Viewpoint: Criticism, cowards and liberty

Viewpoint: Criticism, cowards and liberty

By Joe Baker and Frank Schier

By Joe Baker

Senior Editor

& Frank Schier

Editor and Publisher

Someone once remarked that when you stick your head above the crowd, you catch all the tomatoes. A fair amount of those red orbs have been lobbed our way in the past several days.

It seems to be a somewhat violent reaction to what we have been reporting. Because it isn’t the non-thinking, flag-waving, party line, some have been irritated or angered.

Someone has persuaded some of our drops to refuse to handle our papers any longer, and someone has been calling our advertisers and urging them to drop their advertising with us. They say we’re “anti-country.”

This smacks of the days of Vietnam War protests. Anyone who did not support the government in its bloody adventure in that Asian country was branded “communist,” “hippie pinko,” and subversive. Remember, “It’s my county. Love it or leave it!”?

Well, as Ronald Reagan would say, we’re not leaving. Nor are we unquestioningly embracing the party line. Once again, we are experiencing attitudes strongly reminiscent of the McCarthy era. All dissenters are guilty until proven innocent and could not possibly be patriotic; therefore, they are blacklisted. Unlike Ronald Reagan at that time (he was head of the Screen Actors Guild and blacklisted many actresses, actors and writers), we urge you to reject the mob mentality.

A true patriot is not a member of a mob or a robot, nor does he or she confuse the country with the government. The way things are moving, it will not be too long before none of us in this country will be allowed to object to anything the government does in our names.

We love this country. We distrust our government. Looking at our history in Vietnam, Central and South America, and the Mideast, our government has given us plenty of reasons to distrust them, and at the very least, question their motives. That is the truth. This newspaper has been printing the truth, truth you will not see in the corporate media, about the War on Terrorism & Afghanistan.

As Louisiana Congressman John R. Rarick questioned in 1971, “Who will tell the people the truth if those who control ‘the right to know machinery’ also control the government?”

Continued on page 8

From page 1

That was before the huge corporate mergers that produced the likes of the mergers of the Los Angeles Times/the Chicago Tribune and Time/Warner/AOL and Disney/ABC, to mention just a few. Today, media conglomerates own radio stations, television stations and newspapers

Now, with the lack of campaign finance reform and all the millionaires in Congress, corporate America is merging, merging, merging. The anti-trust laws are useless. Small and medium-sized businesses are being squeezed out. Please don’t let them or non-believers in free speech and the First Amendment put the squeeze on The Rock River Times.

We stand up for you. Stand up for us. To our existing advertisers, you know this paper is being read and has impact if someone is so angry or threatened by us to call you. To our readers, bring us more advertisers and distribution points. We let the voice of the community, from left to right, speak.

To the someone in Rockford who is very unhappy about the truth and about anyone questioning our government, write it up, sign it and send it. We’ll print it.

If you don’t, you’re a coward.

Supposedly, this person is an ex-military man. He doesn’t act like any of the great veterans we know. Why won’t you give your name to our advertisers and stops that you are calling? Get some guts. Unlike you, The Rock River Times refuses to hide or be intimidated. We love our country and our Constitution, and we will struggle to preserve our liberty, and that includes printing any responsible criticism. Everyone’s right to know and speak freely is our creed.

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