To The Daily Sun,
Headline writers have a job to do and that is to grab readers' attention. Those who write headlines for the Laconia Daily Sun usually accomplish that goal.
But often, as was the case last week, the headlines miss the true story. The context in which Commissioner Philpot made his comments about the Belknap County Convention was part of a conversation in which he was discussing, at a public meeting with fellow Democrats, the damage being done to the relationship finally achieved between the commissioners and county employees. He contended that the votes taken and the views expressed by some members of the Belknap County Convention were doing "bad things" to the county in terms of undermining trust and interfering with employee-employer agreements. In fact, Commissioner Philpot apologized at the time for his characterization of those members while at the same time applauding the work of his fellow commissioners, who are recognized as members of the Republican party.
It is Commissioner Philpot's view, shared by many in Belknap County, that the majority votes taken by the convention are not in the best interests of this County. He chose to express that view during an open meeting covered by the press.
It is instructive to see how different papers report the same event. The Laconia Citizen's headline, "County Democrats Look to 2014 Elections", tells a different story. But doesn't the Sun's headline compel readership?
Everyone is simply doing his or her job here. Commissioner Philpot was issuing a warning based on his perception of the machinations of county government. The reporters were covering the story and trying to get people to read their version. The GOP chairman was defending his constituency; those who look at the issues through a different lens.
Isn't that what is great about a free press and a free society? Now it is up to each and every one of us to come to our own conclusions and act accordingly based on the information we have learned.
I thank everyone involved for taking an active role in this lively and informative debate.
Kate Miller, Chair
Belknap County Democratic Committee