I’m writing with deep concern regarding The Times Argus’ recent article on the drag queen story hour at Kellogg Hubbard Library.
You and I can only guess at the number of citizen complaints that the Montpelier City Council must receive. In that context, the newspaper’s decision to highlight one person’s complaint in the form of a full article is questionable: One person’s complaints do not equate to news.
Stephen Mills cites that the story hour event was wildly popular in the past, with over 80 people in attendance. If the newspaper wanted to write a story, the content should reflect reality: There is strong, documented support for this fun event. Instead, the newspaper chose to give a platform to the homophobic and transphobic complaints of a single person. The author is certainly entitled to her opinion, however, her opinion is not news.
The real news here is the incredibly poor decision-making on the part of the Times Argus. Your choice to create a fake news headline trumpeting popular opposition to this event (“Library’s drag show for children criticized”) not only mischaracterizes the content of the event, but also creates a wildly false perception that could not be more wrong.
In this era, every journalistic outlet must hold themselves to a high standard for researching, documenting and reporting the truth to the best of their ability. It’s extremely disappointing to see The Times Argus utterly failing in this example.