Editor’s note: The following is a response to an ad by an electrician in this week's edition of The Westfield Leader. The ad, for smoke alarm installation, references the fire that killed 19-year-old Jake Tooley Monday. Since this letter was published, Publisher Horice Corbin has issued a public apology on the paper's website, www.goleader.com.
I know the Leader will be flooded today — rightfully so — by letters, so I will keep mine short and to the point. Though I believe in First Amendment, allowing the ad from Swenson and Son to run this week was not only offensive but incredibly insulting. Hasn’t the family suffered enough without its hometown newspaper allowing (albeit unintended ignorance, hopefully, or they are just evil people) an ad to run accusing them of some kind of fault?
As a longtime resident and someone who knows the family and sat with the thousand plus at one of the hardest funerals I have ever attended, I was nauseous seeing this ad printed. I expect an apology to the family from both Swenson (who clearly NOBODY in WESTFIELD will ever use again) and The Leader, which knows better. Did nobody proof read the ad? Somehow I doubt it, and ultimately management at the paper took the money and hoped nobody would notice.
But guess what, we all did.
Shame on you both.