Democrat was wrong
To what extent should human beings feel obligated to shield one another from emotional harm? Is our society shunning that responsibility in favor of perpetuating blame, judgment and unsubstantiated gossip? Is there a growing number of people today who take pleasure in others’ misfortune, or has malice been innate to human nature all along?
Perhaps I feel that the number of insensitive people is too large because of the enormous heartache the Brumley family recently suffered.
Three days after twenty-year-old Ryan Alan Brumley passed away due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident, The Daily Democrat published a front-page story, in which Ryan was referred to as “An intoxicated Pauls Valley driver of a stolen vehicle...”
No reporter or law official had conducted any interviews in the effort of discerning the facts surrounding Ryan’s death.
The life of an intelligent, kind, ambitious young man had been lost merely hours before, and no precautions were taken to protect his family from further pain.
Yes, he made a poor decision, taking a vehicle that didn’t belong to him, but rather to a woman whose family he had been an integral part of for more than two years, a woman he was very close with and loved — not a stranger; this was no arbitrary auto theft.
Secondly, he had not been attending a “party,” as the article stated.
Ryan was indeed fallible, as all humans are, but in the scope of his entire life, his faults were overwhelmingly outnumbered by the excellent qualities of his nature, and his flawed deeds seemed as nothing in comparison to actions he took out of love and a desire to better himself.
Certainly, The Democrat has an obligation to remain objective, and so the article could not have gushed about our community’s loss of a future pilot, a young man who would do anything for anyone without ever being asked or wanting thanks.
Had Ryan survived, he would have sorely regretted his neglect of others’ safety when he chose to drink and drive; he was always one to admit when he was wrong and strive to become a better person.
He was sometimes reserved, always honest and searingly witty. He was armed with a talent to recognize when others needed help and the energy to tend to the business of helping them — everyone he knew, and many he didn’t.
No, it is a journalist’s job to maintain objectivity, and so The Democrat could not have printed these things about Ryan.
But it could have refrained from printing the things it did — out of a sense of obligation from one human to another to protect them from emotional harm.
The community newspaper exists to benefit its community. Who did that front-page story, with its loaded language of lack of detail, benefit? Who did it hurt?
and Timmy Brumley
and Jake Tobey
Steven and Donna Ledbetter
Gorden and Maria Pinkerton
Rev. Charles Ledbetter
Editor’sNote: Two of the names on this letter to the editor were not legible and were omitted. All information and details in the aforementioned news stories were provided to the Democrat by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
Democrat was wrong
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