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Don't shoot the messenger!

Posted Tuesday, August 5, 2008, at 10:17 AM

As I write this, we've gotten more than 230 story comments on the Tyson / Eid al-Fitr story. That doesn't count the comments I've had to delete because of profanity, ethnic slurs or what have you.

It's my estimation that the first 80 or 100 comments were mostly local and that the comments since that time have been mostly (but not entirely) from out of town, since various blogs and web sites started linking to the story.

We've also gotten a large number of messages from people who clicked the "send editor comment" link, which sends an e-mail to a couple of contacts within the newsroom. This feature is intended for reader feedback more than for political opinions, and when people send us political comments using this feature we're never quite sure what to do with them, especially if they are sent anonymously and there's no way for us to respond.

Anyway, here's an excerpt from one of those "send editor comment" messages:

I will never buy another Tyson product and if I subscribed to your publication I would cancel it post haste.

I don't quite understand what the reference to "your publication" is all about. Do they think that, because we reported the story, we had any role in making the decision? The message was left anonymously, so we have no way of clarifying the situation.

It wouldn't be the first time a reader got confused and blamed us for a situation that we were only reporting.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

I will never buy another Tyson product, but as you stated-you were just reporting the story. As I understand some of the comments, some of the employees of Tyson were not aware of this decision and certainly the general public was not aware until your paper reported it. Thanks for informing the public!

-- Posted by mkookoo on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 10:40 AM

Mr. Carney:

Prepare for even more comments. The story is currently mentioned near the top of Foxnews.com



-- Posted by jcalahan on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 10:43 AM

John, I'm sorry the newsroom is taking slack for the story. All Brian did was his job, telling the citizens what is going on in our town.

Instead of emailing the editor of the paper, we should be standing outside tyson's gates in protest. Anybody doing anything important September 1st (Labor Day)?

So Brian, John, and all the T-G staff, please try not to take it too hard when 1 or 2 people fly off the handle and take their anger out on everyone in their path. They may or may not have the right to be angry, but those emotions should be toward the ones deserving of the anger.

-- Posted by craftin_mom on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 2:46 PM

I read the blog on Fox News...it said that if you are not in the Union that you will get the Labor Day pay...That the ones that are in the Union will not have Labor Day as a paid Holiday...Have I read it right ????

-- Posted by rebelrose on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 8:24 PM

I do not believe Labor Day should be done away with. If the Union feels it is necessary to give the Muslim people their own holiday, then so be it. Add it and give the worker the right to choose which they want to take off. I have just recently purchased a home in Shelbyville and plan to move there soon. We choose Shelbyville because of the "small town America" feel; I take this as a slap in the face.

-- Posted by In Memphis on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 9:01 PM

Why has the company taken away a federal holiday to replace it with a religious holiday? It would seem fairer to let the Somalis take their holiday whenever they want it and work on Christmas Day. Then other employees could take the Christmas holiday and work the day the Samalis are off. That wouldn't mess with the national holiday - Labor Day. Oops! I forgot that they didn't ask me for an opinion.

-- Posted by bettyhbrown on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 10:48 AM


They couldn't make it that simple. This is a factory.

They want to keep the lines running at all cost and I mean ALL COST! That keeps money going into their pockets. I worked for a factory 10 plus yrs. The company I worked for paid double time for any holiday if we had to work and gave us a personal day to take at a later date. That's 3 days pay for one holiday. I thought they were bad, I was wrong!

-- Posted by Disgusted on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 5:14 PM

Reporting a touchy subject like this is difficult.Some will take things out of context,or try to lay blame wherever they can.The story has to be told,and I think it's being done quite well.

-- Posted by blulitespecial on Thu, Aug 7, 2008, at 6:16 PM

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John I. Carney is city editor of the Times-Gazette.
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