Letter to the Editor

Conflict with politics, endorsements

Thursday, November 2, 2006

To the editor:

As someone who has family in Southeast Missouri and has spent countless months and summers in Cape Girardeau, I have been a longtime reader of the Southeast Missourian.

There has been something particularly disturbing to me recently, and that is the lack of journalistic integrity in the paper.

The fact that the Southeast Missourian is owned by the Rust family is not a problem, but the fact that the Rusts use it a soapbox to convey their conservative views is worrisome.

Moreover, I find it even more troubling that Gary Rust is a major contributor to the Missouri Republican Party and Jim Talent in particular.

He used his past column to endorse the senator, but looking deeper would show that Rust is a financial backer of Talent.

There is clearly a conflict of interest between the owners of the paper and what they choose to put into their paper.

The conservative world view is that governments need to be open and free with a press that is equally as transparent, yet they cannot do the same in their own dealings.

There is something to be looked at when the very people who give money to the Republican Party are the same ones who write endorsements.

As an out-of-towner, I understand the good people of Southeast Missouri are more conservative (as am I), but they also deserve something more from their press.

CLAYTON COX, Atlanta, Ga.