Despite a Few Readers’ Accusations, WritersWeekly is NOT a Political E-Rag! by Brian Whiddon, Managing Editor

Despite a Few Readers’ Accusations, WritersWeekly is NOT a Political E-Rag! by Brian Whiddon, Managing Editor

Last week, I stated that Angela would return to her regularly scheduled article this week. It appears I lied.

In fact, I changed the password on her computer and I keep telling her I have no idea why her screen is locked with an upside-down picture of Albert Einstein sticking out his tongue. She’ll be back next week if she figures out how to un-hack her screen. (Or, when the Kavanaugh hearings are over.)

Speaking of politics, this week, I’d like to address a disturbing trend that we have noticed here at WritersWeekly.

As the Managing Editor of WritersWeekly, I’m assigned to producing several of the features you see here each year, as well as reviewing each email and comment that comes from readers through the website. So, I have a finger on the pulse of our readers via their feedback pertaining to what we present each week.

Since 2016, there’s been a noticeable uptick in readers criticizing us for posting items that they feel are politically biased. The crazy thing is that we’ve been accused of being both left-wing, liberal Democrats and bible-thumping, right-wing Republicans. (Strangely enough, we have never been accused of being middle-of-the-road Libertarians.)

Lately, the political and ideological divide in the US (and possibly worldwide) is wider and more emotional than I can recall it ever being before – at least in my 48 years on this planet. It’s not surprising that everyone has their own opinions. The really crazy thing is this: most of these angry emails and comments that we’ve received accuse us of a particular bias NOT because of a position that we took, but because we DIDN’T take a position that the reader would have liked us to. In other words, we didn’t sway one way or the other and someone subsequently got angry with us for not stating our opinion publicly.

It’s been a standing principle at BookLocker.com and WritersWeekly.com to refrain from using our business to promote our personal political (or religious!) beliefs. (In fact, BookLocker has published books on almost every side of the political spectrum.)

Due to the industry we’re in, we cannot avoid touching on concepts and stories that are politically charged. As an example, I compose the “Whispers and Warnings” column each week. As part of this, I search the web for news and intriguing current events related to publishing. Do a Google News search on “Libel.” You’ll find story after story about Stormy Daniels. Now search for “Defamation.” You’ll get story after story about Donald Trump. It’s been like that since 2015. Let’s try something different – like “First Amendment.” You get two choices – universities preventing conservative students from speaking in common areas, or the news media claiming that the President has no right to criticize them.

I almost never use these types of stories because, no matter what, someone is going to react with the “vapors” over the fact that we would present such an offensive piece. But, occasionally, I do present stories that I believe are socially relevant. For instance, regardless of which side you lean, our First Amendment is absolutely vital to the United States remaining a free nation. So, I pick up stories on free speech. However, inevitably I’ll get an angry email from someone who thinks I’m picking a side in the argument because the news story (or my commentary) doesn’t conform to THEIR position on the subject.

Here’s my point. First and foremost WritersWeekly and BookLocker are businesses. We are not publishing a political e-rag, nor do we use our online presence to try to convert readers to one side of the political spectrum or the other. So, we keep it down the middle. If we don’t take up your particular political position on a subject, that doesn’t mean we are taking the other side. It means we aren’t taking a public political stand on the new stories we are sharing. We prefer to simply show you the facts, and let you decide for yourself how to feel about them.

WritersWeekly is 21 years old. Until today, right here in this sentence, we have never used the words Republican or Democrat in any article we have written.

Sure, we like to present provocative stories. And, we might occasionally include a personal remark. But, those remarks don’t lean one political way or the other. Rather, they call attention to either the importance of a particular issue, or the ridiculousness of it.

I have to go now. The Kavanaugh hearing attendees just got back from lunch!

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Brian Whiddon is the Managing Editor of WritersWeekly.com and the Operations Manager at BookLocker.com. Brian is an Army vet and former police officer, and spent several years chained to a desk, commuting Tampa's congested roadways, working in corporate management and training, while writing in his spare time. He is now an author, blogger, and NRA-certified firearms instructor. Brian lives and works aboard his 36-foot sailboat, the “Floggin’ Molly” in St. Petersburg, Florida. He calls her his "rescue boat" that he found abandoned in a boat yard and rebuilt himself - fulfilling a dream he had to one day live aboard. Brian no longer commutes, and has donated all his business slacks, collared shirts, and ties to Goodwill. You can follow Brian on Facebook.





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7 Responses to "Despite a Few Readers’ Accusations, WritersWeekly is NOT a Political E-Rag! by Brian Whiddon, Managing Editor"

  1. ethel.geary@att.net  October 3, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    I’ve been following you guys for about 20 years, I’ve never been sure where you stood on politics or social issues. I look forward to each weeks presentation for enlightenment.

    When I was in business I was a political activist and wore my politics on my sleeve or plastered on my wall. It caused some of my customers and my attorney to comment, “I don’t know how you stay in business.” Simple, I offered the best job at the best price of anyone in town. I never activated a political conversation with a client. It was up to them where we went on that. Those who brought it up were interested, polite and non-threatening But that was a different world.

    Today I am retired, but I no longer feel free to speak my mind in business or my private life, I don’t put signs on the wall, the cars, the front yard, I don’t chair campaigns. I do talk politics if someone 1) raises an issue, or 2) ticks me off – but that’s my choice at 82 yrs and I carry a very heavy cane. It is sad we cannot share our opinions without riots, destruction and malicious criticism..

    Keep up the good work.

  2. sileaine@telus.net  October 1, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    Brian, though I suspect our politics and religious beliefs differ, I suspect our primary values are similar. FWIW, in the years I’ve subscribed to Booklocker I don’t recall being offended or off-put by anything Angela or any of her crew has ‘said’.

    Sláinte,

    Julia

    • Reply From Brian  October 4, 2018 at 9:50 am

      That is such a good point. I think what a lot of people are forgetting (or refusing to accept) is that regardless of which side of the political debate we each may fall on, so many of us share very basic values that are rooted in decency, honesty, and concern for our fellow human beings. Unfortunately, we are letting some very out of touch, very elite people tell us that “those people” on the other side are NOT human. The direction we are taking in this country is not a good one.

  3. dougofbluffs@gmail.com  September 28, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Good. I’m glad you hold your ground. My first book was published by you and the subject matter is Christianity. Thank you for being open minded and accepting.

    • Reply from Brian  September 28, 2018 at 12:20 pm

      Thank very much you for your support. It means a lot.
      Unfortunately, even this article caused someone to fire off an angry email because I used the phrase “bible thumper.” As a practicing Christian myself, I’ve been called that – and a whole lot worse over my faith. It wasn’t meant as an insult, but a very real illustration of various accusations we receive.
      I guess there truly is no way to please everyone.

  4. editor@inklingbooks.com  September 28, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Good points. While politics and social issues certainly matter, many of us grow tired of attempts to politicize everything from sports to shoes to authoring and publishing. Leave politics to the political arena, focusing only on maintaining the freedoms that all writers need.

  5. km_lombardi-ww@yahoo.com  September 28, 2018 at 8:03 am

    Bravo! Thanks for staying apolitical in our increasingly divided society.