Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: ‘Drunk’ disrespectful

September 11, 2017


To the editor:

This letter is in protest of rude reporting on the front page of the Sept. 6 Journal-World — “Tests: Both drivers in fatal motorcycle crash were drunk.” I feel the statement about the death of Mr. Del Campo and the person he was riding with, be it a citizen or public servant, deserve better use of words than “drunk” in its headline. Yes, they were over the legal limits to be riding or driving, but are we in such an age of journalism that we have to further slam the grieving family and friends with this terminology? There are plenty of less offensive words in your dictionary to describe their condition. Both families lost an awful lot that night — a death of a much loved local businessman and the other the guilt of what transpired, his job and the respect it cost him, as well as the constant reminder of that sad evening’s nightmare.


Darren Stalk 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Amen. Poor journalism LJW. Thousands of live's were affected forever that night and LJW is intent on rubbing salt in the open wounds with shoddy and irresponsible journalism. Shame on the editors who even let this crap get to print. What's funny is this is the second or third article that was written on the subject and you still continue to poke the bear even after public outcry on your crappy and irresponsible reporting. Go find some real news to report on and leave these families alone.

JD Mfin Razzleson 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Thanks for standing up and saying sayimg something to the editor that should never of lead with that. I Just hope more of you editors stand up to the editors that are trying to slander people's names and run them thru the dirt. Most of the people You did this to are dead because of a fatal accident or injured. That writer did the same to Jesse just as he did to Seth quick. Its horrible that editors and writers would ever think it's Ok to say these things about someone that has just passed due to a fatal accident. Have some common decency to not publish these kind of headlines about those that have lost their life. Thanks for writing this article bless.

Bob Smith 9 months, 2 weeks ago

LJW is sailing close to the wind of clickbait journalism. Don't go being a Gawker.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 9 months, 2 weeks ago

A person who has had too much alcoholic drinks is intoxicated. commonly referred to as being "drunk" Such persons are commonly referred to as "drunks". When they make the decision to drive a motor vehicle in this condition the term is appropriate. The total irresponsibility of this act that results in the death of a person is reprehensible and should be regarded as unacceptable.

The reporting of the condition of vehicle operators who get themselves killed should certainly indicate that the operators were "drunk" and hazarding themselves and others on the road.

Disrespectful?? You bet!! Disrespectful of the safety of others on the road and foolish and stupid. And illegal.

Kelli Durkin 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I would like to thank Mr. McCanon for expressing his view, shared by many, that the use of the term "drunk" was both improper and disrespectful. To say both parties were over the legal limit or under the influence is fair, but using the word drunk implies a level of mental or physical impairment for which no journalistic source has any evidence. Even my dictionary tells me that the use of the word drunk is generally unacceptable in formal writing; I would expect that such use in a news report is only meant to be inflammatory. As to Mr. Whitehead's opinion, common use of a word does not make it fit for journalism. I prefer my news reports to be strictly factual, free of subjective terms and opinions. Just the facts, please.

Steve King 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Wow Bill that's pretty harsh. I'd be cautious roaming the streets after that pronouncement. I saw 150+ bikers in the funeral procession. Some may take offense with your comment.

Braxton Reid Bressler 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Only and idiot would post something like that Bill McGovern You should find better use of your time and take your BS comments else where.

Bill McGovern 9 months, 2 weeks ago

You mad bro? Drunk driving is one of the dumbest, most selfish actions a person can do. Glad nobody else was killed because of their stupid decision to hop on their bikes drunk.

Bob Summers 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I think pie-eyed, flushed, crocked, plastered, stewed, tanked, wasted, or seeing double would be more appropriate.

Maybe a sanctuary city for the inebriated is in order?

Thomas Bryce Jr. 9 months, 2 weeks ago

"Three sheets to the wind" is fairly old fashioned and Poetic. Still virtually no mention of the deer they almost hit as a contributing factor in this tragedy. Maybe they would not have had an accident in the first place had the deer not ran out in front of them. Or maybe it would have been something else if the accident was inevitable. I have had sober friends put in the hospital from hitting a deer on a bike. It was a tragedy. But Somebody HAS to be blamed for the entire thing. There are no Accidents any longer.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 9 months, 2 weeks ago

If they had not been drinking (I believe that the word "sober" would be appropriate) maybe when the deer had jumped out in front of them (It has happened to me) they would have been able to avoid the accident and would both still be alive. Driving drunk is stupid and you all know it.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Maybe. Maybe not. Judging people is not my strong suit. I give people the benefit of the doubt. I Believe most people are good people. Bad things happen to good people. Calling them names doesn't help. Judge people if you will but you are being judged too. I have never witnessed such hateful comments about people involved in a tragic accident as I have seen here. They did not deserve this outcome although some seem to think they did. Disgraceful!

Thomas Bryce Jr. 9 months, 2 weeks ago

When I said "Maybe. Maybe Not" I was referring to the odds of them avoiding an accident when a deer runs out in front of you. Sober or intoxicated, the accident may have been unavoidable. If the same outcome had occurred and neither rider had been drinking, this would have been a story that was laid to rest the next day.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 9 months, 1 week ago

They weren't calling them a name, they were describing their condition. Here's a language lesson.

You are drunk. Drunk in this case is an adjective describing your condition.

You are a drunk. Drunk in this case is a noun, which can be insulting, but if you are an alcoholic, may be true.

The article "a" shows you the difference and makes it a noun. In Spanish they actually have 2 verbs that mean "to be" which indicates the difference. "Estás borracho" (You are drunk.) indicates your present condition. "Eres borracho" (You are.a drunk" indicates you are drunk a lot, and probably an alcoholic.

I believe the headline was using drunk as an adjective, not a noun.

Bill Turner 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree with Bill McGovern. They were both drunk. It's not disrespectful to call a spade a spade.

Paul Beyer 9 months, 2 weeks ago

A drunk is a drunk. Period. Nothing disrespectful in calling the drunks exactly what they are. Fortunately the only one hurt or killed were the drunks breaking the law and not using simple common sense.

Scott Burkhart 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I wonder if on the night that Mr. Del Campo climbed on to his motorcycle, he thought of the lives that he might impact should the worst happen. People that knew and loved him and had tremendous respect for him, now must say goodbye too soon. Children, grandchildren, friends, and other community members must endure the pain of his choice to consume too much alcohol and operate a motor vehicle. What if it hadn't been him but a child that was killed? The LJW could have used better terminology in its reporting but Mr. Del Campo's actions, that he chose, are why we are even having this discussion. I do not find it necessary to besmirch the reputation of a man that has no ability to defend himself. I also find very little sympathy for however you wish to characterize his condition at the time of his death. After all, he made the choice to drink and drive.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Scott is right. Also, if you are going to ride a motorcycle, you have to accept that you have a higher possibility of dying. It's a possibility, drunk or not, helmet or not. I'm not saying that people should stop riding motorcycles, but they and their families and friends need to realize this. I've lost 2 friends to motorcycle accidents, and was in a minor one myself. I loved riding motorcycles.

A friend of mine once said you have to ride like all cars on the road are out to get you. But you also need to make sure that you are at your peak. For example, I don't ride motorcycles anymore because I'm older, my eyesight isn't as good as it used to be, and I'm not as physically strong as I used to be. And drinking and riding is not good either.

That being said, this man sounded like a very good man who did a lot for the community and was well loved, not unlike my friends who died riding, They all died doing something they enjoyed. He could have made a better choice, as well, as the man who ran into him. Please do not drive or ride drunk.

Bryan Bowen 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree that the use of the word drunk was a poor choice but I don't think the intent was disrespect. Headlines have to account for space and that happens with word choice and font size. I don't know what the situation was at the time that the headline was created but it is unfortunate that the editor faced with those factors chose that word. But it is important that the details emerge because by doing so others who read it, and have the potential to do what they did, may think twice. The story is still in the headlines because one of them was an officer--the very people we entrust with public safety. But it also just shows that all of us can, do and have made wrong choices. Sadly their choices resulted in a death. Given that fact I think that any judgement that may have been intended with that headline is wrong. When we point our finger at something three point back at us.

Another thing to think about is whether they wore helmuts. If that was reported about I don't remember seeing it. Plus sliding, and being thrown off a bike at high speeds had to definately be another major factor. No matter what a lesson hopefully will be taken to not drink and drive. And maybe some people will begin thinking whether or not they have a drinking problem. My sympathies and prayers are with the victims, their families and friends. I hope everyone impacted by this will find strength and comfort in Jesus.

Andrew Applegarth 9 months, 2 weeks ago

From one of the other stories on LJW: "Neither man was wearing a helmet, according to the sheriff’s office."

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