Commonwealth Journal

July 19, 2012

'... Salt in the Wound'


Commonwealth Journal

Somerset — Dear Editor:

As a Christian, local pastor and one who worked very hard with K.I.D.S. of Somerset in the recent local option election, I would like to express my disgust with the distasteful cartoons on your editorial page in the June 29 issue of the Commonwealth Journal.

When the results of the local option election were announced on June 26 both sides of the issue were represented at the courthouse. I was pleased with how civilized both sides were in their reaction to the outcome. David Carr and I stood with Pastor Ed Amundson, spokesperson for K.I.D.S., as he was interviewed by CJ reporter Chris Harris.

Bro. Amundson was very conciliatory in his response to all questions.

In conversation with Mr. Harris after the interview Bro. Amundson was very careful to make sure there were no hard feelings remaining from the election in which passions ran very high on both sides of the issue.

We had said we would and we did accept the result of a fair democratic process. My FB posts that night and the following day thanked those with whom I had labored in the process. I stated that I would pastor in a new Somerset with the same passion I have had since I came to Somerset almost 16 years ago. The city of Somerset had spoken loudly and I accepted the result.

Mr. Weddle with Progress Somerset has been very gracious in his comments. As I stated earlier when the result was announced both sides conducted themselves in a very civil manner. The election was over so let’s move on. Then the editorial board of the CJ decides to rub a little salt in the wound.

On Friday as I read the editorial page I found this very distasteful cartoon with the heading “Caution ‘Wet’

Paint.” I must assume by this they are ready to paint the town, a term that I, in my mind, associate with drunken revelry. The first cartoon made light of the fact that we deemed the consequences of this vote serious enough that we would pray about it. The second cartoon seemed to insinuate that the only way we could handle defeat is to drown our sorrows in a very dry martini.

Why would the CJ, which should have had a primarily journalistic interest in the Local Option Election, be taking a victory lap?

Why belittle a group of people who simply had strong reservations about the benefit of legalized alcohol sales?

Why make light of people who believe in prayer and of the God to whom they pray?

What is the purpose?

Does the CJ have more interest in stirring the caldron of division in our community than being responsible and fair reporters of the events that affect the everyday lives of all of our citizens?

Could it be that the CJ has cast off the restraint of journalistic integrity and objectivity to we are not just happy to report the results but we are also happy with the results?

By this very action the CJ has said that people who believe in God, people who pray and people who were against the legalization of alcohol in Somerset are worthy only of our ridicule and nothing more.

It is very true that we, who were on the No side, were soundly defeated and I tip, not my glass, but my hat to you on the other side of the argument for the effectiveness of your campaign.

To the CJ I say if your actions with these distasteful cartoons are a reflection of your excitement about the final tally or an attempt to make those of us on the No side irrelevant, I leave you with this: We are still here, not just sober and praying, but soberly praying, for the city we love and call home. 2,167 Yes, 1,464 No is the reality of June 26, but only history can reveal the true winners and losers on that day.

Thank you,

Johnny M. Dunbar

Somerset, KY 42502