To the editor:
Last month I almost canceled my subscription to the Democrat. I was very unhappy with the paper’s decision to run five consecutive Counterpoint columns with Robert …
To the editor:
Last month I almost canceled my subscription to the Democrat. I was very unhappy with the paper’s decision to run five consecutive Counterpoint columns with Robert Doherty as author.
The paper introduced the series on December 3, 2021, with these words: “For the following four Fridays, Sullivan County Legislative Chairman Robert Doherty will talk about the State of the County from his perspective as a property owner, business owner and elected county official.”
I believe that the paper was disingenuous. In fact, the paper provided Mr. Doherty with a five-week campaign platform perfectly timed prior to the January 4th Legislative Organizational Meeting when chairman for the upcoming two years would be elected. It was stunning free public relations for Mr. Doherty. In addition, and despite fact-checking, the Democrat only once printed a clarification.
How did this five-part Counterpoint series originate? Did the paper suggest the series to Mr. Doherty and, if so, was a similar suggestion made to the other eight legislators or to other elected officials? Or did Mr. Doherty suggest the series to the paper? Either way, his Counterpoint is his opinion, just as this Letter-to-the-Editor is my opinion.
The difference is that I submit a letter only occasionally, it is limited to 300 words, and I don’t know for sure if it will be published, while Mr. Doherty submitted five columns over five weeks on many different topics containing thousands of words and his series was arranged with the paper. Is this fair and square?
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