10/4/2006 – Editorials



By Richard Peterson

It’s the election season again. Our ears and eyes will be assaulted by a wave of radio and television ads none of us really want to see or hear. Here’s some advice: Don’t believe the attack ads. They’re lies and distortions. Don’t pay any attention to them. Put them out of your mind unless you want to base your vote on lies and distortions.

I’m totally fed up with the state and national political parties.

Newspaper ads from the state and national political parties are extremely rare because they waste all their money on the electronic media. They spend tons of money on lying radio and television ads and then encourage their supporters to write letters to newspaper editors so they can get free advertising in the print media.

There will be no free advertising in this newspaper.

Letters to the editor endorsing candidates will only be printed at our regular advertising rates.

If a reader objects to something published in this newspaper (including this column) we will be happy to provide space for a rebuttal.

Form letters which are sent to all newspapers usually go directly to the wastebasket. Letters written by subscribers will generally be published.

All letters are edited for grammar and spelling, but the thought the writer is trying to get across will not be changed. We may also edit for good taste or excessive length.

Unsigned letters go straight to the wastebasket.

In the interests of fairness, we will not publish letters which bring up new charges against candidates in the last issue of this newspaper prior to the election. That will be our November 1 issue.

Letters for the Wednesday edition must be received by Sunday. Letters received on Monday will be held over until the Wednesday edition nine days in the future.

We have a floating deadline on Monday afternoon. At the end of the day, the newspaper is completely put together. Sometimes we can take items until 3 or 4 p.m. The earlier you get the item to us, the more likely it is to get in the Wednesday edition. If you wait until 5 p.m. you’re probably going to be out of luck. We leave to print at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The October 11 edition will be a day late because of the Columbus Day holiday. As a result, all deadlines that week will be moved ahead one day. We will accept letters for that edition on Monday and the newspaper will be put together on Tuesday.

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The policy on letters to the editor is really not fair and I’m uncomfortable with it.

What we’re actually doing is forcing letter writers to pay for saying good things about their candidate. At the same time, we’re publishing letters at no cost for those who attack candidates.

This policy may evolve if I can come up with a fairer way to do it.

But the bottom line is that we’re not giving out free advertising in the form of letters to the editor.

—000—

Ole died. So Lena went to the local paper to put a notice in the obituaries. The gentleman at the counter, after offering his condolences, asked Lena what she would like to say about Ole.

Lena replied, "You yust put ‘Ole died.’ "

The gentleman, somewhat perplexed, said, "That’s it? Just ‘Ole died?’

Surely, there must be something more you’d like to say about Ole. If it’s money you’re concerned about, the first five words are free. We must say something more."

So Lena pondered for a few minutes and finally said, "OK. You put, ‘Ole died. Boat for sale.’ "

—000—

"Hey, Sven," said Ole. "How many Swedes does it take to grease a combine?"

Sven replied, "I don’t know."

Ole said, "Only two, if you run them through real slow."

—000—

Ole bought Lena a piano for her birthday. A few weeks later, Lars inquired how she was doing with it.

"Oh," said Ole, "I persuaded her to svitch to a clarinet."

"How come?" asked Lars.

"Vell," Ole answered, "because vith a clarinet she can’t sing."

—000—

Ole and Lena went to the Olympics. While sitting on a bench a lady turned to Ole and said, "Are you a pole vaulter?"

Ole said, "No, I’m Norvegian and my name isn’t Valter."


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