Last week, The Southampton Press ran a negative and misleading editorial titled “Turning A Corner” [September 24]. In addition to asserting that our campaign ads were somehow “misleading,” when they were all fully based in fact and well-sourced, the editorial branded one of our mailers as the campaign’s “nadir,” claiming it was a “sophomoric” doctoring of a photograph of Zach Epley to make him appear 50 pounds heavier.
That photo, however, was not doctored whatsoever. The image of Zach Epley was copied directly from the Epley-Allan photo on their campaign website, a fact easily confirmed by comparing the mailer photo to the Epley campaign photo. They are exactly the same.
Furthermore, considering that Joe has dealt with a serious disability his entire life, he would never have signed off on mocking someone’s physical appearance.
Where The Southampton Press editorial board heard this silly accusation, why they believed it when the evidence of its fraudulence was easily available, and why they ran with it before seeking comment or clarification from either of us would all seem to fly in the face of good journalistic practice.
Given all this, we requested a retraction. Sadly, The Southampton Press refused, despite us presenting clear evidence of the falsities contained in the editorial.
We were looking forward to a fresh start with The Southampton Press, post-election, as its coverage had been lopsided in favor of the opposition these last few months. The fact that the first item The Press chose to run about us after this historic election was not only sharply negative but based on a blatant lie was disappointing to say the least.
As longtime residents, we have both also been avid readers of this paper, and we respect The Press as the paper of record here in the village. Now, as duly elected village officials, our goal is to build a better working relationship going forward for the sake of the village. We feel we have been given a real mandate for change, and we will make every effort to keep The Press informed of our plans to improve the village for all residents.
All we ask in return is a fair chance to comment on any claims, allegations or attacks lodged against us before they are run in the paper — and a timely retraction when the paper gets something wrong. We believe that is the way journalism and politics are supposed to work.
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One fine body…