Conservative Paper Defiantly Takes Stand And Backs Clinton Despite Threats
When the Arizona Republic endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, the paper was inundated with threats. But now it’s responded, explaining it’s reasons for endorsing a Democratic candidate for the first time in 125 years.
This paper stands its ground
“Over the many months of the campaign, we found ourselves with this question: Endorse no one, or endorse a Democrat for the first time in our history?” she writes. “We made our choice soberly. We knew it would be unpopular with many people.”
Dying to tell the truth
First of all, the paper mentioned an anonymous caller who referred to Don Bolles, a reporter at the paper who was assassinated by a car bomb some 40 years ago. And this caller threatened that more reporters would be blown up in the same way because of the endorsement.
“I give you Kimberly. She is the young woman who answered the phone when you called,” the editorial responded. “She sat in my office and calmly told three Phoenix police detectives what you had said. She told them that later, she walked to church and prayed for you. Prayed for patience, for forgiveness. Kimberly knows free speech requires compassion.”
And then the editorial referenced others who were affected by the frightening threats. Some callers threatened the paper would be “shut down” or “burned down.” A few idiots even screamed at, spit on and threatened young people who were selling door-to-door subscriptions.
Good grief — Yelling at kids for selling subscriptions?
“To those of you who have called us hacks and losers with no purpose, and that we are un-American, I give you Dennis,” the editorial said.
“He is the investigative reporter who first revealed the despicable mistreatment of our veterans at the VA hospital. His work triggered comprehensive debate and, one hopes, lasting change. He and others on his team have been hailed as heroes by veterans’ families across the country. Dennis knows that free speech is sometimes the only way to hold the powerful accountable.”
Related: Rising Above: Hillary Denounces GOP HQ Bombing, Stands Strong Against Violence, Hateful Rhetoric
In addition, the piece also pays tribute to the newspaper’s late publisher and his late wife.
“To those of you who have invoked the name of longtime publisher Gene Pulliam, saying he is spinning in his grave, I give you his wife, Nina. After reporter Don Bolles was targeted by a bomber for doing his job, Nina Pulliam wept at his hospital bed. He died there slowly over 12 days. The Pulliams understood that free speech, and a free press, come at a cost.”
Exchanging ideas freely and without fear
And Parrish also thanks people who acknowledged the endorsement without threats, commending them for their “courage and bravery.”
“To you, I give my gratitude,” she wrote.
“I’m grateful that you stood up to say that we live in a better world when we exchange ideas freely, fairly, without fear.”
Finally, Parrish referred to her mother, who grew up inside a dictatorship, “with no right to an education, no free press, no freedom of religion, no freedom to assemble peaceably, no right to vote. No right to free speech.”
“She raised a journalist who understood not to take these rights for granted.”
Furthermore, when the reporters arrive at work each morning, they walk by an inscription that is a Bible for most of us. It “fills an entire wall, floor to ceiling.”
“It is 45 words long. It is an idea that is in my thoughts a lot these days,” she writes. “It is the First Amendment.”
45 precious words worth fighting for
Because no matter how much these words upset some people, they are still the law of the land.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Zeb Micelli, Universal CC0 1.0 license public domain.
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Megan was born and raised in Ventura, California. She has since lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Pacific Northwest, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Mexico, and Costa Rica. While she has always been a liberal, her travels have informed her politics. She has worked for more than 25 years as a professional journalist writing about crime, the police, local politics, feature stories, environmental issues and a variety of other topics. She now writes for Reverb Press.
Megan supports Black Lives Matter and fights against racism, sexism, the corporatocracy, climate change deniers and others who continue to destroy the planet.