Editorial: What happened to respect?

Published 9:30 am Monday, January 11, 2016

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks to those in attendance at a rally Saturday at Surf Ballroom and Museum in Clear Lake. The Iowa primary elections are Feb. 1. - Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

It’s not often that we as a small-town, community newspaper speak up about national politics, but something happened this weekend that deserves some attention.

On Saturday afternoon, we sent two of our staff members to report on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s visit to the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake.

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It is always a big deal for our journalists to see, if not meet, the candidates — whether you agree with them personally or not. In the world of small-town journalism, seeing a presidential candidate isn’t something that happens every day.

Trump has had a lot of attention this political season, so we jumped at the chance to cover him in northern Iowa.

Within the first 30 minutes of his speech, Trump pointed to the back of the room, where all of the photographers and TV camera crews were placed — including the Tribune’s own photographer — and made a claim that these were some of the most dishonest people in the world.

A crowd of more than 1,500 people clapped and cheered, and others booed the reporters.

At one point, someone in the back of the room threw food at the media — some of it landing on our own photographer.

The comments questioned the integrity of every person back there, and it was a disappointment to say the least.

Campaign issues aside, we hope that whoever is elected president can show more respect — whether it be for the media or for average residents, too.

If we want the people in our country to be more respectful toward others, our leaders need to show respect themselves.

All eyes will be on the person who is elected.