Dear Editor:

It looks like The Daily Times has decided to become the Blount County censor by not publishing the Opinion page. I thought freedom of speech was part of our right as Americans, and if you refuse to print it, how are we supposed to know what is being said. Is your next move to march across the bridge to the library and start burning books you think are too controversial for Blount County citizens to read?

I find your decision an insult to my intelligence. How am I supposed to know different points of view if you refuse to publish them? I have no problem reading an opinion piece I don't agree with. Often it solidifies my own thoughts and it never hurts to know the mindset of others.

They say that "ignorance is bliss," therefore Blount County must be a blissful place now that you are keeping us ignorant. We do not need The Daily Times treating us like babies. If you are afraid to publish pieces you think might be too controversial for us, I am sure there are other papers available that do not treat their readers like idiots. You say you might reinstate the page after the election — which one? What makes this election so different?

Your decision is more of a threat to democracy than the opinion columnists. As long as all "sides" are presented in an equal measure, you are fulfilling the duty of a newspaper. Maybe it is time for The Daily Times to bring in their sign and let another newspaper take over to provide Blount County with the news. There will always be controversy. We do not need a newspaper that censors voices.

You already have managed to take a day of coverage from Blount Countians by eliminating a paper on Saturdays. Since I paid you a year in advance for what you said was a paper coming seven days a week, I figure you owe me a refund for at least 40 papers I will no longer be receiving.

Linda Marcus

Tipton Loop Road

Maryville

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