OPINION: Jack Bennett

(The following article was submitted about two weeks ago in response to a commentary written by Mr. Panian in the Leader Times. Since he has failed to provide both sides of the issue, I have paid to have my response published in the Kittanning Paper. The views expressed are my own and do not reflect this publication.)

Is the “Pot” Calling the “Kettle Black”?
A response to a commentary written by A. J. Panian, Managing Editor of the Leader Times, entitled “What is happening to our leaders? Year marred by arrests of Armstrong County dignitaries”.

Let me first state that I know nothing of the charges brought on any of the three dependents except what I have seen in newsprint. The article begins with a synopsis of Leechburg Police Chief Michael Diebold. Panian states “I’ve chosen not to devote space in this column to the sordid details behind the charges” when just repeating the charges is sordid enough.

Then Mr. Panian takes up a column and a half repeating what has already been printed. He admits this in the next paragraph: “The paper has incurred enough criticism for doing so in articles related to the alleged crimes.”

WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) Well for one thing, He wouldn’t take up three columns of print telling you why he isn’t going to take up three columns of print. Second, He wouldn’t hid behind the title “Commentary” when he has nothing new to tell you but he wants to stir the kettle anyway. (I thought that a newspaper/man/editor was suppose to report the “news” not try to make it up. In my opinion, Mr. Panian is using his position to try the defendants in the “court of public opinion” before they have an opportunity to defend themselves in court. He must realize that his position is a public trust given to him because of his position in the community. Whatever happens, innocent or guilty, it must be arrived at through a jury of their peers… not one influenced by opinion, or innuendo.

Well, here’s my opinion for you. First, Mr. Panian builds up the subject by saying things like “These are people I have personally conferred with on the job… Is that supposed to make it more true or false? Mr. Panian talks of Rev. Croyle out in the public view as if this too is a crime, which it is not. The law is there to protect the innocent as well as the guilty.

He closes with the opinion that we need to be more diligent in selecting public officials because of the power they wielded. Perhaps that same criteria should be applied to managing editors.

Jack A. Bennett
North Buffalo Township Resident