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Stevens County Times Editorial: T-shirt offensive

A T-shirt that was sold at Walmart until recently. Reuters photo through NPR.

In the past several days various news media outlets have reported that Walmart has pulled this T-shirt off its stores across America. Thank you Walmart for recognizing this is a disgusting T-shirt.

Yes. A newspaper, even in small town Stevens County, is offended by such a shirt. The shirt's message is that journalists can or should be lynched. The T-shirt reads: Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required.

Any newspaper should be offended by a T-shirt that seems to find humor in suggesting the journalists should be lynched.

We may not be the New York Times or the Washington Post here in Stevens County but we are part of a brotherhood of folks who daily present the news.

A fundamental freedom in America is freedom of the press. Countries or leaders in countries which seek to undermine that freedom or regulate it or control it are countries in which the people suffer. Here are a few examples where a lack of freedom of the press nearly destroyed a country: Germany under Hitler or Rwanda as progranda and leaders controlled the press in the 1990s and its impact lingers today.

Contrary to all the swirling talk about 'media elite' or 'fake news' the day-to-day news the public receives is not produced by fakers, elitists and folks hell bent on destroying this country. It's the opposite.

Whether we share stories about our city council or your neighbor next door, our job is to report it accurately, as completely as possible and to inform you. We want you to learn about a council's action or how your neighbor maintained a friendship with a foreign exchange student over the years.

We have a problem with the T-shirt. We'd like to think most of the public does too. If not, we'd suggest you substitute these words for journalist: lawyer, farmer, truck driver etc..

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