December 04, 2003

It's Easy! You Can Do it Too!

This may be familiar to you. If not here's your chance to get aquainted:

I am a United States sailor. I have chosen to defend my country and the freedom some take for granted.

I love my country, my family, my freedom. Only by the blood which was shed by the service members before me did we receive this freedom.

There are some, though, who do not appreciate this freedom. I call these people traitors; they call themselves protesters. They are nothing more than an infectious disease that infests the minds and hearts of the Americans we are defending. It consumes the honor and courage within its host until it kills the very patriotism that made this country.

There is no cure for this disease. Never will everyone be satisfied. But let it be known what this guardian of America's freedom thinks of these protesters: Traitors should be hanged. I hold our enemies in higher standing. At least they are willing to fight for their beliefs and the country they love.

Sonar Technician
Derik L. Jobe
U.S. Navy

Apparently the Amarillo Globe-News considers it to be hunky dory to publish letters to the editor which advocate murder. Maybe they don't? So I asked the publisher Les Simpson. I asked the Executive Editor Ralph Routon. I asked the Managing Editor Dorsey Wilmarth. And of course I asked the Advertising Editor Joanne Gosselin whether it is the policy of the newspaper to publish letters advocating murder. I'm interested in hearing their response. How about you?

Naturally the next question I have to wonder is: "Is it the policy of the newspapers advertisers to also advocate murder?" Let's ask shall we.

So I asked the fine folks at AllStar Family Ford if it was their policy to advocate murder as well? Does the Plains Bell Federal Credit Union also advocate murder? What about Dillard's? Does Dillard's want people murdered or are they just dallying with people who advocate murder? What about Texas Dodge across from the Westgate mall? Do Charles Baker and Phil Smith of Texas Dodge advocate murder? I also asked Dr. Allan Ward of the Southwest Neuroscience & Spine Center if his firm was aware the newspaper was publishing letters of this type. I mean doctors are really supposed to be firmly against murder, right? Of course I also asked Don Tipps if he too was aware that he was advertising with a newspaper which is publishing such letters. In case you don't know Don Tipps sells life insurance. Surely someone who sells life insurance would be against advocating murder. I mean murder is not conducive to business, right?

I'm just interested. Perhaps Amarillo is a dangerous place to go if you don't agree with the war in Iraq? I wonder, do they ask you when you get into town whether or not you agree with the war in Iraq? So I asked the The Chamber of Commerce if it is the official chamber policy to support murder. I also sent along a nice note to the Mayor asking what the local policy was on murder. I grew up in the Altus area and when I was a kid I seem to recall murder being illegal. Perhaps that has changed?

I'm just wondering. Is that so wrong? Hopefully someone in Amarillo can straighten me out on this topic because I'm pretty sure that advocating murder is illegal, right?

Posted by filchyboy at December 4, 2003 09:13 PM | TrackBack


Fucking awesome post. I am sending followups to all of the good people you've corresponded with, because I share your curiosity.

Posted by: Daniel X. O'Neil at December 5, 2003 06:04 AM

On second thought, given the millions of protesters/ traitors in this country, what this citizen/ soldier is actually advocating is genocide, not murder.

The Amarillo Globe-News ought to be careful, lest they end up like their Rwandan counterparts:

Posted by: Daniel X. O'Neil at December 5, 2003 07:14 AM

I wrote a response to Mr. Jobe's letter to the editor. And that is just what it is, one person's opinion appearing exactly where it should appear, on the opinion page of his local newspaper. If I have a right to protest the war the right to speak out against protesters is just as sacred even hateful speech. The thing is people who support lynching (although I am not sure Mr. Jobe supports lynching) are an extreme minority in this great country. I don't feel threatened in the least by such rhetoric, I am sad for Mr.Jobe as he seems to have a very poor grasp on what rights we enjoy as Americans.

The newspaper editor picks and chooses what letters to display, those letters may or may not represent the editorial policy of the newspaper, in most cases they do not represent the opinion of anyone but the author.

It is your right to boycott any advertiser you feel is supporting an opinion you do not agree with. But don't you think worrying about Mr. Jobe gives a nut job a little too much credibility?

Posted by: Philip at December 5, 2003 08:09 AM


Mr. Jobe has the right to say what he wants. I have no quibbles with that. He's obviously a coward and I have no fear of him whatsoever. Neither do I think I am giving him any credibility. To be honest he is not an issue here, as far as I can tell.

Newspapers have obligations to serve their communities. The decision to publish the letter is, in my opinion, not the proper way to serve the community. I have no doubt whatsoever that the newspaper has received many such letters complaining about anti-war protestors. I am also positive that some of these did not advocate the murder of said protestors. If the editors had taken their job seriously a letter could have been chosen which made the same point, i.e. some locals are not happy with anti-war demonstrators, without publishing a call to murder. This is just plain irresponsible. In my experiences both doing journalism & studying it the letter is beyond the pale of standard industry practices.

I have no interest in boycotting anyone. I do wonder whether advertisors are aware that their adverts are positioned just next to a call for murder. I am an advertisor myself. Although I realize that my ads may show up in contexts I was not prepared for I feel it is a safe assumption that in a local newspaper I should be able to NOT worry about my ads being shown next to such calls.

It seems prudent to ask these questions both of the newspaper and of the advertisors. This type of letter to the editor, since it advocates an illegal act, is irresponsible and if all the parties involved are clear on that and are willing to deal the potential problems then so be it. But from my vantage point it appears that the editor who chose that letter over other similar letters which did not advocate illegal acts simply failed terribly in doing their job both to the bottom line of the newspaper and the public interest.

But like I said, I just have to wonder. So I asked.

Posted by: filchyboy at December 5, 2003 08:40 AM

"Traitors should be hanged" that is kind of ambiguous when it comes to saying he was calling for murder (in my mind). I put it down to he was advocating a lynching but that wasn't really what he said was it?

Do I harbor any illusions about him as a human being? No he is ignorant and small minded, no doubt a real tribute to his red neck upbringing.

You know as well as I that he has tried and convicted the protesters as "Traitors" in his mind, but he doesn't say "string em up" he uses the word "hanged" which implies (to me) some sort of imagined due process. I mean a lynching is a vigilante action, I get the feeling Mr. Jobe would like a law against protesting with the death penalty attached, he needs the state to do his dirty work and vindicate his feelings as patriotism.

He is the last person I would want to apologize for, but he has a right to be stupid. Is he any different than Ann Coulter in that regard? She is like the Red Queen calling 'off with their heads' everytime she turns around.

The guy is an inconsequential nut job, the Newspaper a blip on the net. The chances of me or anyone I know running across this dreck were slim to none without the exposure liberal bloggers gave him. Should he and the paper be exposed as purveyors of hate speech? OK, that is fair. Is there a chance in hell they would be convicted in Texas of anything? I doubt it, perhaps in Austin or San Antonio, I think there are still a few brain cells left in Texas.

Just curious, did you hear back from any of the people you wrote to? I'd be interested to know if the community was four square behind this guy or they just thought he was looney.

Posted by: Philip at December 5, 2003 04:04 PM

You published the letter too. Do you advocate murder? I wonder if advocates murder? I'll have to write them. I wonder if the condom company advocates murder? I'll have to write them too. And what about your mom and dad? Do they advocate murder? What about your aunt edna? Or your cousin ted? Murder advocators? Or perhaps just torture touters? Or execution expecters? Maiming mongrels? Or maybe they just want someone's toe to get stepped on, plus an indian burn? I'm going to have to write everybody and get to the bottom of this!

Posted by: mark michaels at December 7, 2003 11:33 AM

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