Dear Mr. Tate:
We are writing to you to express our deepest disappointment with the June 26, 2012 issue of the Pine Bluff Commercial. It was truly a statement of the priority placed by today’s media on the “newsworthy” items in our day-to-day lives. A small (approximately 1” tall by 1.5” wide) picture of Michael Strachota appeared at the top of the front page. Upon his death, a member of the military who we (and many others) consider to be a hero to our country has his picture displayed on the front page while at the center of the same page is a much larger (approximately 6” tall by 8” wide) picture of a person who was standing trial for and later convicted of murder.
You need to reflect on your priorities. Yes, we know and appreciate the fact that other pictures of Michael were placed on the continuation of the article on page 3 of the paper. But we are talking about the front page. These pictures were the first impression on everyone when they picked up this issue of the Commercial. It was proudly displayed in all of your newsstands with these pictures leaping from the front page.
You should be ashamed, as Michael’s sacrifice for his country deserves better. To the Strachota family, we would like to extend our deepest sympathy for the loss of their loved one. In addition, we would like to thank them for Michael’s proud service to our country. To the Pine Bluff Commercial, we say, “Shame on you.”
Jimmy Dill and Mac Norton