Phil Cobb

Phil Cobb

Owner and publisher of The Maryville Forum and The Post

The Maryville Forum reached something of a pinnacle this week, as we were criticized for being too conservative and too liberal, both in response to the same Facebook post.

My only regret is that it wasn’t in response to anything we wrote. Instead it was a submission from a third party.

But I don’t care … I’m claiming the victory anyway.

To me, that means we are achieving our goal of objectivity.

My dad once told me that if I did my job right in this business, I’d have half of the people pissed off at me all the time. The problem, he said, is that it’s not always the same half.

Turns out he was right … again. But he never said they would both be mad at the same time.

Oh well … we will continue to try to keep our readers informed with information that we believe to be as close as possible to the truth, regardless of uninformed misperceptions. 

We don’t report news with the goal of stirring the populace. We get the facts from the appropriate sources and pass them on to you.

Recently, we’ve been accused of spreading fear by reporting on confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nodaway County. I guess some people would rather pretend that it doesn’t exist in hopes it will magically go away.

Believe me, if I had the superpower to write something that would make this pandemic go away, it would be on the front page in 72-point text.

I’d love to see all businesses be able to reopen unfettered by restrictions and ordinances.

I’d love for people to get back to work and go about the business once again of supporting their families without worrying about when the next paycheck comes.

And I’d love to enjoy an ice-cold Miller Lite on an 80-degree day at Kauffman Stadium.

But until the day when we can once again do all these things that we have taken for granted for far too long, we must stay alert and informed.

Can we live our lives in fear? Of course not.

We have to move in the direction of normalcy, but at the same time, we need to be smart about it.

To do that, in my estimation, we’ll have to be willing to accept a certain level of risk associated with the coronavirus.

We have always taken risks in how it pertains to our health, in how we travel, how we eat, how we socialize?

Another criticism is that we never report on confirmed flu cases and the like, so why do we report on COVID-19?

First, that’s not true. I can easily recall stories we’ve done on flu outbreaks, especially on how they have affected our area school districts.

Second, this disease is unlike anything we’ve seen when it comes to its potential deadliness, especially in our most vulnerable populations, like the elderly and the immunocompromised.

I heard one person say, “This ain’t my first rodeo, but I’ve never rode a horse quite like this one.”

I’m sure that’s how many of our leaders feel.

We don’t know how to respond because we don’t know what we’re responding to.

Sometimes when you don’t know what to do, you just have to do something, knowing mistakes will be made, but also knowing we can learn from those mistakes.

Phil Cobb is the owner and publisher of The Maryville Forum and The Post.