On the same opinion page, the Weatherford Democrat printed its instructions for submitting letters to the editor, which includes the following: “We reserve the right to edit letters for style, grammar and taste. Letters should be concise and to the point. . . . We will accept only original letters – no form letters.”
It seems to me that these same rules should apply to any syndicated columns the editor chooses to print. A syndicated column, which essentially is a form letter distributed to multiple newspapers, typically is not written locally. The author of this particular syndicated column does not live in Texas and is not directly affected by its laws, and more than likely, has never met nor talked to Wendy Davis about her views. The article states that Sen. Davis and her supporters are devil worshipping monsters and insinuates that they are in favor of gruesome late-term abortions, which is not true. In addition, the ghastly details contained in this article could not, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered to be in “good taste.” It sets the example that name calling is OK, and that lying and intimidation are acceptable behaviors.
I am appalled that while we should be encouraging our youth to read their local newspapers, to keep up with current events, and to take part in the democratic process, our local newspaper has chosen to print on its opinion pages an article so horribly graphic that only an abusive parent would allow their children – of any age – to read it. Because we do not live in a perfect world, newspapers are faced with the unenviable task of printing news stories that are not pleasant, and reporting the news often includes printing gory details. It is sad enough that the news must include such stories. But for an editor to choose to print on its editorial pages gory details generated by false pretenses and missing many important parts of the story is both unnecessary and lacking in good judgment.