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What's wrong with Word of Mouth

Letters to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, October 18, 2000

Everything that is wrong with The Word of Mouth became apparent after my letter in the My Turnsection.

First there was the comment about my "hating liberals." The confusion of equating disagreement with hate shows a very small mind. Being allowed to use the word hate without being held accountable should not be allowed. Also local merchants don't "take" money from individuals, individuals "give" money to the merchant of their choice in return for product, service, quality and location provided by the merchants. Customers have choices and a business succeeds not from "taking" money from people but from receiving money from satisfied customers. One of the main proponents of the noise initiative was our company lawyer. Did she take our money or did we give it to her for services. I disagree with her but I respect her abilities and personally like her very much.

Allowing fabricated statements that affect businesses and reputations without accountability for such statements is criminal. Foodland under our tenure was at the top of the wage and benefit scale in the area. Far from being "forced out of business by competitors" we took the smallest hit when Costco, Carr's and Kmart opened and recovered the fastest. We had three separate offers prior to our selling that we turned down. Everyone should be so fortunate to be "run out of business" as we were.

Normally I would not take the time to answer such uninformed accusations but without "Word of Mouth" I would not have to. Many who are new to the community may actually believe what they read in the Empire. By allowing the lack of accountability you encourage lies and half truths. These also affect others besides myself who worked very hard to establish a good business with a good reputation. It also points out why many people who might contribute to a rational informed discussion do not. If those making accusations would publish their name maybe the community could make a better informed decision on the validity of those accusations. All it would take is to give your name after your message.

You say Word of Mouth must meet "the editor's standard of good taste." You need to raise your standard.

Tim Whiting

Juneau

The problem is not as much what people say in their Word of Mouth calls - or even their anonymity - as it is my failure to delete all of the gratuitous insults and uninformed accusations. For failing you and any others, I offer a sincere apology. I pledge to better edit Word so that it serves as a forum for opinion, not insults. - Steve Reed, Managing Editor



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