And, your point?

Monday, May 16, 2005

Everyone is well aware of the foul language and soft-porno crap you can access on too many television channels on too many televisions in today's world.

And, of course, we all know about the really nasty stuff we can bring into our homes and businesses on the Internet and its way too many sleezy sites.

But your family newspaper? In Small Town America? In fact, in Iowa? The most friendly, literate, pure, gentle state in the Union?

Get outta here!

Such is the confusing innuendo we've been receiving from callers since Monday's Chronicle Times hit the streets. Right there, on Page 1, was a photo and story of a popular, well-known, much-admired Catholic priest announcing his retirement.

And next to the priest's story, was a story and two photos about the promising professional modeling career of a beautiful high school senior girl from a neighboring school district.

The handful of callers have expressed their disgust with the Chronicle Times for one of two reasons - that we ran a photo of the girl in a revealing bikini (aren't they all?), or that we ran the girl's photo and story inappropriately adjacent to that of the priest.

The priest also received some calls, we assume urging him to complain to us. He did telephone our office to say that news is news and that he wanted us to know that he was not affronted with the Page 1 layout.

The photo of the local girl in a bikini was used because it captured the essence of why she is in demand as a model, and it was her biggest assignment to date, appearing on the cover of "KWM (Key West Model)," a popular Florida-based modeling/vacation magazine.

It is not much of a stretch to predict, given her natural beauty and poise, that the girl will surely have great success in her modeling career.

What is difficult to forecast is the motivation of those grouchy callers. Are they angry or jealous of the girl and her obvious attributes? The bikini? The magazine? The Chronicle Times? The priest for being in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Year after year, edition after edition, we publish photos of female swimmers, swim teams, life guards, sun bathers, cheerleaders, scantily clad RAGBRAI riders, etc.

Not one word. Nada.

We regret to feel the need to apologize or be castigated for using sound news judgment in a very unique and interesting feature story of a talented local student with a promising professional career.