Covering the news sometimes makes for difficult choices. Because every news story shines a bright light on people or events, news can often make things very public that others would prefer be forgotten.
Balancing a reader’s need to know against a subject’s right to privacy is often not easy. We struggled with that issue this evening as we decided whether or not to run the story about Tom Philbrick, the Rangeley man recommended to be the next Mt. Blue High School girl’s basketball coach.
Philosophically, we couldn’t agree more with the views expressed by Michael Cormier, Mt. Blue RSU’s superintendent. Mr. Philbrick seems eminently qualified to coach the Mt. Blue girls, and the honest and straightforward way in which he has addressed a mistake he made more than 20 years ago, if anything, makes him a better role model for our children, not a worse one.
If everybody thought like we did, there would be no reason at all to even address an event in Mr. Philbrick’s distant past. But everybody doesn’t think like we do. So even though we may feel that a 20-year-old criminal conviction normally wouldn’t be relevant enough to publicize, that decision really isn’t up to us.
Since at least one local person has raised this issue with members of the school board, we think our readers have a right to be aware of the issue so they can make up their own minds. Like any other decision made by our towns or our legislators or our school boards, the more we all know, the better chance we have to applaud the decisions that are correct ones and perhaps reverse the ones that were ill-advised.