Letter to the Editor: Candidate Commentary

Dear Review,
I would be hard-pressed to believe that Ms. Patterson has a misunderstanding of what an editorial is, what the first amendment states, or that she may be under scrutiny in her newly elected position. Ms. Patterson never asked for an apology in her letter nor did I get the implication that she wanted one. Although those are the focal points of your response, I don’t believe that was the intention of the letter.
From what I gather, her letter was sent in response to the endorsing of candidates with the Review’s name attached to it. I agree with Ms. Patterson that you have the right to endorse candidates as an individual, as an editorial staff, or as an entire newspaper, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Our new president-elect, Colin Jones, dully noted in the second debate that the Review hasn’t taken such a stance in at least the past several years. You should know better than anyone if this is true and if it is, why now? Because she did not give her full attention to the Review doesn’t at all mean that she wasn’t reaching out to students.
What you stated in the editorial in question (“Patterson does not appear to have this dedication to connecting with her potential constituents”) could not have been further from the truth considering she received the greatest number of votes for ANY candidate and over doubled the votes of her opposition. While I agree with you that the Review is a great tool for speaking out and connecting to students, it’s without a doubt not the only way. The fact that the voting ended up as one-sided as it did should speak to the fact that the Review isn’t the ultimate power when it comes to reaching out to students and that there are equally (or more) effective ways of reaching the student body.
It appeared as though the Review may have felt entitled to a letter and interviews from candidates and that alone is a faulty belief. Candidates have the freedom to choose their method of communication and should not be criticized for choosing something that may go against the grain. If anything we should be applauding Ms. Patterson for reaching that many voters without using the Review as an outlet.
This is not to say the Review is worthless or that it’s not a useful way of communicating, as I am a weekly reader, but it is to say that we should be open to other avenues of communication and encourage people to explore those opportunities, rather than dismiss them. I would encourage you to re-evaluate your methods of presenting candidates next time around and focus on objective reporting that you as a staff are more than qualified to be doing.
Evan Hilberg, junior

1 Comment on Letter to the Editor: Candidate Commentary

  1. I don’t recall the level of funding to the Linfield Review that comes from ASLC, but I know its significant, and I know the Review would not be able to operate as it does now without that ASLC money. As a result you have the review officially weighing in, as an institution, on an election over who will control its budget. That’s both a pretty precarious place for the review to sit, as well as a disturbing conflict of interest. I would actually think that the review would consider the outcome of “what if our candidate loses” before engaging in such raw stupidity, because by endorsing they are just begging for payback if the other guy wins. Not to say that opinions can’t and shouldn’t be expressed on the election, they should be, but an official newspaper endorsement is at best ill conceived. What if an underclassman is elected President one year and has a bad case of Nixon syndrome? The President runs for reelection, but threatens to withhold funding from the review if they don’t endorse him/her. Maybe the Review would fight, I would hope they would, but why would you want to create the potential for that situation? The Linfield Review is the media arm of ASLC, the fact that it has maintained independence from ASLC in its reporting is great, but not a given. By endorsing candidates, that balance is threatened. I guess I would just close with this, of course the Review has the right to endorse candidates, but its equally true that ASLC has the right to eliminate their budget. As a result its bad editorial policy to have done this. For a State or National election (which I also don’t recall the Review ever issuing endorsements) it would be immaterial, yet I suspect this editorial board would feel far more reserved about that where there isn’t really any consequence. If the Review wants to endorse candidates than ASLC should not fund them anymore.

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