Response to an unsigned letter | News, Sports, Jobs

By on November 20, 2021 0

An unsigned letter with no return address arrived at my office the other day.

Like many anonymous reviews I receive, the accusations against me were absurd and wrong and based largely on misunderstandings about how and why we do what we do.

I reply to all signed letters, emails, and voicemails that I can, but anonymous attacks usually go straight to the trash.

This one, however, was so strange and wrong that I thought I would attempt an answer here, point by point. All grammar and punctuation errors are those of the author of the letter.

“Hey Justin so much for your influence, only one in six voted, after your hype, get out and vote, that’s about how many people read your newspaper. That’s a joke.

Indeed, although The News has written several editorials encouraging the Alpenans to run for the polls for this month’s Alpena city council election, only around 17% of registered voters did so.

I don’t know if The News or I could take credit for it, but 17% actually rank relatively high for a municipal election. A GOP County President in my hometown offered to donate $ 1,200 to charity if the participation rate in the Battle Creek City Commission races reached 12%. He never had to give that money.

And, although Alpena’s 17% this year is down considerably from 23% in 2017, a poll that also included a county-wide proposal for a property tax increase to fund the new county jail, it is up from 15% in 2019 and 8% in 2015.

If that’s kidding me, I’m kidding. I am going to shout from the rooftops again for more voters, because I think it is important.

Whether or not The News inspired voters, I know this newspaper still carries a lot of weight.

In 2019, The News reported that Hillman Community Schools hired Heather Winfield even after learning that Winfield had resigned from Alpena Public Schools amid that district’s investigation into her inappropriate relationship with a student. Hillman changed his policy after our story was published.

That same year, we wrote about the need for disabled American veterans for a new van to transport military vets to their medical appointments. After our story, donations poured in and the DAV got a van faster than it otherwise would have.

This year, we talked about an antique wedding dress and other heirlooms that belonged to an Alpena family found in a safe in California. Thanks to our reporting, the Californian woman who found the safe was able to return several heirlooms to the ancestors of the original owner living in Illinois.

It’s the weight.

As for “one in six” who read The News, I don’t know the ratio at first glance.

What I do know is that between our print paper and, more people than ever are reading your Alpena News in September and October, and we are adding print and online subscribers every month.

“One more thing, you keep begging people to subscribe to your newspaper”

Well the writer brought me there.

I ask people to subscribe to the newspaper. A lot.

It’s because I run a business and have dozens of employees who have families to support, and I want to pay them the best I can. I can only do this if people subscribe and advertise in the newspaper.

You show me a business that doesn’t encourage people to buy their products or services, and I’m going to show you a business that’s about to shut down.

“Have a nice day Come on Brandon”

This is how the author of the letter signed.

“Let’s go Brandon” means “f *** Joe Biden”.

Last month, NASCAR driver Brandon Brown won his first Xfinity Series race and the crowd started chanting “f *** Joe Biden as NBC’s Kelli Stavast interviewed Brown live on air.

“You can hear the crowd chanting, ‘Come on Brandon’,” Stavast said on air.

As far as I know, Stavast didn’t say why she cited the crowd differently, but there are innocuous explanations: she could have heard it wrong, as anyone could while a large crowd is singing then that you are surrounded by other noises. Or she could have tried to prevent her audience from hearing obscenity, which wouldn’t be the right thing for a journalist – even a sports journalist – to do – but that wouldn’t make it a cover-up.

Yet the phrase “Let’s go Brandon” has become its own meme and rallying cry for the Right.

It’s childish to sign a letter this way.

It’s like when I was trying to pass one to my mom and say, “What’s the cuff? »Instead of dropping the bomb f.

I still had to wash my mouth with soap.

Justin A. Hinkley can be reached at 989-354-3112 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @JustinHinkley.

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