The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 11, 2013

Drop Cheers and Jeers

Daily Item

---- — Please drop "Cheers and Jeers." At least get rid of the "Jeers." Here's why.

I enjoy editorials. Generally, the opinions are well supported by facts. It has to be stressful meeting constant deadlines for publishing good editorials.

The "Jeers" part of your column is normally reserved for two classes of citizens: criminals and public officials. Most of these elected or appointed officials are good people volunteering for public service, usually unpaid. They follow the advice of their solicitors and try to follow the law. Is it fair to put them into the same "Jeers" column otherwise reserved for criminals?

A careful study of a public issue might lead you to give a well-deserved raspberry to the public official in an editorial. But, the "Jeers" skim the surface in a judgmental way. It's like standing at the back of the room and yelling. When your editors think a public official is doing something wrong, it's appropriate to do an in-depth article or editorial about it. John Finnerty's articles on goings-on in Harrisburg are good examples.

As publisher Gary Grossman said in his column last Sunday, "Today, there is an overload of opinion and interpretation packaged into sound bites and tweets." He said that leads to "ever-tighter and caustic expression." I agree. I enjoy the "Cheers" you give to many good things happening in our community. Why not just have a "Kudos" column to give applause? Leave the condemnations for the well thought-through editorials.

Marvin J. Rudnitsky, J.D.,