Lee Jackson Day vs. MLK Jr. Day
News 7 received a few complaints from viewers regarding our coverage of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. They felt we covered too many MLK events, basically that it was overkill. They also felt we didn't cover enough Lee Jackson Day celebrations. The implication is News 7 favors MLK Jr. Day over Lee Jackson Day.
Lee Jackson Day continues to be a controversial holiday. Some feel those who celebrate it are racist. News 7 hasn't taken a stance, nor would we. No one at News 7 has ever said we can't or won't cover Lee Jackson Day celebrations. In fact, we reported on Lee Jackson events Friday and Saturday in Lexington and then another event in Roanoke several days later. Overall, it is true we covered more MLK Jr. Day events than Lee Jackson. Why? Simply put, I think it's because more communities hold MLK Jr. events than Lee Jackson events. There is no conspiracy on the news media's part.
I also received a few complaints about my coverage about the Confederate flag controversy in Lexington. Last Friday, Sons of Confederate veterans lined the streets of Lexington to protest the city's new flag ordinance. We interviewed several Sons of Confederate veterans as well as a shop owner who defended their right to fly the Confederate flag in Lexington. I also interviewed a Lexington resident who basically called the Sons of Confederate veterans racist. Needless to say, some Sons of Confederate veterans weren't happy I aired that interview. The reality is Americans are still debating the cause of the Civil War 150 years later. Some feel it was about state rights, others feel it was about slavery. My job as a journalist is not to take sides. My job is to present all sides. I make no apologizes for interviewing the man who called the Sons of Confederate veterans racist. I think if you watched the piece as whole, it was pretty balanced.
I end with this thought. Can't we put an end to this Confederate flag controversy? The Civil War happened 150 years ago. It is time to move on. What's the solution? I'm not sure but I am tired of hearing about it.