There#8217;s room here for everyone

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 14, 2006

This site has been the target of come criticism of late, particularly since the Confederate History Month thing erupted.

Many of the comments posted have been critical of Mayor Bobby Ralph, well, most of them, I suppose, and other incumbents are taking their shots as well.

One person emailed me and said it’s become a forum for racists and crackpots, or something to that effect.

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I did not respond immediately to the complaint other than to acknowledge it and thank them for the heads up.

I don’t agree with the assessment, but wanted to think a little about how I would word it.

I guess my first response is that the site is exactly what I wanted it to be n a place for people to vent about whatever is on their minds. I know some of the folks who regularly post comments and crackpots or racists they are not.

Plus, I realize I have a nasty populist streak in me that probably stems from my upbringing in West Virginia. My dad was once a mine union organizer. Although he was eventually elevated to a management position, he never forgot from where he came and whenever he felt they were in the right he supported the miners to the extent that he could and still provide for his family.

Most people have something to say and I think the job of a community newspaper is to do everything it can to provide people of the community with every opportunity possible to have their voices heard. At the News-Herald, we try to do that via letters to the editor, our Sound Off line and this site.

There is no stipulation on who can post a comment on this site. It is open to all, and it’s that populist quality that attracts me to it and the Web in general. The rich and powerful have a voice. Our entire Congress, General Assembly and local governments generally speak for them. The people don’t.

All I ask is that comments remain tasteful, and for the most part they have, and I thank you for it. I think since October, there have been more than 1,000 posts to this blog and I’ve felt the need to delete only two.

So, anyway, feel free to continue saying what’s on your mind without being overly crass or libelous. Those comments will be removed. And if you don’t like what someone is saying about your candidate, feel free to join the fray. There’s room for everyone.