Skip to main content

No more letters about Trump, Minnesota newspaper tells readers

The Grant County Herald's editorial caused quite a stir.

The editor of a newspaper in west-central Minnesota caused a stir last month when he asked readers to stop sending in letters on a particular subject: former president Donald Trump.

Chris Ray, the editor of the Grant County Herald in Elbow Lake, raised eyebrows with his editorial column, titled "Enough already!", which made the specific request of local readers, saying that the ongoing back-and-forth about the president was sowing more division in the county of 6,000.

"Seldom has an issue so galvanized opinion writers like the four years of President Donald J. Trump," he wrote. "We have published dozens of both pro and con President Trump letters throughout the years. One letter spawns a reply, which spawns a counter reply, and so on and so on. Nothing is solved, and no one’s mind is changed. These letters do little but cause hard feelings and have neighbors saying things they shouldn’t say about each other."

"But now the Trump era is over! He is no longer president… and I now declare the Opinion & Letters page of the Grant County Herald to be a Trump-free zone… at least for now!" Ray declared.

"We will not publish letters to the editor, columns, or editorials, (after this week), in which the main subject is Donald J. Trump, his flaws, or his attributes. We believe this will go a long way towards cooling down the vitriolic rhetoric of the last four years.

"As they say, 'Out of sight, out of mind'…hopefully!"

You can read Ray's letter in full here. In it, he also clarifies to readers what the First Amendment means, noting that as a private business, the Grant County Herald is under no obligation to publish every reader's letter.

Trump carried Grant County comfortably in the 2020 election, winning 62.2% of the vote to President Joe Biden's 35.6%.

Ray's letter sparked a "clarification" from the newspaper's general manager, Anne O'Flynn, who said that the Opinion Page is but one section of the newspaper and that while the editor has called for a break from letters concerning the former president, "I’m sure we will again have another tug-of-war between his opponents and his followers."

"Last week we had an editorial that called for a ‘time out’ for letters and editorials about our most recent former president. This was to put a stop to the potentially never-ending back and forth ‘for and against’ him," she wrote. "Like two people who will never agree – some time apart seemed necessary."

"Don’t worry, ‘freedom of speech’ is alive and well – and everyone’s letters are welcome. The editorial called for everyone to ‘take a breath’ and maybe try to agree to disagree for a while. In the over 20 years I’ve been at the Herald, I can recall only a handful of letters to the editor (properly signed) that have not run. They did not run because they were profane or libelous, and our attorney recommended they not run."

You can read O'Flynn's clarification here.

Next Up

Kirill Kaprizov

Wild win battle of NHL's hottest teams, extend winning streak to six

Kirill Kaprizov delivered a shootout winner to take down the Maple Leafs.

Eric Kendricks

Vikings downgrade Eric Kendricks to out against Lions

The Vikings have also activated Michael Pierce from injured reserve.

u.s. attorney

Minnesotan sentenced after assaulting man with baseball bat

Marshall Wayne Boshey was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.

Target store

Target's gift card discount is back, but for this weekend only

The fine print: for Target Circle members only (but membership is free).

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Minneapolis teen arrested in St. Cloud after fleeing police in stolen vehicle

The vehicle was stolen in a car-jacking in Minneapolis Thursday.

snow, blowing snow

Winter storm warnings issued with heavy snow set to slam MN

Parts of northern Minnesota could see more than a foot of snow, but there won't be much in the Twin Cities.

D'Angelo Russell

With KAT out, Timberwolves can't upset Nets

D'Angelo Russell stepped up but couldn't overcome Brooklyn's firepower.

Everson Griffen Vikings dot com

Everson Griffen confirms he has bipolar disorder

"I’ve been running from it a long time. I’m not ashamed of it anymore.”

Angela Renee Jones, St. Cloud murder suspect

St. Cloud suspect now charged in two local murder cases

Both murders happened within a day of each other in June.


What to know about President Trump's visit to Minnesota

The president will be in Rochester this afternoon.

Karin Housley tells President Trump to stop saying Tina Smith's name

The Senate candidate told him they need to say 'Karin Housley' more.

President Trump repeats false claim about Minnesota-Wisconsin

He's made the claim on several occasions in recent weeks.


Reports of tornado damage coming in from across Minnesota

The Grant and Douglas County area was also hit by a major twister in July.

Notorious hedge fund buys Minnesota media group and its 11 newspapers

Alden Global Capital has been referred to as a hedge fund "vampire."

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 7.01.24 AM

Star Tribune poll spells bad news for President Trump in Minnesota

The president had vowed to win Minnesota in his most recent rally.

Donald Trump tweets about Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison

The president appears to be referring to Ellison's appearance on This Week in 2015.

What Donald Trump said about Minnesota during his rally

The president spoke to a packed house at the Amsoil Arena in Duluth.