Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sadly, Arizona Republic Learns That Any Opinion Warrants Death Threats

In the current sad state of affairs, the staff at the Arizona
Republic newspaper has been getting numerous death
threats for endorsing Hillary Clinton. The paper's
editorial on it reaction to the threats is a must-read
An editorial in the Arizona Republic newspaper is going viral for a very sad reason.

Another editorial several days earlier in the traditionally conservative newspaper in the conservative state of Arizona endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.  

Until now, the paper has always endorsed the Republican candidate, but the Arizona Republic's editorial board couldn't stomach Donald Trump.

Sure, some conservative readers of the Arizona Republic got mad at the Clinton endorsement, complained loudly about it, even canceled subscriptions.

All that is fair.

But a number of people -not just a few - lobbed very gross death threats against the people who work at the Arizona Republic, thereby continuing a strange, awful new tradition in America:  Threaten to kill anyone who doesn't share your worldview.

In this past Sunday's editorial, Editor Mi-Ai Parrish listed the threats the Arizona Republic received for the "high crime" of endorsing a Democratic presidential nominee for the first time in 125 years.

Among them:

"You're dead. Watch your back."

"We will burn you down."

"You should be put in front of a firing squad as a traitor."

I know, it's just a bunch of yahoos who make these kind of threats. Still, it's a sensitive subject, especially at the Arizona Republic.

Back in 1976, a car bomb killed Arizona Republic investigative reporter Don Bolles  because somebody was pissed off that he was looking into a crooked land deal.

You have to take death threats seriously.  
A 1976 car bombing killed an Arizona Republic
investigative reporter who was looking into a shady land deal.

Still, you absolutely have to read the Arizona Republic editorial on the death threats, if you haven't already.

The editorial has gone viral as a master class for all of us on First Amendment rights, civics, civility, and the need for a free press. And it's a tribute to all the good employees at the Arizona Republic.

The Arizona Republic is still a conservative paper. I'm an East Coast liberal. I bet I could find a ton of Arizona Republic editorials that annoy me, that I disagree with, that I think are dumb.

That's fine. But how does one make the leap from being annoyed at something you read to want to kill the person who wrote it, and all the people who work in the building with that author?

Something is wrong in this country, and it's not the editorial page at the Arizona Republic.

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