A Sad Day for Angelina County

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Note from the Editor:
We received the following Op/Ed piece from Bob Flournoy in response to the Lufkin Daily News editorial titled, ‘That’s All Folks,’ published on October 9, 2021, stating the newspaper would no longer be a forum for misinformation about Covid-19, mask mandates, and the vaccine. While TFCL is usually a place to find lifestyle and event articles for our area, and since the Lufkin Daily News has not responded to Flournoy’s request to print his piece, we are placing it here for you to read and share in the hopes that good journalism will soon prevail.

This is a sad day for Angelina County, Texas!  Our hometown newspaper has just set itself up as the arbiter of what free speech it will allow or disallow in its newspaper.  Lufkin Daily News has declared that it will monitor and refuse to print any opinion or facts about Covid-19 or masks or vaccinations that it, in its sole judgment, believes is misinformation.

In its editorial of October 9, 2021, it not only condemns speech it disagrees with, but celebrates punishment for those that have a different opinion.  They wholeheartedly profess that those who do not get vaccinated or obey a mask mandate for their children, should lose their jobs and “good riddance” (their words). 

An institution that once was revered as a beacon of freedom, that no longer honors the first amendment right to free speech, should not call itself a newspaper. The science is far from settled on the efficacy of the vaccines, masks or alternate remedies.There are many legitimate reasons why people oppose or question the vaccine and mask mandates over natural immunity. Their opinions or decisions may be based on medical or scientific information, religious belief or personal bias, but I thought in America, the US Constitution Bill of Rights guaranteed the right to disagree. The paper’s editorial seems proud of itself to stand in false authority as the expert on the issues surrounding this pandemic. Its holy stance against information that it deems “dangerous rhetoric”, “nonsense” or “hogwash”, is itself dangerous. 

No one should trust the paper to decide what we can see or hear. Many of the newspaper’s subscribers will accept their invitation to “Don’t let the door hit you in the body part out of which you prefer to talk” (it’s words).

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