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Our View: Now about last Sunday’s editorial...

Posted: March 6, 2010 11:39 p.m.
Updated: March 7, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Sometimes, we mess up.

Such was the case with last Sunday's editorial in which we warned readers that a Signal headline about crime would likely appear in some campaign smear mail as the City Council race enters its feverish last weeks.

Trouble is, we didn't use the word "likely" in our opening scenario.

Apparently, our editorial touched off a flurry of phone calls, including candidates querying each other, "Did you send out this mailer?" and readers outraged by what they saw as a hit piece on the individual challenger of their choice.

"You did the worst kind of journalism in the world," one caller told us.

For the record, the scenario in which Signal headlines are misused in mailers by City Council candidates is born from many years of experience in which that exact event has happened - over and over again.

But it's just a scenario. It has not happened in this election - yet. We note such mailers usually go out at the last minute so the targeted candidates, and the newspaper, have no time to set the record straight.

The editorial was intended to negate the effectiveness of such a mailer campaign and to alert the reader to the possibility - given the history of local City Council races, one might say the likelihood - that such a mailer would turn up last minute in voters' mailboxes.

It makes us angry when The Signal is misused in this way.

However, we clearly failed to make our intention clear. People understood us to say either such a mailer had been sent out, or such a mailer was about to be sent out.

Such is not the case - to our knowledge.


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