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A serious note, and then not
From the editor
Jeff Whitten NEW
Jeff Whitten is managing editor of the Coastal Courier and Bryan County News. - photo by File photo

Whenever I think I have it bad, I know there are those who get it worse.

Those poor folks on Gause Street and their families, for example. As I wrote this Thursday evening, some good people held a vigil for the Strickland family. They’re raising money to help cover funeral expenses. If you want to contribute, reach out to District 5 Commssioner Gary Gilliard, who is a guest columnist in today’s paper.

That said, I’m not complaining about my lot.

I’m just reverse praising.

For starters, maybe media folks get it worse than non-media folks, this onslaught of attention from candidates of every stripe out there hoping for coverage.

We can barely keep up with our own backyard in these days of lean budgets and leaner editorial staffs, and yet my inbox overruns with press releases from candidates and incumbents from pretty much everywhere but here.

Much if not all of it (I can’t keep up) is of the mud-slinging, finger-pointing variety.

"Liberal opponent refuses to take oath of Americanism! Gets F-minus from NRA!"

"Conservative picks nose, wipes boogers under his sleeve so his underpaid illegal alien maid will have to clean them when she does the laundry for less than minimum wage!"

"Liberal opponent will take your guns, money and wives, and let lazy identity thieves go shopping with your credit cards, sticking you with the bill while you’re serving in Afghanistan! Vote for me!)"

And if it’s not mudslinging, it’s credit-taking.

You especially get this from incumbents with the budget to hire press officers. They’re never shy about pointing out their better qualities, which are apparently all they’ve got. I’d be ashamed of some of the stuff that they try to present as fact.

"Rep. Bert heroically battles to save struggling small business from commie liberal taxation and overregulation."

"Sen. Ernie on front lines in war against Obama-fueled opioid abuse (or illegal immigration, gun control and maniac transgenders who would use your bathroom!"

"Rep. Tickle Me Elmo voted supreme guardian of freedom, liberty, small business rights and low taxes by Galactic Chamber of Commerce."

You’d think they were leaping out of foxholes and crossing a Marne River no-man’s land in their business suits.

So no, I can’t wait until the election is over, and it’s not even May yet.

At least there’s a local election coming up to make things more interesting. The most contentious will likely be that involving candidates for Liberty County Board of Education, and that because they’re the only contested races on the slate, apart from one county commissioner race in Long County. Yay.

Early voting starts soon (I don’t have a calendar in front of me) and we’ll start hitting up candidates with questionnaires soon so we can do profiles. Those are always as fun as watching paint dry but necessary in a republic such as ours.

Remember, an informed electorate is key. So are informed candidates. If either side doesn’t do its homework this experiment called self-government doesn’t work all that well.

The Courier will be a contributing sponsor of the Liberty County NAACP’s upcoming political forum on May 3. Should be fun so bring your popcorn.

Oh, and to the caller who asked why we haven’t been running police reports, the answer is we hadn’t been getting them recently, due to Hinesville’s computer issues. Those are apparently resolved enough to allow Andretta Jackson, who is a nice lady at HPD, to resume sending them. So we’ve got them.

Unfortunately, gone are the days when a reporter had time to go to HPD and the Liberty County Jail to wade through the 100s of incident reports like I used to. That’s in large part due to the declining number of reporters, but you can factor in more deadlines, thanks to the internet, social media and so on.

Fewer reporters, more deadlines. It only makes sense in journalism.

Peace, be safe.

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