I love our readers. Both those who read us every day in our print edition, as well as those who come here to DelcoTimes.com for their daily fill of Delco news.
Of course, our online readers get to do something that print readers do not. We engage them online by letting them comment on every story we post on our site.
It can be an eye-opening experience. I highly recommend it, especially if you've ever considered being a newspaper editor.
There are certain themes that hold court in much of the commentary posted to DelcoTimes.com. One is race. Another is politics.
Then there is the belief by many of our readers that the Daily Times is a left-wing rag. Several of our most well-known commenters take us to task every day for what they feel is our liberal bent. They are convinced we tilt to the left, and we use our news coverage to spin the news that way.
One of my favorite commenters uses the handle 'LibsAreCommies.' Not much doubt about where he stands.
I can take it. It goes with the territory. But I have to admit I'm a little sensitive when falsely accused.
As many commenters continue to lament, our former lead columnist Gil Spencer is no longer with the paper. No, he was not forced out by the so-called "liberal" editor. It was Gil's decision to leave, not mine.
I have taken the opportunity to expand the voices in the paper. We now have three featured columnists. Our latest addition was unveiled Sunday. Christine Flowers is an attorney who lives here in Delco. She's also a first-rate columnist whose sentiments have appeared in the Philadelphia Daily News for years. Nobody has ever accused Christine of being a liberal. Until we ran the story in Friday's paper and online announcing her weekly column would start on Sunday.
The comments started as soon as the story was posted. To get a feel for them, click here and then scroll down to the bottom of the story.
I'm sure these people have never read anything Christine has written. They just couldn't wait to take another shot at the 'liberal' Daily Times.
For the record, both Christine and Chris Freind would like be defined as conservative columnists. That's especially true for Christine. On the flip side, it's true that our other new voice, Jodine Mayberry, would likely be labeled liberal.
The truth is I don't really care about left or right, conservative or liberal. What I want from these three columnists is the same thing I wanted from Gil Spencer. I want people who have something to say.
That didn't stop one reader from lambasting the Flowers' choice, pointing out: "Columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News? Immigration lawyer? Wonder where this is heading ... More to the left is my guess. Poor, poor Daily Times. The sun is setting on you."
Once several commenters responded to clear up any misconception of Christine being liberal, another of our daily voices, 'DaisyDukes' chimed in. "This doesn't change the fact that it's a liberal Rag." Thanks, Daisy.
It calls to mind a feature that the late, great Daily News columnist Chuck Stone used to employ once in awhile. He would run letters from his readers with this intro, "And the angels sing...."
Welcome, Christine. I think you're going to be a tremendous addition. Can't wait to read your stuff.
But beware the comments online!