Opinion | Susan Knopf: I beg your pardon | SummitDaily.com

Opinion | Susan Knopf: I beg your pardon

Susan Knopf
For the Record

Editor’s note: Recordings of open meetings must be kept for six months after approval of minutes. This column has been updated to remove questions about whether the town of Dillon is in compliance with state standards.

To the person who wrote to the paper, angry at me because she sold her beloved Subaru and purchased an electric vehicle, I’m sorry you didn’t like my column on lithium mining.

To the incumbent Dillon Town Council member who thought my column about the council was one-sided, I’m sorry.

When you read this column, you might note that at the top of the newspaper page it says “Opinion.”

When I was a working journalist, I was expected to be fair and balanced. Opinion columns are just that: opinions. I’m not required to be fair and balanced. In fact, I think the paper probably prefers I leave that job to the reporters and do my job: write my opinion.

I think I should say I’m sorry. I often get caught up sharing information I think you may not know or you possibly have not linked together. Sometimes, I fill my word limit with information and not enough opinion. Then there’s always that old admonition: No one is interested in your opinion.

Apparently, some people really love to fight about other people’s opinions. This is not something I understand. Aren’t you busy enough fighting with your spouse or your co-workers?

The really comical part is that most of the time, angry dissenters don’t actually rebut the column; they just try to demonize me personally.

I can understand that. I spend hours researching most of my columns. Thus there’s a pretty good chance my information is correct. If someone doesn’t agree, likely there isn’t much real information to present to rebut — just misdirected anger.

I’m sorry. I think that’s why we have the saying, “Don’t kill the messenger.”

And how did I come to be the messenger of so much information people apparently don’t want to read?

It started more than five years ago. My husband Jonathan Knopf and I researched many hours to uncover that corporate money had bought the 2016 Colorado election and persuaded us to vote against our own best interests.

After several more columns, former Summit Daily News Editor Ben Trollinger persuaded me to do this weekly.

I’m really fortunate. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never harm me. But I wish I had a dollar for every time someone tried to insult me on the pages of this paper.

Shh, don’t tell anyone, but I usually don’t read letters to the editor unless I hear someone presented good factual information.

All the same, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I just wish more people based their opinions on facts instead of anger.

To the former Subie owner: Don’t you wish you had known more about lithium mining and its environmental consequences before you bought your electric car? And even though you miss your Subie, aren’t you secretly glad someone is challenging whether lithium is really going to be our environmental savior or just another well-intentioned ecological disaster?

As for the incumbent Dillon Town Council member, I think you should have left well enough alone. Your rebuttal targeting me highlighted differences between you and your opponent for public office. Maybe you should spend more time watching your own house.

I tried to get the recording of the Feb. 16, 2021, Dillon Town Council meeting discussing the controversial walk-up marijuana sales windows. I was told those recordings are kept only six months.

It’s really easy to claim what happened in a meeting if there is no recording. You probably should’ve let that one pass, particularly when I said, “If … you like the way Dillon is being run, you should vote for incumbents.”

I think that’s pretty generous for an opinion piece. Sorry if you didn’t like it.

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