Airport official unhappy with coverage

To the Editor,

It is ironic that the column titled “A little common sense” decrying those who believe the wildest things from the Internet appears beside the editorial “Stop fighting over the NHS.” I suggest you alter the column to include the wildest things you see in The Mount Airy News.

For two years, I have abided the reporting about the airport which your paper passes off as news. You have vilified me on the front page with little regard for the facts or for balanced coverage. Most of the time it can be passed off as, “Well, you know, it’s The Mount Airy News.” Sunday’s editorial is worse than normal.

Bush-league? Really? How would you know? There has only been one Authority meeting in ten years at which a reporter from your paper was present. Had you been at the meetings, you might know the facts.

Mr. Venable was not “banned from the airport.” He was told he couldn’t run a business at the airport unless he followed the same rules as everyone else.

The facts are, Mr. Hicks wasn’t singled out for his opinions or who he supported. Mr. Hicks recklessly spray painted his aircraft and damaged three other airplanes in the process. Then, he throws mud on everyone else to try to change the story. And you guys help him out by prominently featuring his unproven allegations.

You make Mr. Hicks sound noble when you say, “He resigned from his post after that first controversy emerged…” True nobility is demonstrated by taking responsibility for one’s actions. The facts are, Mr. Hicks has consistently done whatever he could to avoid judgment, whether by withdrawing law suits minutes before court begins, filing frivolous court actions or resigning before being fired.

The courts have not found Mr. Hicks’ story to be persuasive. Despite that, you proclaim in your editorial that you “understand Hicks’ anger and frustration.” and the Authority is being “petty and vindictive.”

How is it you are a better judge of the facts than the NC District Court or the NC Court of Appeals?

For those who read your paper, you would provide a more accurate perspective by noting with every story about the Hicks’ suits how many tens of thousands of dollars Mr. Hicks has paid you for advertising. The facts should always matter-even for The Mount Airy News.

John Springthorpe

Mount Airy

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