This was not the column I had planned writing introducing myself to readers of the Boomerang, and to residents of Laramie. But as the saying goes, “Man plans and God laughs.”
There is something the people of Laramie and Albany County “know but don’t know,” and that is about a rally that took place several weeks ago in late September prior to my arrival. While an article about it appeared on the WyoFile site, it did not in the Boomerang. Any decision to determine whether to run the article, as well as any letters to the editor on the subject, was left for me to decide upon my arrival, which was Oct. 19.
After reading and re-reading the article, as well as several letters submitted, I made the decision that neither the article nor letters that commented upon the rally would appear. There were many reasons the article did not run, the main reason being the fact the rally had already taken place weeks prior, thus the rally itself was no longer newsworthy. Another reason was that since the Boomerang never ran the article, the possibility existed there might be readers who would have no idea what those letters were about.
This is not to say that the issues raised at the rally weren’t — and aren’t — newsworthy, but that is a matter that “runs along a parallel track;” in other words, similar but not the same, simply put, a “whole ‘nother ballgame.”
But certain people — in particular the ones whose letters the paper chose not to print — seem to not grasp that tenet. Instead, they have inaccurately cried “censorship” on the part of this newspaper. No, it’s not censorship, because another news site published it, thus people are aware of its existence. To parse words and sentences, only a government can truly censor information. But again, that’s hair splitting, and to repeat, parsing words and sentences. In today’s society, perception too often is reality.
At this point, I need to point out the inconsistencies stated in the ad that ran in Sunday’s edition.
To begin with, I did not state the letters were “untimely.” I did state the article was no longer timely. There is a huge difference between “untimely” and “timely.” Untimely is something that occurs at an inopportune time, such as when a person dies unexpectedly. Timely means something that is done at the proper time. Had I been here at the time of the rally, the chances are the article might have appeared. Why is this important to point out? Exactitude of meaning. Words have meaning beyond the obvious.
As for the claim the newspaper edited and ran a letter that omitted mention of the rally, and did so without permission, that is partially correct, and I take full ownership of that situation. I told the letter writer I was omitting that part of the letter and as a courtesy was running the rest of the letter. In an effort to be conciliatory I phrased my email in a manner that made it appear I was asking for permission, not that I needed it. When submitting letters to the editor our procedures clearly state the newspaper reserves the right to edit for matters such as clarity, spelling/grammar/punctuation, word count, content and submitted letters do not guarantee publication.
The ad also omits the fact that among those whose letters did not appear, one person attempted to throw his/her weight around with the “Do you know who I am” attitude and insisted I run that letter, which, of course, I didn’t.
Finally, if the Boomerang had made any effort to censor — which it didn’t — why did we run the advertisement that accused it of doing such? Because we don’t engage in censorship. The proof is in the pudding that the claim of censorship is false at worst, and erroneous at best. (For those who may have missed it, the ad appears on the bottom left corner of page B3 in last Sunday’s edition.)
And this is all I am going to comment on the abovementioned.