PDT Staff Writer
I am appreciative that this column is about a very small number of people. Nevertheless, they all have one thing in common. They wish to keep everything that happens secret, and so they use sniper phone calls, including asking a question which, of course, you can’t answer because you don’t know who they are, and the sad truth is that they don’t want an answer, because, as is so often the case, the truth hurts, sometimes a lot.
These people are shooting the messenger. They believe they can justify anything that is done, be it illegal, immoral or dangerous, by blaming the reporters who bring the facts to light. It is sad because they often reproduce themselves, passing on to the next generation that it is OK to break the law or do something immoral as long as you keep it to yourself and hide it from the world. They are, of course, completely wrong.
I recently sat in on a hearing that was open to anyone in the public, because, contrary to what these people believe, most things on a legal document filed with the courts or take place in a court room, are open to the public. It is what separates the United States of America, England, Israel, and a handful of other nations from the closed societies of the world.
These same people pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV news because they want to know what is going on. However, they feel you don’t have the right to know if it deals with something they are involved with. These people are also famous for saying they believe in the freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution. However, the next generation sees this, and refers to it for what it is — hypocrisy.
We have had City Council members blame us for reporting exactly what happened at a meeting, open to the public. We have even been blamed for a business closing, even though that closing had been planned for quite some time.
What I fear most is that we are sending the wrong message to our next generation, telling them if someone breaks the law, don’t tell law enforcement, solve it within the confines of your own community. That thought is archaic and dangerous. Let me say something on behalf of hard-working law enforcement officers such as Detective Jodi Conkel of the Scioto County Sheriff”s Office. When someone breaks the law and involves you, you must report it to the authorities immediately, no matter what someone tells you. Immoral and illegal things are not to be dealt with in a community, but in a court of law.
I will continue to write the truth, because it is freedom of the press that keeps us strong and transparent. And thank you to the majority of our readers who understand — you can’t solve the problem by shooting the messenger.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.