Reader panel needs some conservatives

The Bristol Herald Courier has some sham called the reader advisory panel that's supposed to give them input on what to cover, new ideas, etc. For the last six years the selection process has locked out blue collar workers, Tea Party types (whom the Courier has displayed openly hostility towards), etc. The panel has mainly gone to recent move-in retirees from outside the region, white collar professionals (that tend towards liberalism), and government workers. Wall Mart workers need not apply.

I accused them of this directly and to their credit they printed my letter below and didn't deny the accusation. Yes, I do stand by their integrity. Oddly, I can't find where they published the names of those selected for 2011. Printed December 07, 2010 Bristol Herald Courier:

Regarding our annual selection of the Bristol Herald Courier reader advisory panel, this will again exclude most of those in the general community: Liberals only need apply.

Those who are tea party members, question global warming theology, or are Christian or social conservatives are usually wasting their time. A good test is the Dec. 4 article on the Dream Act giving amnesty to illegal aliens. (Excuse me, "undocumented young people.") Anyone who questions amnesty for illegal aliens is thus a racist and excluded from the panel.

This also is the Courier view of the many tea party members who cost Mr. Rick Boucher his career. The Herald Courier endorsed his re-election, yet if Mr. Boucher was so great, why are one in four Southwest Virginia residents on food stamps?

Why according to a recent study by Kiplinger's Best Cities 2010 rank the Bristol-Kingsport area as having the lowest median family income relative to the highest cost of living in Virginia and Tennessee? We are still ranked near the bottom 10 percent in the nation. Why is the cost of living here higher than in bigger cities? How can this be with such a low median family income?

Could it be the phony job creation for example in Lebanon. The thousand jobs we were promised after $10 million in corporate welfare and the firing and displacement of over 1,000 Virginia workers for this absurd "farm shoring" nonsense invented by former Gov. Mark Warner never materialized.

The census shows Lebanon has had zero population growth while corporate profits exploded for those government outsourcing firms. This is what too often results from these deals.

While I disagree with some positions of the Herald Courier, I stand 100 percent behind its integrity. But perhaps we can have some true diversity on that panel this year.

Lewis Loflin
Bristol, Va.

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