Hi there. I’m Pat Culverhouse and it has been my pleasure to sit in the Rockin’ Chair these many weeks, sharing with you information we believe is relevant to our town, its growth and its future.

Some may think Rocker is stepping from behind the curtain because his name has been revealed, primarily on Facebook where speculation is the order of the day. Pas si, mon ami. It’s time to come out because that’s the agreement we made when the WP Journal first hit the ‘Net. Permission was given to pen an anonymous column but with the understanding the no-name wouldn’t be permanent.

For the record, we’re very pleased with the readership numbers. Each Thursday, these continue to grow. We’re also happy that so many of you are responding. Hope you will continue to do so.

Like the proverbial cat, Rocker is out of the bag. Now, readers have someone to address. A face at which critics can toss rocks and insults. A name to use in vain. A person to be held responsible for perceived negativity, disunity and disdain.

Purpose of the Rockin’ Chair has been and will continue to be a means to direct sunshine on things many might prefer to leave in the shadows. Rocker is saying in print what a host of you apparently are thinking. Rocker wants you to understand that certain subjects, and people, are not immune from being observed with a critical and, yes, cynical eye. No subject should be taboo.

A thimbleful of readers who have objected to the Rocker say his comments are not well researched nor based on the basic principles or journalism. Let’s set that record straight.

Rockin’ Chair is an opinion, not a news piece. A columnist is free to take liberties with how a subject is presented, whether it’s through satire or critical analysis. Rocker chooses primarily satire, and a quick trip to the dictionary will explain.

A columnist expresses an opinion. A columnist isn’t obliged to agree with the power structure, and he certainly isn’t obligated to go along just to get along with self-proclaimed leaders or those who consider themselves above criticism due to their perceived status. Every opinion needs to be heard, not ridiculed if it differs from another’s. 

A journalist, on the other hand, is obligated to seek the truth (not his/her perception of the truth) and report it accurately without bias or prejudice. A journalist doesn’t alter information to fit an agenda, to influence readers or to curry favor.  Too many of today’s journalists fall short of these standards. 

Worth mentioning are a couple of categories into which many who claim to be journalists seem to fall. First, there’s the publicist. That’s the writer who would never dream of publishing anything negative and will go miles around a subject to keep from offending “the right people.” This one’s also called a promoter/panderer.

There’s the propogandist, who publishes only the party line. He writes what “leaders” tell him and the truth is whatever the propogandist slants it to be. Believe it or else. 

Rocker promises to continue watching the goings-on that affect us all. You will read the good, the bad and the ugly about issues and the people who are alleged to be leading us in our city and parish. What you see is Rocker’s opinion. Rocker may embellish for effect, but that’s the way it goes.

Rocker values your opinion. Please feel free to disagree. It would be nice, though, if those who disagree would do so in a civil manner. Demeaning dialogue serves no useful purpose, and pandering to social media minions is tawdry.

Final opinion. Any individual, especially a proclaimed journalist, who violates a trust and an oath is neither trustworthy nor honorable. Revelations reveal more about the revelator than what is disclosed. 

Continue to join us in the Rocker. There’s always room for more.

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