For almost a decade, I’ve argued that more of our local legal cases should go to trial. I’ve been reminded of that again this week.
Our local newspaper, The Union, likes to be the court of public opinion, seeking to “frame” public dialogue based on its own beliefs, conflicts of interest, missing facts — or whoever whispered in its ear last over lunch. I’ve read some twisted and preemptive reporting in this “community newspaper.” We all have.
Nowadays social media is creeping up all around it, so it’s harder to control the “community messaging,” as The Union has in the past.
The same goes for “whisper campaigns,” another twisted form of communication in little towns like ours.
But the court proceedings often turn up the facts — in depositions and discovery.
We learn the stories — and the backstories — in all the excruciating detail. It’s all a matter of public record.
This process leads to a meritocracy, not a “good old boys” network, where judgments are made based on facts. And that’s how it should be.