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Mason County News
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Opinions Vary - All Over the Paper
Wednesday, September 2, 2009 • Posted September 2, 2009

One of my roles as editor of the News is to try to provide content to our readers that I feel will be informative, enlightening, helpful, or just plain fun. I edit submissions, look over copy, correct glaring errors, and try to make sure the content we're presenting is indicative of the many types and varieties of people that make up Mason.

This is especially true when it comes to our many columnists. We are blessed to have many talented individuals who either write for, or collect information for inclusion in the News. They range across the spectrum in writing styles, and in topics. They are local, and they are newcomers, and they are out-of-towners. And, their content is based upon their own opinions and life experiences.

There are times that I read some of our columnists and nod my head in agreement. I am pleased to see that someone else has gathered their facts and information and arrived at the same conclusions about a topic that I have, and also pleased that they are expressing that opinion.

There are also times that I read over submissions and rankle at the conclusions reached by one of our writers. I respect the research they have done, and I respect their reasoning which they used to arrive at their opinion, even if it is one that I do not agree with wholeheartedly.

And, there are the submissions that just make my head swim when I look at them because I find them laughable. Again, I try to provide our readers with a thorough sampling of Mason County opinions, and that's going to include some that I might find on the verge of being objectionable.

I bring all of this up because I know that there are pieces that have appeared recently, or even in this issue, that many folks will take at umbrage at, including myself. There are some opinions that like to mask themselves in a cloak of practicality and reason, when all they are really doing is putting a new coat of paint on a dung heap.

Lots of folks like to say that all opinions are worth listening to. I would counter that some people make their opinions based on nothing more than their own prejudices, fears and hatreds. They do not base their opinions on facts. They do not seek out facts. They do not entertain the idea that other people's opinions might have some validity, and refuse to listen to anything that does not agree with their world view.

There is a word for these people - bigots. Bigots like to think they know what is best for everyone else. They have all the solutions to all the problems, and they know who is to blame for anything that goes wrong. There are no shades of gray. It's all black and white. And often, it's all wrong.

However, so that I do not fall into that same category, I present to our readers the entire spectrum, even when some of it is silly drivel. I like to credit the majority of our readers with being intelligent enough to be able to spot the good and the bad, and to make their judgements based upon those determinations.

I know I'll get calls, letters and emails, no matter what I decide to print or not to print. I also know that I'll defend the right of people to express their opinions as a fundamental aspect of free speech. I also defend my right to call trash when I see it.

God Bless America!

It’s all just my opinion.

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