Letter to the Editor: Conversations With Charity and Civility


Dave Wheelan, founder and publisher of The Talbot and Chestertown Spy was criticized this week on social media for publishing a piece by David Montgomery, the contents of which offended many people, including us. Rather than respond to Montgomery directly through The Spy’s comments section, some contributors vilified Dave Wheelan publicly. We find such action highly questionable. Challenging Montgomery is reasonable, in fact appropriate, but castigating the publisher of a sound publication which provides a forum for news and opinions is misguided. Social media provides a welcome opportunity for all of us to express our opinions protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, but it is not a substitute for good journalism. We support The Spy publications, the founder and publisher and the exercise of rights to free speech.

Charity and civility go hand in hand. In today’s caustic and fractionated environment when words are weaponized through all forms of media, it’s particularly important for us to be mindful and gracious. In the face of opinions we oppose and even find offensive or hurtful, we can still be charitable. We can also choose not to engage, but if we choose discourse over silence, let us be respectful and civil with a tone that engenders positive feelings, not one driven by fear and antagonism.

Richard Marks and Amy Haines

Letters to Editor

  1. Dan Watson says

    Thank you Richard and Amy for so well articulating the viewpoint many of us feel.

  2. Debbi Dodson says

    Thank you Richard and Amy for your well written letter to the editor.

  3. Thank you Amy and Richard. Very well written. Such a sad time in our country right now.

  4. Reza Jafari says

    I strongly support the commentary by Richard Marks and Amy Haines. We are very fortunate that Dave Wheelan through the Talbot and Chestertown Spy has offered the members of our community a platform for civilized expression of opinions and News of interest to public along with sharing facts and historical references. We may not agree with all that is reflected in this non-partisan media platform. We may wish that the founder and publisher to take side much like some media companies do and taint their institution. We may want to just watch, read, listen and interact with the media that affirms and validates our political point of view. However, as Richard and Amy reflected. it is a breath of fresh air when a media organization maintains its independence and acts properly in support of the U.S. Constitution and our democracy and values. This is the job of each and every one of us to support free speech, independent media and reflect our opinion in a civilized manner. May this be a coaching and teaching moment to the next generation of our leaders in our community and our beloved country.

  5. Jon Powers says

    Dear Editor:
    I write to express a strong feeling of support and endorsement for David Wheelen and the Spy Publications. No matter the issue and which side you stand on The Spy allows us another voice in a field of shrinking choices.

    Jon Powers

  6. Carl Widell says

    I completely agree with Richard and Amy. The Spy has kept an even hand in presenting a variety of views and should be commended rather than castigated.

  7. Mary Ann Schindler says

    I am in absolute agreement with Richard and Amy. I also want to thank Dave Wheelan for providing a quality platform for dissemination of news and (hopefully civilized) public discourse.

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