A letter-to-the-editor titled Navy should act like our guests that received over 250 on-line Facebook forum comments in well under 24 hours had all comments completely DELETED and the notice “No Comments” was instead annotated on the letter’s web page. Many of the comments made had directly attacked the Whidbey News Times for publishing the letter in the first place, along with bashing the letter-writer for her liberal views and factually erroneous allegations.
The letter writer’s allegations, factually incorrect on many counts (such as alleging that the Navy wants to “increase the flight area, and in Coupeville, they want to add more flight hours at the touch and go field”) were met with scorn by most people posting comments. Other recent news articles had made it clear that such claims were erroneous, and, apparently, people knew this to be the case. Hypocritically, the Whidbey News Times had also recently published an editorial titled Online policing an imperfect science in which they stated that “readers unfortunately can expect to see inaccuracies, distortion and even outright lies” on the Whidbey News-Times Facebook forum comments. Apparently, however, it’s perfectly okay for the newspaper itself to print letters that they obviously know to contain “inaccuracies, distortion and even outright lies” in both the hard-copy and on-line editions of their newspaper!