Saturday June 1, 2013

First, you smeared the name of a local businessman all over the front page before he was even charged with a crime. Do you think many people will remember that he was cleared of the most serious charge you prematurely printed against him? Next you felt the need to publicize the tax problem of one of the most (if not the most) esteemed businessmen in the area. It mattered not that he has given his time and energy to the community continuously for decades, or that even as he was forced by the economy to close his restaurant he took care of his employees -- you still made it front page news as if he was the only one in town with a recession-induced tax bill.

But yesterday was a new low. There on the front page above the fold, in the lead story position, was an article about another local businessman trying to provide a service to the people of Bennington in the midst of a down economy. This time, however, we did not read of a police investigation or an issue concerning public money. No, this time it was that the payments on a private loan were late and that someone’s equipment might be repossessed.

You publicly blathered about a man’s personal finances.

The New York Times’ slogan is "All The News That’s Fit To Print." What’s The Banner’s new slogan, "Kick A Man When He’s Down"? You’ve gone from reporting to prying. If we’re headed down that road, why shouldn’t we know if the reporter who wrote this latest prattle-piece is current on his car loan? Or if the mortgage of the editor who assigned him to the non-story is in arrears? If you want to try real investigative reporting, how about delving into the fact that the biggest welfare cheat in the nation is about to engulf Northside Drive? Personally I won’t set foot in a Wal-Mart due to their unethical business practices and abject greed, so it’s more than a little ironic that I have to subsidize their employee compensation packages with my tax dollars.

Report on how many Wal-Mart employees are on public assistance because the company that made a $13 billion (that’s billion, with a B) profit won’t pay them a decent enough wage or give them enough hours to support a family.

Tell us how much of a Benningtonian’s tax dollars (state and federal) go into guaranteeing those low Wal-Mart prices by substituting food stamps, energy assistance, WIC, or Medicaid, for pay.

Take on a bad guy like Wal-Mart and you’ll have a positive impact on our town. And leave the gossip to the Inquirer.

VICTOR CALLIRGOS

Bennington