I read Sylvia Cooper’s City Ink’s column May 26 (“Qualifying ended, but the political games continue”) and realized that regardless of what we say here about advancing our community, there are those among us who relentlessly strike the chord of division and class warfare.
In our sheriff’s race, there are six candidates. Four I know and the other two I’ve never met. The office of sheriff should absolutely be nonpartisan and, as I’ve stated before, the two major political parties have divided our community like no other. Our community would ultimately be better served by electing our sheriff with a simple majority vote, therefore freeing candidates to advance their visions and philosophies and not be beholden to the party status quo.
Ms. Cooper very efficiently endorsed her choice, discredited her least choice and gently pushed aside the other four. Since when did Ms. Cooper become an expert in community policing? And if any candidate is not considered the “chosen one,” then he had better be prepared to receive the wrath of her pen. Make no mistake about it: We all have things in our past, and if she is going to go about the business of exposing candidates’ shortcomings, then she’s fallen way short of that task. If Ms. Cooper would have really been unbiased in her reporting of candidates past and present, then The Augusta Chronicle couldn’t have printed enough issues, for they would’ve sold out in minutes.
I’ve always felt that the media were established as neutral voices in the community, but clearly that standard has been trampled upon. To be fair, there are journalists throughout our nation who choose the route of sensationalism and status quo because controversy sells.
That is another reason why our community in general has become more dysfunctional and divided. Many citizens/journalists in our country have a misguided understanding of free speech, and it is quite possibly the most abused or misused privilege in the Bill of Rights.
Should journalists be permitted to assassinate a person’s character under the guise of free speech?