Responsibility

Letter | Why isn’t newspaper tackling real issues of Myrtle Beach area communities

April 6, 2014 

What is the responsibility of The Sun News to bring enlightenment and balance about critical issues regarding health care, food insecure families, education and public safety? When is The Sun News going to be a voice for balanced and educational information with an aim to inform rather than pandering to radical political views, which serve no purpose except to divide our society?

News media has to be a source of information — not political dogma the likes of columnists such as David Limbaugh, who serves no purpose except to divide — and spread hate.

The same applies to a good many Opinion letters this paper publishes, some of which are a credit to hate and bigotry and should not even be in print. Why publish letters about “giver” versus “takers” —the very concept is extraordinary in its discrimination.

Our community needs a newspaper that would think twice about opinions that are about political and social agendas dividing our society into haves and have nots. First Amendment rights assure differences of opinions but surely a newspaper with some integrity would think twice about publishing personal views so inflammatory and incendiary. And, in a state that has had a one-party political system for decades, one would also hope for a newspaper that would try to provide a check and balance on such a one-sided legislative environment.

Pope Francis spoke eloquently about the digital world, which can isolate us from those of us who are physically close. “When do political views separate us from the reality of our world and community? When do political views overtake the needs of our neighbors?”

Why isn’t The Sun News talking about the 37percent of children on the coast who are food insecure? What about the children who are homeless here? Who cares about those who desperately need health care and are living in households below the government poverty levels of $15,000 a year, and desperately need the Affordable Health Care?

What about the fact that we are No. 1 in domestic violence in the United States and have only one women’s shelter in this County? FBI statistics say South Carolina is the fifth most violent state in the country, and where is the shout out about that? Why aren’t there articles about the alarming 40 percent high school dropout rates and what that means long-term? And, what are the political ramifications of these issues? Why the soft touch given to politicians in or running for office who don’t even care enough to mention the above?

We know that our Governor and State Legislature operate in a far-right majority conservative vision of the world. This is good and not so good but at least we should see in print the pros and cons of some of the state decisions. One would hope that the Sun News could take the role as a reality checker and at least shed some light on this one-way political system. At least do that — and then let the political results fall where they may.

No matter one’s political views, there is no reason to publish opinion letters and columnists whose sole purpose is to insight and justify hate, divisiveness and bigotry — which they think is their First Amendment right. There should be no forum for trash like that. What I want is a newspaper that stands up for the public and one that presents strong, substantive liberal and conservative views, but not hate-filled bigotry.

How about a paper that takes on our politicians and does some old-fashioned fact checking. In a crazy world I hope for a newspaper to be a forum for what is fair and right and promotes the public good, and at the same time “check the hen house.”

The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.

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