Hyperbole, used intentionally to exaggerate an opinion, should never be taken as fact; neither should the opinion expressed leave any doubt in the readers mind as to the image that the writer is trying to paint.
As an editor, I write opinions knowing they will not be universally accepted. Some readers will agree with those opinions — some will not. That does not mean, in my opinion, that one point of view is “absolutely correct” or “absolutely incorrect” — it simply means that most human beings have developed their own opinions that will vary based on their experiences in life.
In a recent editorial opinion, written by me, I expressed dissatisfaction with the behavior of a man who holds a high public office in the community where I was born, raised, educated, and make my living. In my opinion, I believe that the high public office commands a certain amount of respect; which has to be earned.
I believe that behavior which simulates titillating exotic dancing – in public – by the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners is not well advised. I would have the same opinion if the person were a judge, or the sheriff, or director of a daycare center, or the Superintendent of Schools.
For what it’s worth, I reached out to another public official today for their opinion. They told me that they have received similar invitations in the past and, out of respect for their office, they politely declined.
I also spent nearly an hour on the telephone with two readers who were offended by the way that I expressed my opinion. Not that they agreed or disagreed with the main opinion I was trying to express; but rather because I used overreaching hyperbole that was confused to mean I held a callus attitude towards women who suffer from cancer.
Nothing could be further from the truth. I intended to separate my positive impression of the non-profit Art Breakers organization from my negative impression of the commissioner’s behavior. For that matter, the efforts of the STaR Council and others to generate donations to benefit Art Breakers is commendable and neither group was ever intended to be the subject of the editorial.
I did a poor job of satire, I did a poor job of separating my objections from my support, but, I did an excellent job of stimulating discussion and motivating others to express their agreement or disagreement with my opinion — which was also an objective.
For those I offended, please accept my apology. I would have used a different writing style had I been writing a news article — just the facts, ma’am. I will make improvements in my editorial writing style, which will probably remain unpolished; but will do a better job to paint images with a little narrower brush.
Thanks for reading, thanks for your comments.
Michael Gold, Editor
Historic City News