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Your Views: Why let John Eyster throw final-hour election bomb at Mike Sheridan?

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August 13, 2014

Candidates in local elections have been aware for months that Janesville Gazette editors were not going to write endorsements prior to Tuesday's primary election.

None of those candidates, however, could have predicted or prepared for the election-eve incendiary device The Gazette chose to lob Saturday into the 15th Senate District Democratic primary race.

John Eyster's last-minute, anybody-but-Sheridan blog was as journalistically unprofessional as anything The Gazette could have allowed on one of its platforms. The ooze of Mr. Eyster's unprincipled, unchecked diatribe has slithered over The Gazette's editorial department, calling into question the entire newspaper's election-cycle ethics.

It's one thing to repeatedly allow Mr. Eyster to put himself above acceptable usage of the English language by refusing to edit his constant misuse of grammar and inexplicable over-use of capital letters. Gazette editors Saturday allowed the platform to fall further into the gutter-realm of Internet trolls by sanctioning Mr. Eyster's use of crass and boorish double entendre.

Style points aside, The Gazette shamefully authorized a character assassination of a candidate just three days prior to the election. Endorsements by most reputable newspapers are based on candidate interviews with professional reporters or editors. Mr. Eyster admitted not knowing enough about the candidates to write a proper endorsement of Janis Ringhand or Austin Scieszinski. Still, Mr. Eyster was permitted some 500 words on The Gazette platform to tear down Mike Sheridan's candidacy based on questions Mr. Sheridan has answered with dignity, honesty and humility when asked by true journalism professionals.

DOUG WELCH

Milton



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