Letters to the Editor

Elections: Headline belittles Enell’s reputation

Some intelligentsia or intellectualists, all those mental snobs, believe that this year’s presidential election comes down to the intelligence of the voters. Below a 100 IQ (that’s short for Intelligence Quotient), you’re for Bush; over 100, you’re for Kerry.

I wonder if this is true. Something I saw on the front of the Oct. 16, South Whidbey Record makes me think ... maybe so.

“Candidate accused of favoring base closure” was the headline, cozied right up under the proud masthead of the newspaper. Newspaper? Newspaper implies news -- implies journalism. This headline was belied by the story beneath it.

Let me state it this way: All I have to do is accuse somebody of something, and I get an automatic headline?

Okay, I accuse Mike Shelton of advocating the opening of taxpayer-funded brothels in Coupeville, our hallowed county seat.

I accuse Mac McDowell of outwearing his welcome after only three terms in office and padding the county’s road budget. Do I get headlines now? “Commissioner accused of padding county’s road budget!” How about it?

No? Of course not -- because I don’t have any evidence! It would be unconscionable to run such a headline without substantiation.

And yet Saturday’s headline, which, I’m told, ran in Oak Harbor’s own News-Times last Wednesday, impugns Mr. Enell’s integrity simply by making an accusation, effectively repudiated by the very story it leads! And it does so in large print.

Meanwhile, the facts are relegated to the small print: That the fact that Mr. Enell was not even a member of Whidbey Environmental Action Network, an organization which may or may not have advocated closing NAS Whidbey back in 1991, at the time. Not a member!

Mr. Enell didn’t join WEAN until 1997, and he has never advocated closure of the base! But “guilt by association” was all that accusers, Al Koetje and Barney Beeksma, needed to make their case.

Sounds fishy, huh? What would be the motive for such an obviously misleading headline? Who could be desperate enough to lie in order to smear Enell? Are these people actual idiots, or do they think we are? Perhaps they see Enell as someone who won’t fit well in their one-sided and far-sided fraternity.

Thanks for helping me make up my mind: I’m voting for Dean Enell.

Drew Kampion


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