In the town I grew up in, an individual had registered medfordnj.com a number of years back and has used it as a combination community portal/opinion site. He’s never made any false claims about being an official site for the township, and he’s certainly used his site to express his thoughts on political issues.

Unfortunately, Craig Issod hasn’t exactly made many friends on the township’s council or with the Republicans of the area. A couple weeks ago, he posted a political cartoon attacking the enacting of an “Animal House Law” that would allow police to enter private citizens’ homes if there was suspected underage drinking going on without parents around. Council members and the township’s police department worked hand-in-hand with local newspapers to basically force Issod to shut his site down.

I had a big problem with this. So, I wrote my hometown paper (the Central Record) an editorial letter, which was printed in today’s edition. It is reprinted here for your perusal:

I grew up in Medford and now live in Virginia, but I’ve been following
the controversy surrounding Craig Issod’s medfordnj.com web site.
Quite frankly, I have two words for the officials involved in
pressuring Craig to shut his site down:

Grow up.

It doesn’t matter which side of the “Animal House Law” fence you sit,
this is a simple case of freedom of speech. Craig in no way condoned
underage drinking and didn’t encourage anyone to do anything that
we aren’t afforded by our Constitution.

Honestly, I didn’t even care for the comic that’s causing the stir —
I didn’t find it funny. But I certainly didn’t find it offensive. Even
if I did, though, it wouldn’t matter: it’s Craig’s right to speak his
mind on his own web site, which he funds himself.

What disturbs me most is the strong-arming by council members and
unbalanced reporting done by several local newspapers on the subject.
We’re all used to seeing corruption and trickery on the federal level
and biased reporting in national newspapers, but it’s a shame that
it’s happening on a local level as well. The CENTRAL RECORD article
is the first one I’ve seen that’s presented a fair, balanced version of
the story.

Hopefully this issue can be resolved by parents that realize it’s not
Craig or anyone else’s job to raise their children. Stopping someone
from being able to freely speak their mind doesn’t make the real
problem go away, it just hides it.

… Ryan A. MacMichael