To the Editor:
I have been a subscriber to The Lakeland Times since 1982. Over all this time I have enjoyed reading the news about the events and the people of the Minocqua area.
Within the past number of years, however, I have noticed a distinct change in the nature and direction of the “Times” as a result of the present editorial staff.
News of events and people has become secondary to establishing a forum for the editor’s own political propaganda.
This is evident in the amount of political copy, the bent of the columnists selected to voice their views; and the increasing amount of copy given to certain local columnists extending from the opinion page to the front page. But I believe a new low in newspaper journalistic standards was achieved in The Lakeland Times issue of Aug. 28, 2012.
I presume that newspapers have some agreed upon standards or a “code of ethics;” if not, the very word “newspaper” would imply that what is to be printed on its pages is ... “news.” I think the average reader would consider “news” to be: informative, factual, and beneficial to read ... “newsworthy.”
Then we have the opinion page ... freedom of speech for everyone. Average people submitting their thoughts and views to the general public by means of publication in a newspaper.
Letters non-solicited, not supported or endorsed by the editor, simply letters submitted to the editor.
In the Aug. 28 issue, within the “opinions” section of the paper, Charles Boyd of Manitowish Waters was granted nearly a full page to spew his opinions. However, this was not a typical submitted “letter” ... but an “article” obviously supported by the editor, as it included a picture identification of Mr. Boyd. This article, from a local “columnist” was granted copy space in this issue, logically it would seem, by the decision of The Times’ editor. How else could this article have been appeared?
This article by Charles Boyd titled: “Barack Obama is Alexander Hamilton Reincarnated,” I believe offered the reader the most ridiculous, off-the-wall partisan ramblings I have ever read in The Lakeland Times or in any other newspaper. His references to a future under President Obama contained not one fact to support his fabricated insanity. Was this article informative, factual, beneficial to read ... absolutely not. But it was just an “opinion.” Opinions without facts are worthless rhetoric.
So my dear editor, if this article was not “newsworthy” ... was in fact “worthless,” why did you grant space for it? I would like to think that any editor with integrity of a respectable newspaper with reasonable standards would have held his nose and refused to have given this article the light of day.
With this new low in “journalism” maybe the days of The Lakeland Times as a “newspaper” has passed, and we can now be nauseated by what is printed in the “The Lakeland Tabloid.” But, this is just my opinion.
Rev. Jeff Gavin
Mount Prospect, Ill.