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Being the editor doesn’t mean I’ll allow others to misrepresent my views | Publisher's Column

By KEVEN R. GRAVES
Whidbey News-Times Executive Editor & Publisher
September 2, 2013 · 9:08 AM
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Generally, I don’t respond to letters to the editor, even when they’re critical of me.

Being human, I’ll admit I do get offended, and I do take personal attacks personally. However, I also have a thick skin and learned to let people develop their own opinions about me based on what they read in my column and direct interactions with me.

Chelle Brunke’s letter to the editor this week is an exception to my rule.

First of all, like Brunke, I have a son.

My son, Liam, is 18 and is strongly weighing the possibility of joining the military. From his earliest years he ate and breathed anything military. His knowledge of military history amazes me and others and makes me a proud dad. Currently, he’s scheduled to attend Central Washington University in the fall and is getting involved in the ROTC program there.

In her letter and online, Brunke accuses me of casting aspersions against anyone who supports OLF Coupeville and those who wear a uniform.

Writes Brunke: If some of us find a slant against the OLF Coupeville in your publication, read your opinions from the perspective of someone who is empathetic to the training and safety of our troops.”

To say Brunke’s words make my stomach turn is an understatement.

My grandfather was aboard the USS Arizona and survived the attack on Pearl Harbor. My father, my stepfather and dear friends served honorably in the military. I have the utmost respect and appreciation of the men and women who serve.

I believe the safety and welfare of our military personnel must be of paramount concern.

I also cherish the Constitutional freedoms we all enjoy as a result of the sacrifices made by those in our military. That includes the right of free speech. As long as I’m editor and publisher, this newspaper will provide an open forum for all willing to express their views.

Do I agree with every opinion that appears in this newspaper? Of course not. Am I going to give preference to one side over another because I don’t agree? Absolutely not.

Why am I responding to Brunke’s letter? Because it is misleading and untrue. Yes, I will publish it, but that does not mean I will allow it to go unanswered.

Being the editor of the local newspaper does not mean I have to allow the Brunkes of the world to speak for me.

I will speak for myself.

 


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