him directly, rather than starting a ruckus over nothing.  There will be an explanation on the editorial page this evening.

Profile
 
 
   
 1 2 3 > 
1 of 3
 

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | The Manhattan Mercury, 318 North 5th Street, Manhattan, Kansas, 66502

Reproduction of any kind is prohibited without written consent.