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The rest of the story

Editorial

In the early 1980’s, I would ride with my dad to the farmers market during the summer months to get items he would sell at the “Mom and Pop” store he worked at. The old 5-speed, 24’ box truck we drove only had an AM radio. The show we listened to each week was Paul Harvey, who became famous for his “The Rest of the Story” segments. Today I’m going to share the rest of the story that many of you are not aware of.

There are two things everyone possesses: an opinion and that thing you sit on. Partly cloudy versus partly sunny. Half full versus half empty. Left versus Right. No matter which one of these categories you fall in, your support for one side will probably be different than the next person you pass in the grocery store.

Over the last several years, and even more so over the last couple months, the opinions that most people kept to themselves have come out. What once was filtered is now free flowing. 

The Tryon Daily Bulletin has accepted and welcomes Letters to the Editor. We always have and this dates back to when we began printing back in 1928. Like everything else, there are some limitations that we have in place. One of those limits pertains to word count. Our policy is to keep it within a 400-500 word count limit. This is not a hard cap. It’s more floating, but it gives a submitter an area to keep their submission under. It helps to keep the writer on target with what they want to say, free from babbling on and from getting off the topic. If there were no cap, we potentially could have papers filled up with nothing but people soap boxing whatever is on their mind. Hello, Tryon Daily Enquirer! Just for a comparison, the typical word count of an eight-page feature in Life in Our Foothills magazine is around 1,000 words.  

No matter which political side you support, one thing everyone can agree on is that every politician, whether they are currently in office or not, is that they only tell you half the story. They will tell you the side they want you to hear to earn your support and they’ll play the role of victim in hope they will receive a sympathy card.

I want to step back for a moment and give my respect to Colonel Moe Davis. Thank you for your service to our country. It is very much appreciated. 

Mr. Davis submitted a Letter to the Editor for us to publish in response to a submission by Polk County Republican Party’s chair, Tim Koch, which was published in the January 27th edition of the Bulletin. The submission from Mr. Davis was approximately 1,000 words, well over the limit of what we allow. We emailed him back explaining the length was too long and asked if he would like to shorten it. He responded asking how much it would cost for it to run in its entirety. We replied that we would let him have the same word count as Mr. Koch’s submission, and the overage he could pay $0.20 per word, which is the cost per word of an obituary. That was on February 1. We never heard back from Mr. Davis…until Wednesday.

It was shared with me that the Bulletin was being bashed for now charging to publish Letters to the Editor, because of the political stance held by the Bulletin and that the current flavor of the week is to support the Right. That could not be farther than the truth. We want to hear what Mr. Davis has to say as his name was mentioned in Mr. Koch’s Letter, and he should be allowed to respond. But there are parameters to fit that response into.

Mr. Davis and I were able to have a nice phone conversation Thursday afternoon. While we may not see eye to eye on things, we at least have a better understanding of each other’s sides. I appreciate him taking the time to speak with me to clear the air. 

As the manager of the Bulletin, I do everything I can to keep this newspaper neutral. I have referred to our stance as that of Switzerland many times. I want Polk County to stay out of the national headlines and keep us in our own corner of the world. I want to keep groups that are trying to incite violence away from here. Let them stay in the big cities. Let us have our small slice of heaven here in this county that we all love.

There are many days the Bulletin is in a lose-lose situation with what we publish. If we publish a Letter to the Editor that leans Left, readers that support the Right will say we are like the mainstream media supporting the Left’s agenda, and vice versa. If we don’t publish either side, we have both sides against us. This cycle we are in currently will continue until someone puts a stop to it. 

With that in mind, after this edition of the Bulletin, we will not be publishing anymore Letters to the Editor that are in reference to anything that may or may not have occurred on or around January 6th. The social media conversations on this topic I am sure will continue for some time, just not in the Bulletin. Although the owner of this newspaper may have changed over the years, the bottom line is the Tryon Daily Bulletin is Polk County and Upper Spartanburg County’s newspaper. It is you, the faithful and supportive reader, that allowed us to quietly celebrate our 94th birthday on January 30th last month. We want to hear from you. We want your press releases. We want your Letters to the Editor. We want your birthday, anniversary and wedding announcements. We want your advertisements as well (our team here still wants to eat dinner).

We all need to work to support the motto that Tryon (and the whole area in general) really is the friendliest town (and county) in the South. Cause right now, that slogan has been removed and thrown in the back of a closet somewhere.

And now you know, the rest of the story.