Opinion: “The Gazette’s Love Affair with Dick Polman?”

Try to get a column printed in the Chillicothe Gazette. You’ll find it’s not the easiest thing to accomplish. Sometimes you’ll have a column rejected because you use the wrong term. I had one rejected because I used the term “Wuhan virus” instead of the acceptable term “coronavirus”. It was published once I made the change. Also there are strict limits on length, unless it is a point that the Gazette wants to make. Then the limit isn’t applied.

So it can be hard to get your thoughts printed in the Chillicothe Gazette. That is unless your name is Dick Polman!

Dick Polman seems to have no problem getting his columns printed. He has had three printed in less than three weeks! So why the “love affair” with Dick Polman’s columns? Is it because Dick is “Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania”? Is it because Dick writes thoughtful, academic pieces making well thought out points? Or is there some other reason? So let’s look at key parts of those columns to see:

August 27: “Given how dangerous Donald Trump truly is, how cavalier he is about torching the Constitution and tallying American casualties, it’s probably a darn good thing he’s stone-cold stupid.”

September 12: “Here’s a pop quiz. Which of these rash acts is the stupidest? a) Frying your hand in cooking oil b) Breaking your thumb with a hammer c) Swimming laps in a polluted river d)Volunteering to be Donald Trump’s guinea pig”

September 16: “But while fully armed with foreknowledge about COVID-19, he (Donald Trump) has now shot and killed 190,000.”

While I’ve picked short segments of each column, they are representative of the tone and message of each. There seems to be one message in each: “Donald Trump is bad. How could you vote for him?”

So why does the Chillicothe Gazette have such a “love affair” with Dick and his columns. Is it because Dick is a Ross County resident wanting to share his thoughts? Is it because his columns are well thought out academic pieces? (That’s something you might expect from the “Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania”.) Are his columns funny? Will they help solve a societal problem? Are they columns that will make our political discourse more civil? Do his columns reflect the opinions of the majority of residents in the Gazette’s subscribers distribution area? (The Ross County presidential election results for 2016 were: Trump – 18,652 and Clinton – 10,356).

None of those seem to apply to Dick Polman’s columns. So why does the Chillicothe Gazette print so many of them? Could it be because each one of them “bad mouths” President Trump and attempts to get you to vote him out of office?

Is this what we expect from the local paper that we subscribe to and advertise in? You might want to let the Gazette and Dick Polman’s employer know your thoughts.

You can write to the editor of the Gazette at: Editor; Chillicothe Gazette; 50 W. Main Street; Chillicothe, OH 45601.

You can write to the president of the University of Pennsylvania at: Amy Gutmann; President; University of Pennsylvania; Collage Hall, Room 100; Philadelphia, PA 19104

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