Those of you who follow the illegal immigration issue (both in the
U.S. and in other countries) might be interested in my encounter with the editor of
my local newspaper, the Mt. Airy News.
Here is the hyperlink to the dialog:
http://www.mtairynews.com/articles/2008 ... blog03.txt
I consider this to
be a significant issue for two reasons. First, Mr. Andy Matthews has extensively used
his bully pulpit as editor to advocate for toleration and acceptance of illegal immigration
ever since he was installed into the position last spring. Second, he has redacted a
paragraph of my post (12th in the list) for no good reason. His excuse is that it constitutes
a personal attack, which I contested (see below for exactly
what I wrote
). When confronted with the issue, he would not address my objection.
This smacks of censorship and downright unfair treatment.
Here is the final paragraph that he omitted (addressed to
an anonymous participant):
“Since you are hiding behind an anonymous screen name,
we cannot determine who you are or what your motives might be. You, yourself could be
an illegal alien, or a local farmer, construction or landscaping company, hotel owner,
or any other person who is personally profiting from the use of illegal labor – possibly
paying off-the-record. You can refute the supposition, but without identifying yourself,
it will be meaningless.” Here is the note
I wrote to object to his censorship:
I see that the last
paragraph of my latest post was omitted. If it was unintentional, then please add it
back to the post and ignore the following. I thank you for doing so.
If the omission
was intentional, then the act amounts to censorship in a manner that is incongruent
with the concept of the free press which you as a newspaper editor represent. A personal
attack must, by definition, be directed toward a person. The anonymous monikers used
here – other than by you and me - are not identifiable persons.
In fact, the
last paragraph was intentionally designed to be provocative to the extent that it might
foster a more honest exchange of ideas, where the participants meet on an even playing
field that includes identity disclosure. Hiding behind any form of anonymity, particularly
when making bold claims, is pure folly – the Internet is full of it."
Mr. Matthews has complete control over what is posted and decides what the public
will see. That makes all the material he personally edits suspect, in my opinion. I
duly cancelled my subscription to his newspaper, because his actions have proven The
Mt. Airy News to be untrustworthy under his reign.
- Kirt Blattenberger
RF Cafe Progenitor & Webmaster