In an editorial published last week in the Mercer Island Reporter, entitled Moving Island Dialogue Forward, the Reporter’s new editorial board came out in favor of civil discourse amongst Mercer Islanders. This brave and controversial opinion was accompanied by the editorial’s stunning exposure that political discussions on social media are frequently inflammatory.
Reporter editorial board member Sam Naughty said that the board has a responsibility to comment on issues of significance to the Mercer Island community, no matter how disputable. “The stakes are too high for the editorial board to sit on the sidelines. If we take heat, so be it. It is our obligation to speak power to truth.”
Naughty added that this is just the first of many bold stands that the board will be taking in the opinion pages of the Reporter. He said that future editorials will weigh in on such contentious matters as whether to kick puppies and if murder is bad.
The Reporter’s new editorial board was announced in late March, in response to concerns from Islanders that the shadowy foreign ownership of the newspaper made it ill-equipped to comment on issues of local importance.
Readers who are angered or dismayed by the Reporter’s attempts to elevate the level of dialogue in Island matters need not fear, however. Letitia Snugbottom, publisher-in-chief of the Mercer Island Distorter, responded to the Reporter’s editorial with the following statement:
“At The Distorter, we will never fall prey to the trend-chasing antics of those who would seek to adopt the current journalistic fad of high-minded discourse. Our readers can rest assured that our publication — Mercer Island’s only locally owned and operated original news source — will continue to adhere to the same standards of expression that Islanders have come to expect and treasure.”