The Optimist (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 81, No. 49, Ed. 1, Friday, March 26, 1993 Page: 2 of 8
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. Michael O'Connor Editor in Chief
Deana Hanifay Managing News Editor
Jennifer Reynolds Opinion Page Editor
Dr. Charlie Marler Faculty Adviser
John Carroll Xioodong Fol Bobby Gombort Deana Hamby
Charlotte Hardison Mark Houston Bernadette Loo Michael O'Connor
Jennifer Reynolds Sharla Stephens Rick Stevens
Tho Optimist is a twico-a-weok publication of the students of the Depart-
ment of Journalism and Mass Communication of Abllono Christian Uni-
versity and serves as a journalism laboratory for the department's stu-
dents. The unsigned editorials are the opinions of the students on tho Optimist
Editorial Board and do not necessarily refloct the policies or views of tho
The signed columns cartoons and letters to tho editor are the opinions
of their creators and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Optimist
Editorial Board or the university administration.
Journalism vs. Christian standards
Why do newspapers print bad things
about good people?
Read the letters to the editor section
of any newspaper long enough and
eventually a letter will appear com-
plaining about the way the paper han-
dled a story about some individual.
The Optimist has received its share of
criticism for some of the stories we
printed this year for our coverage of
Bid Night the resignation of a class
officer and students who fabricated
The most frequent criticism is that
because we are a paper on u Christian
campus we ought to have treated the
stories differently. Our Christianity has
been attacked sometimes implicitly
sometimes explicitly and our motives
have been called into question.
We do not attempt to respond to
every criticism wc receive. To'do so
would be time-consuming and could
limit the kind of healthy debate we
would like to see about campus issues
and our role in reporting them. But we
believe we should explain why we
printed the stories we did and why wc
will continue to print similar stories.
We would remind our readers again
that we are a lab newspaper. The stories
we write edit and print are meant to
prepare us for the kinds of situations we
will encounter in the workforce.
Sensitive stories have to be written
and we need to learn how to write
We do not need to learn how to sup-
press stories just because they are sensi-
tive or potentially embarrassing.
Beyond this is a journalistic reason.
The press historically has performed a
Optimist coverage of people
lacking Christian perspective
To the Editor:
' I am writing in response to "An
Apolocv from die Editor" about Kit
j:'Morgan and Andy Davenport.
1 Although the guys had no nght to
report falsehoods. I do not believe the
staff had the richt to Dubliclv humiliate
; This is Abilene CHRISTIAN Univer-
sity and I thought that all parts of this
university used Christian standards.
Apparently not! 11 Matthew talks about
this in Matthew 18:15-17.
He says to confront the person pri
vately and keep it between those
involved Obviously that was not done
Uij'i this situation. I feel all that was
.accomplished by your article was to
. humiliate Kit and Andy as well as make
yourself look bad.
As for me I am totally turned off
;Praise for the Accent page's stories
To the Editor:
. Thank you for including the story on
David Koresh "The mind of a manic
Messiah" in the March 10 issue of the
Optimist. It was a very good piece of
-writing and I thank you for carrying it.
'.' The Accent page of the Optimist con
watchdog role in America keeping
public institutions including the press
accountable to society.
Thomas Jefferson once wrote that
"when a man assumes a public trust he
should consider himself public proper-
ty." Student government leaders and
student journalists fall into the category
of assuming a public trust and must be
held accountable publically.
Should journalism be practiced dif-
ferently however on a Christian cam-
pus? Is it unchristian to print stories
that are potentially embarrassing to the
We on the Optimist have struggled
with these questions and in wrestling
with the criticism wc have noted the
arguments expressed by our critics but
we believe a couple other points need
to be considered. .
One. is that the concepts-of forgive-' r
ness and restoration do not mean that
all consequences of our actions are nul-
lified. The other point is that Christianity
emphasizes community. Our actions do
not take place in a void and they affect
many others. As a result the broader
community's need to know sometimes
outweighs the individual's or a smaller
constituent community's need for pri-
vacy. In our situation for example social
clubs are expected to reflect the values
of the larger community of the universi-
ty. If they do not the larger community
needs to know.
We do not intentionally embarrass
students nor are we on a campaign to
"get" any group or individual. We nre
just reporting the news.
from journalism because of this
This was done once before with the
article Jennifer Reynolds wrote about
Justin Whitsett. Consider the scripture
Ephesians 4:29 which states "Do not
let any unwholesome talk come out of
your mouths but only what is helpful
for building others up according to their
needs that it may benefit those who lis-
ten." What the Optimist has printed hasn't
benefitted or built anyone up. It instead
tore people down.
I do understand where you are com-
ing from in feeling that something
needed to be done; however I don't
think it should have been called to
Elementary education major
tinues to be one of the paper's
Thank you for providing such thor-
ough pieces on current issues.
Graduate missions major
f Lt?& i3S9HHHHHHIIIHHhHHHBHhHHHhI
News junkies' paradise-
The White House operator would not
let me through to Bill Clinton.
I called three days before my trip to
Washington D.C. expecting to make an
appointment with President Clinton. No I
am not so naive to assume he would
make time for me.
I thought it would be interesting to see
how difficult getting some time with the
President would be.
I was going to invite him for a Big Mac
at McDonald's. How could he refuse?
The operator told me I must make my
request in a letter and appointments were
next to impossible to gct.-But whatabout
lunch? He must eat.
What irony. Because of die Blizzard of
93 my trip was delayed two days. The
storm of the century kept me from meet-
ing the President.
While sulking in the La-Z-Boy in my
parents' house watching CNN I saw
Clinton walking from the White House to
Along his way he greeted many people
unexpectedly. I could have been one of
them. Instead I was left only watching the
lucky ones who now can say they met
Human beings say the most ridiculous
Like when you know your friend is
angry and doesn't want to talk about it
but as he is walking out the door you feel
you have to say something otherwise
So you finally come up with "Er if
you need anything give me a call OK?"
And feel stupid afterward.
So often we try to include some sem-
blance of intelligence in our words where
silence might be more appropriate.
Tragic situations ore the best breeding
grounds for insipid remarks.
How many times have you come across
someone at a funeral asking grieving rela-
tives "So how are you feeling today?"
Or in commenting on the abundance of
good food at the home of the bereaved
"Wow this dessert is heavenly."
Or after a grace period of two weeks
we tell someone still in mourning "Hey
Best insurance comes from the Lord
Recently my car stalled in Dallas dur-
ing the middle of rush hour traffic leaving
me stranded in the paths of those travel-
ing the interstate and of the merging traf-
fic. Cars zipped by at 70 or more miles
per hour; I knew I was going to die.
Despite the catchy slogans of the many
insurance companies trying to put your
mind at ease in times like this not once
did it cross my mind which insurance
company would pay for the damage to
my car or how quickly they would do it.
After all I would be dead.
It would have been great if Allstatc's
"good hands" could have helped me push
my car to the shoulder of the road or at
least been standing a few yards behind
my car to flag the approaching traffic into
the odier lane but they were nowhere to
I would watch with amazement and lis-
ten to the tires screeching on the pave-
'For a news Junkie like
me Washington D.C.
bono of the moat
Point of View
The snow was not the only thing get-
ting in the way of a memorable trip not
to say the trip left me without any memo-
ries. Timing also kept me from a brush with
My tour of the Capitol was a little later
than Clinton's exit from the building.
For a news junkie like me Washington
D.C. is one of die most exciting cities.
While sitting in the Senate Chamber I got
to look down on bills being passed laws
being made and the networking that takes
place between senators.
I saw Carol Mousley Braun the first
black woman senator and Bob Dole the
produces the most
you've really been so moody the past few
weeks; will you get over it?" What about
"So I heard your grandma passed away.
You sad?" So much for tact.
I don't think insensitive comments
stem from deliberate intent to hurt some-
On the contrary people want to be of
help so badly they usually let their words
betray them. Adages and proverbs advis-
ing us to shut up are ignored in the face
7 can't remember a sin'
gle time my neighbor
was 'there" and willing
to help me out of a
Here to Stay
ment behind me as miraculously ut the
last possible moment the cars would
maneuver around me.
One driver in particular was quite upset
She had to come to a complete stop
behind me to wait for the traffic to clear.
She waved her arms erratically and yelled
for me to get out of the way like I was
minority leader. I kept my eyes open for
Bob Packwood the senator from Oregon
accused of sexual harassment. After read-
ing Newswee k like my Bible I learn more
about these politicians than I know about
some of my friends. i
The glitz and glamour of Hollywood i&
no match to my fascination of Washing-
I saw the inside of Sen. Phil Gramm's
office. A cement armadillo held the door
Our polidcal ideas may be different J-
but I did like his taste in decorating.'
And on the way to hie office a large
Texas flag hangs which was die only flag
in the long hallway housing many offices
of other senators.
The pageantry of die capital leaves
most visitors with a sense of awe. I am w
left with a sense of wonder. The leaders
of our nation are ordinary people with
extraordinary responsibilities. The moves
they make could end up front page news
such as the latest on House Speaker Tom
Foley's alleged pornography calls j
charged on a credit card.
What may be lunch to me or you is a
high security event to the President.
of obligatory waffle.
Surely God was trying to hint when he
gave us two eyes two ears two nostrils
but only one mouth.
To quote from the movie "Robin
Hood" "There are no such things as per-
fect men just perfect intentions." Or in
the words of a fortune cookie I once
opened "Closed mouths gather no feet."
Something happens to words as they
make their way up from the heart to die
mouth they neglect to take the route
via the brain.
What starts out as "I love you but I
don't know what to say" evolves into a
clumsy mumble better left unspoken.
Our quest to say the right thing masks
our ability to give support. Sometimes
Uierc are no right words. SomeUmes an
understatement produces the most dra-
Quietness articulates sincerity more
proficiently than clever phrases.
too stupid to think of that option for
In situaUons like this I suppose the r
insurance company's slogan of "Go! Go
Gelcol" would be appropriate. But I bet
even if I had thought of it my car proba-
bly still would have been stalled there in
And what about State Farm? I can't
remember a single time my neighbor was
"there" and willing to help me out of a
Despite the claims all of these insur-
ance companies are making Uiey are not
what make me feel secure in a crisis situ-
ation. This however does: God has promised
that if wc will trust Him He will take
care of everything else.
It's not having a "piece of the rock"
that will set you at ease. It's having the
peace oi uod.
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The Optimist (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 81, No. 49, Ed. 1, Friday, March 26, 1993, newspaper, March 26, 1993; Abilene, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth92175/m1/2/: accessed October 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Abilene Christian University Library.