Vail Daily editorial: Thanks to Butch Mazzuca for 15 years of commentary
Regular readers (thank you) may have noticed that Butch Mazzuca’s Monday column will be his last for the foreseeable future. He’ll be missed, and his contributions to the Vail Daily’s commentary pages were sometimes thought-provoking, sometimes provocative and always highly readable.
You may or may not be surprised to learn that several calls and emails have come into the office that suspect nefarious motives behind Mazzuca’s departure and that he may have been dropped in some sort of purge of right-leaning columnists.
For those who missed it, Mazzuca’s column Monday was accompanied by the following author’s note:
“For the past 15 years, I’ve had the privilege of writing for the Vail Daily, so it’s with a degree of sadness that I must tell you I’ll be going on hiatus for a while. That said, the editor has told me I’m welcome back anytime, so hopefully my commentaries will grace the pages of the Vail Daily in the not-too-distant future. Lastly, I want to thank the readership for the many kind comments and encouragement I’ve received over the years.”
That’s the absolute truth, folks. Mazzuca asked for a hiatus for personal reasons. He wasn’t asked to leave, and he’s absolutely welcome back to the Vail Daily columnist fold whenever his personal life allows him the time to write.
That people have called and emailed questioning the reasons for Mazzuca’s hiatus reflect the time we’re in, when no one’s motives are without suspicion and when every decision by every news organization is questioned. Accusations of “fake news” are these days leveled as quickly — and, sometimes, as wildly — as accusations of communist sympathies or witchcraft once were.
While our pages are without Mazzuca’s insights for the moment, people with conservative-leaning opinions are welcome to submit ideas for columns. An opinion column should be between 500 and 600 words, and statements of fact need citations. Yes, it’s a bit like a school paper — you need to back up your assertions.
If you do write a column for the Vail Daily, then you won’t get rich, or even earn beer money. Still, you can get your name, your opinions and your picture in the paper on a regular basis. You’ll also get phone calls and emails of thanks and support, as well as messages encouraging you to take a long walk off a short pier — and that’s from the polite critics.
If you’re interested, then email Editor Krista Driscoll at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Butch Mazzuca set a high bar with his commentary. Clearing that bar will be hard, but rewarding, work.
The Vail Daily Editorial Board is Publisher Mark Wurzer, Editor Krista Driscoll and Business Editor Scott Miller.