DISPENSING RUMORS - January 12,
My pastor said that he would like to see the Good News spread
as fast as rumors.
I heard a speaker tell of a doctor in his town, who it was
told, was suffering from cancer. His patients had their records
changed to another doctor. The truth was that during a recent
check up, the X-ray machine had a malfunction, and he had to
return for a new series of tests. A co-worker had assumed the
worst and spread the word . . .
Another example from the same speaker. A young woman who was
a bank employee, was seen coming out of a bar late one night.
Someone saw her and reported it to her employer. She almost lost
her job, until the truth came out. She was on her way home from
a shower for a close friend and had car trouble. She had stopped
in the bar to call her father for help . . .
The “Press” is routinely accused of telling situations before
the truth is known. This happens about world situations, in
Iraq, and, yes, even in a coal mine explosion. News is about
people, whether it is one person or 12 coal miners.
The Calhoun Chronicle is a publication that cares about
people. We do not believe in infringing on a person’s right to
privacy in times of tragedy. We will not stand back and take
photos of an elderly woman climbing the hill to a church
candlelight vigil. We will put away the camera, take her arm and
help her up the hill. But, if something happens that will be a
matter of public record, we will not keep it from the readers.
Edmond de Cancourt, a French writer who died in 1896, once
wrote, “People don’t like the true and simple. They like fairy
tales and humbug.” One hundred and ten years later, those words
Two hundred and fifty years ago, the poet, Alexander Pope,
wrote about rumors:
“The flying rumor gathered as it rolled
And all who told it added something new,
And all who heard it added enlargements too;
In every ear it spread,
On every tongue it grew.”
When we hear news, good or bad, let us not jump to
conclusions, but seek the source. This will keep us from
spreading rumors, and lead us to truth.