(Editor’s note: An edited version of the letter to the editor which this response is referring to was printed in the Sept. 22 edition of The Peninsula Gateway.)
In today’s political climate I often read things about elected officials (and candidates) and wonder if what is printed has been fact-checked. On a local level, sometimes I read things about me that are simply not true.
For example, recently a Gig Harbor resident wrote to a local newspaper (Gig Harbor Life, http://bit.ly/2diozH3) and stated as if it were fact that “The Cheneys generously donated $25,000 to the mayor’s favorite nonprofit.”
Initially I wondered how this individual knew which nonprofit agencies the Cheney family supported. Then I wondered which nonprofit agency this person was referring to, as I support many nonprofits and don’t have a favorite. But there you have it, a statement made as fact which is not true.
Once again I was reminded of what my eighth grade teacher taught me: Just because it’s in print doesn’t mean it’s true.
A letter by Gene Bullock, of Poulsbo, published recently in the Kitsap Sun, said the same thing more eloquently: “Telling people what they want to hear is almost always more effective than facts. … And nothing beats repetition and reinforcement to embed the most outrageous fiction as confirmed fact.”
But let me get back to nonprofits. We are fortunate to have so many excellent nonprofits in our community helping people in so many ways.
I’d like to take a moment to highlight one of them, the Permission to Start Dreaming Foundation, founded in 2011 by Leslie Mayne, to inspire hope and action to solutions for wounded soldiers, and soldiers affected by post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury via professional services, challenging peer adventures, education, and spiritual devotion. The foundation puts on the annual Race for a Soldier here in Gig Harbor.
I encourage you to learn more about this nonprofit and what it does to support our soldiers and their families.
And you might want to thank a soldier so that we can continue to exercise our free speech rights, even when what is said is outrageous fiction put forth as confirmed fact.
Jill Guernsey is mayor of Gig Harbor.