Regrets, and a change

October 30, 2014 by Brad McElhinny

The point of view of The Charleston Daily Mail’s editorial page is conservative.

It’s the kind of conservative that believes in the power of the individual. That is, each individual has the possibility to flourish, succeed and prosper.

That’s why it was so disheartening to see the careless words of one of our own editorial writers describing a young man whose life ended tragically too soon.

Writing on his own personal blog, Don Surber discussed the tense race-related situation in Ferguson Missouri. He selected words that were unfortunate, inflammatory and, in our view, indefensible.

It’s his own blog, but still, he’s known as a Daily Mail editorial columnist and many readers seemed to perceive the views stated to reflect on the Daily Mail’s editorial policy.

They don’t. And this newspaper is working to rebuild the community’s trust.

As of this week, Mr. Surber is no longer employed by the Daily Mail. While his sometimes controversial and caustic columns were noted by many readers, few readers realize the in-depth institutional knowledge and substantial contributions he made during his 30 year career here.

We thank him for his service and we wish Mr. Surber good luck.

And we wish for readers to continue to look to and trust the Daily Mail for informed commentary on conservative causes such as limited government, fiscal responsibility, free enterprise and individual rights.

15 Responses to “Regrets, and a change”

  1. Laura says:

    Bravo…these kinds of statements can’t be tolerated anywhere in public discourse, especially not within the context of a newspaper and its editorial writers. Conservative should not equal racist…sadly it often does.

  2. glibglub says:

    Depressing to see that some think this firing is an infringement of Mr. Surber’s First Amendment rights. Do they think the Daily Mail is a branch of the federal government?

    • Murr says:

      The federal government didn’t fire Surber, his private employer did. As far as the federal government is concerned, Surber is free to sit in his room typing away all of his Great Thoughts. This is the free enterprise system at it’s finest, and Surber just felt the invisible Hand of the Marketplace smack him on the ass.

  3. Longtime Reader says:

    Good explanation Brad and certainly no apologies necessary. For many years now, Surber rarely wrote about local or state issues. What he did write about in recent years was neither insightful or thought-provoking but typical partisan banter. I still long for the days of reading excellent columns about local and state issues by the likes of Grimes, Anderson, Marsh, Chilton and Haught. Surber may have once tried but he abandoned the standard set by these local columnist years ago.

  4. Danny Jones says:

    I liked Don. He covered me when I was Sheriff and wrote a negative column about me recently challenging my loyalty to the GOP. The criticism was legitimate and I didn’t take it personally. His writings about the deceased man in Ferguson, MO were hard to defend and his termination was unavoidable. I wish Don well.

  5. Don Surber Supporter says:

    I’m sorry you’ve done this. Free speech is not just a 1st amendment protection from the government; it is a social norm. When the easily offended get people they don’t want to listen to fired, even when those thoughts are expressed outside the work environment, people will be hesitant to express any thoughts. Eric Holder’s “Nation of Cowards” has arrived.

  6. glibglub says:

    Mr. Surber remains free to speak elsewhere. The Daily Mail remains free to dissociate itself. Folks remain free to express mistaken conclusions in this space and in the country at large.

  7. Hypographia says:

    Oh, I’m sure Fox News will snatch Don up; he’s right up their alley.

  8. Rober Rayser says:

    Considering the source, I view this apology as insincere damage control.

  9. bob says:

    What makes me wonder … Who edited the column in question? Nobody?
    An editor worth his or her salt would have challenged the writer on his choice of words. That obviously didn’t happen.

  10. SusanC says:

    Thank you, Mr. McIlhenny, for making a difficult decision and meeting its inevitable criticism with courage and integrity. Some things simply must be done. I appreciate your courage.

  11. SusanC says:

    Correction: sorry I misspelled your name.

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