“Of course, a little courtesy, decency and tact will go a long way in determining what gets published.” — From a column introducing Opinion Line on June 12, 1994
There are some Opinion Line regulars who I’d love to sit with and have a beer.
Others I wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley.
And for the remaining portion of commenters, by far the biggest percentage, I read what they write and shake my head. Not about their opinions — some about their opinions — but more for their tone.
Mean. Gray. Negative. Hurtful. These writers put on an anonymous blindfold and treated targets like a pinata with unlimited swings.
We have ended publication of Opinion Line comments for that reason. For too long, we published unattributed, negative comments about our society.
No more. Take your hurtful, anonymous opinions elsewhere — they’re not welcome on our pages anymore.
Sure, Opinion Line has always skewed negative. Anonymous opinions usually do. But the daily feature was meant to be a mix of point-counterpoint about issues and life in Wichita.
Many readers may think we pick out the most negative opinions to publish. Truth is, it’s most of what we get. The worst don’t make it in the paper. Let that sink in.
What we’ve published is a representative sample of what we get from emailers. A large portion are so negative and downright nasty that it promotes what I hope isn’t a parallel view of our community.
We thank regular Opinion Line readers for checking out fellow Wichitans’ comments for 24 years. You have an iron constitution.
For frequent Opinion Line writers — especially the positive and contemplative — we’re sorry to take away an outlet for your views. We hope you’ll decide to weigh in through our Letters to the Editor feature, which provides more depth for your opinion but requires a name to go along with it.
Readers and writers are welcome to contact me at any of the contacts above and below. Tell me I’m wrong. Tell me I’m an idiot. Shout verbally or in ALL CAPS. I’ll be here.
Just be sure to give me your name.