I send a letter/commentary to Brad Rollins, Editor of the Mercury and to Editors of the Hays Free Press for the reasons mentioned below:
To Editor Brad Rollins and the Editors of the Hays Free Press
I haven't kept up with all the news and media in Hays County due to health problems, but the article titled "Take Back Hays County" came across my screen and it disturbs me for several reasons.
First off, it is written by an "anonymous" Guest Writer who is permitted by you to stay anonymous, yet he or she is also permitted to bash and name 3 people who are residents in the county. THAT IS JUST POOR JOURNALISM, BRAD. If you are giving a writer the license to name names and point fingers at those people, under the Public Information Act and being an Editor with higher morals, you owe it to those people and your readers to print the REAL name of the writer. What's fair is fair. I don't know why you feel that you must protect the writer.
Secondly, the finger-pointing does NOTHING to bring together county residents. Stupidly, it further splits them apart. This is the thinking and actions of someone much like Jeff Barton and Lila Knight who consistently try to bully people's opinions and try to drive a wedge between Hays County districts and neighbors. It is a coward's approach to dealing with real issues.
A third issue is that the person who wrote this rag piece must be VERY threatened by Charles O'Dell, Sam Brannon and Susan Cook to attempt to compare them irrationally to the old Tories back in the pre-revolution days. Apparently, the writer knows little about the history of Tories to compare these 3 people to that political party and their actions.
I know that people get heated up on various issues and many get emotional and feel very strongly about their own views, but to attack others for their interest and opinions is NOT what journalism is about. I didn't think I had to tell you that.
The writer is simply a bully and a coward to make such accusations under an anonymous name and quite honestly, Brad, with all due respect, you are not much better for permitting that. I know this was printed first in the Hays Free Press, but that's no excuse for you reprinting it as you did.
If you recall, a long time ago, you and I exchanged several emails regarding your bully readers attacking others and you had stated you were going to set up a different platform for your site, yet I see you still permit people to get away with such nonsense. You still need to change that on your site if you want to be respected and widely read. Frankly, it is articles and writers like this one that push me further away from your site and others that permit such a hostile environment. We all need to work together to resolve urgent issues. As publisher/editor you have the ability to set up higher standards and provide the platform to help do that, but articles like this one create a hostile environment.
Everyone has a right to their opinions, but when a writer attacks a person or people simply because they differ in opinions under anonymity, YOU, Brad, are supposed to set a higher standard and I am very disappointed in you and in your site. I wish you would create positive change on your site when it comes to such writings and actions. When I write I prefer NOT to point fingers and attack people. I want to work together with all residents and commissioners to make Hays County a better place to live for our children and their grandchildren --- don't you?
I hope that you will consider what I have written here and that you will remove the anonymity of the writer or at the least remove the names of O'Dell, Brannon and Cook from within the body of the piece. You should be willing to make your site more reader and writer friendly.
I have to say that I am very disappointed in you, Brad, for permitting this sort of tripe to be printed on your site. I really thought that you were above that sort of thing. I am interested in hearing a response from you regarding this ongoing issue.