In Tuesday's print edition, I ran a story wrapping up the events of Heritage Days. Accordingly, the article was actually called "Heritage Days wraps itself up." The story's second paragraph, appropriately, received quite a negative reaction from many in the community. I've listed the paragraph's text directly below:
The "Come Grow With Us" theme featured any local group that may or may not come immediately to mind, along with the soon-to-be corrupt – politicians vying for local votes by wearing cautiously selected farmer-plaid and polo shirts – and seeking out the most appropriate placement in Jefferson City prior to their anticipatory lobbying adventures with varying chieftains of industry and influence. Hand shaking and practiced waving was abundant.
Excuses, on my part, will not be made for the statement. An explanation, however, will. The paragraph, when taken literally, is accusatory in nature and suggests that every politician, or future politician, is corrupt – or on their way to becoming corrupt.
Ironically, the text was not even part of an editorial opinion. It was a simple statement, tongue-in-cheek in nature. Our political system dictates that there are far more lobbyists in the 50 state capitals of our country than there are politicians. In that, there is some humor to be found. I'd wished only to make for a more entertaining read for Daily News subscribers by throwing in a bit of sarcasm. In my immaturity, I actually thought that readers would scan the piece with a sly smile and a chuckle. Oh, how wrong my assumption was!
Valid or invalid opinion, or overdone sarcasm, the paragraph had no business being in a news story on page 1. To those that took offense to such a statement being in the story, I offer my apologies. Please know that I have no reason whatsoever to distrust anyone in the area, politician or otherwise.