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Re Porter - Do good for right reasons
bethany porter

Election season is finally over and, do you know what that means? It means that we won’t see some of these politicians for at least the next three and a half years. 

I am new to elections, but I have officially covered two and I learned I don’t like them. What I specifically despise is politicians who only go out into the community for a photo op. I believe if you’re going to do something for the community, you should do it regardless, whether your picture is going to be in the paper or not. 

I covered something a few weeks ago for an employee of a company celebrating a milestone. I was there for that employee. My role in this situation was to write an article about the employee celebrating the milestone, not the politician who was there to shake his hand and bring a document. Said politician was unhappy with our policy of not taking pictures of elected officials during election season and was sure to let me know. They let me know it was a shame I wasn’t taking pictures of them. 

What I think is a shame is that this person was trying to make this event about themselves instead of the employee who was literally being celebrated. For anyone who is unaware, during election season we try to avoid taking pictures of those who are running for election. This way, we can keep it neutral and avoid having to track down their opponents and give them a freebie too. 

Also, yelling at the reporter is the worst way to get your picture in the paper. I had to tell this person that I literally just work at the newspaper and we don’t take pictures of people running for election when we can help it. This person was so unpleasant and downright rude to me that a person over the event apologized about it. This is not a great way to stay in the good graces of the paper in which you wish to be featured. 

I’ve already ranted about this in a previous column following an event that made me mad, which ironically featured the same person. So many elected officials up for election jumped in my picture of a bridge dedication, subsequently blocking the sign for the dedication. I understand wanting to promote good works while on the campaign trail, but I also think some people are doing these “good deeds” for the wrong reasons. 

Before this certain politician I have been referring to was up for reelection, I had never seen them before in my life. I go to a lot of community events and places they frequent during their campaign trail, and had never seen them before it was time to beg for votes. 

I think if you are a good person, your actions will show it. People will recognize when someone is doing something genuinely and when they just want to look good. I don’t think it was a shame we didn’t run this politician’s picture. I think it was a shame how he acted toward me in trying to take the spotlight away from the employee being celebrated. 

Standard reporter Bethany Porter can be reached at (931) 473-2191.