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Hate speech won’t get any ink from us

It’s an odd thing for a newspaper to ignore what some people might consider a news event, but The Erwin Record made a decision last week to not give any coverage to Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church.
The infamous hatemongers at Westboro had threatened to protest at Senior Airman Benjamin D. White’s funeral, and it got a lot of media attention. The Internet was buzzing, too.
But here at The Erwin Record, we made the decision to ignore Westboro. We didn’t try to interview the folks at Westboro, because we don’t think a hate group is worthy of our attention. We didn’t write about if for this week’s newspaper or even post anything on our website.
We simply weren’t going to give Westboro what it wants more than anything – media attention for its distasteful beliefs.
The fact that an American soldier died to preserve our freedom IS worthy of attention. The fact that he was a local person makes the hurt deeper, our sense of appreciation greater – actually, unspeakably so. Our native son died for love of country and fellow man. Love as a motivator cannot be overrated. Hate as a motivator cannot be underrated.
We don’t know if you, the reader, expected us to cover Westboro’s threatened protest – or the anti-protests, for that matter. If anyone thinks we’ve failed as a newspaper for not telling the “whole story,” we’re prepared to stand behind our decision.
Maybe we’ve erred, but we don’t think hate speech of any kind deserves our attention.
We hope you agree.