Are Arlington Voice readers curmudgeons? This former mayor thinks so

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - 4:46pm

Are you a critic or a curmudgeon? You might be if you read the Arlington Voice, according to a former Arlington mayor.

In his weekly op-ed column published in the Star-Telegram on Sunday, Richard Greene – former mayor of Arlington from 1987 to 1997 – took an indirect jab at Arlington Voice readers.

In opining over the City’s new logo, Mr. Greene mentions that activity on Facebook was almost all positive, “except for one site that has a history of attracting some of the city’s critics and curmudgeons.”

Mr. Greene followed this with several quotes from comments taken directly from the Arlington Voice Facebook page.

A curmudgeon – defined by the Oxford Dictionary – is a bad-tempered or surly person.

Mr. Greene recently spoke to the Downtown Rotary Club about the City's new logo. It was during this meeting that Mr. Greene first read off several comments from the Arlington Voice Facebook page. Likely because of the presence of the publisher of the Arlington Voice, he had to tell the audience the comments were from the Arlington Voice.

Mr. Greene didn’t extend that same professional courtesy to his Star-Telegram audience, however.

The Arlington Voice reaches as many as 50,000 people each month through its website. That doesn’t include the number of people it reaches through social media. For years, the Arlington Voice has worked hard to remain an independent, free-thinking news publication. Because of this, it boasts an audience spanning the entire political spectrum.

Our audience cares about objectivity. We carefully review and scrub articles of any statements that could be misunderstood as taking a side. If a news report contains even the slightest amount of bias, our readers will let us know.

Of course -- like "traditional" newspapers -- we have always shared our opinions through the opinion section of this website. And yes, it features mostly conservative points-of-view. But even then, if our readers don't agree with something we've published, they're welcome to submit a Letter to the Editor. We have never hidden this fact. We have also never censored any comments because of their point of view -- unlike what we caught the city doing.

Maybe it's not that Arlington Voice readers are critics or curmudgeons. Maybe it's that a large swath of our audience shares ideas of fiscal conservatism and common sense -- two non-existent theories at City Hall.

But we will say this to Mr. Greene directly:

We think it's better to be a critic or curmudgeon than a boot-licker.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Arlington Voice publisher Zack Maxwell is a member of the Downtown Rotary Club.

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