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Feedback Loop: Mask Mandates, Unemployment Benefits And Shane Beamer

“Let’s take a peek into the mailbox …”



We get a lot of letters here at FITSNews, and I must admit I have been pretty slack about sharing them with readers lately. News director Mandy Matney and I typically stay so busy chasing tips, researching leads and exploring story ideas (oh, and writing articles) that sometimes we neglect to post the feedback we get.

I believe a vibrant feedback loop is a critical component of any news gathering operation … providing a way for people to hold us accountable in our efforts to hold influential individuals and institutions accountable to the people.

More importantly, I believe we should never be afraid to hear counterpoints, conflicting views or even harsh criticism. That is what this process is ultimately all about.

As I noted in publishing a letter just yesterday “the most important function any news outlet can play is to host a free exchange of ideas.”

With that in mind, let’s take a peek into the mailbox …


RE: Another Covid-19 Mask War Is Underway In South Carolina

(Via: Getty Images)

Dear Editor,

In your article about mask mandates dated 7/29/2021, you misled readers by using citations which have been rendered outdated and irrelevant by the fact that we are now facing a mutation of the virus which has made it exponentially more contagious than the virus we faced prior to this summer. To wit:

My thoughts on all this? Numerous studies have shown that young children – especially those under the age of ten – are simply not spreading this virus. Transmission of the virus through children is “extremely limited,” according to a study (.pdf) published in January by Duke University. That data mirrored the results of a similar study conducted in Norway at around the same time.

These findings have been affirmed by an Israeli study published in April – while additional U.S. studies of Covid-19 cases in New York (here), Wisconsin (here) and Utah (here) offer additional evidence that the spread of this virus from children is negligible.

Follow the science, right?

Yes, Mr. Fowlkes, follow the science related to the DELTA VARIANT OF THE CORONAVIRUS, which was not a factor in anything cited by you. Follow CURRENT and RELEVANT science.

The fact is that there are children in intensive care units in Missouri NOW because of low vaccination rates and low mask use. We don’t want that for OUR children, especially not to satisfy anyone’s political agenda.



Blue Skies: Thank you for your feedback. As I noted in my report, updated research is certainly “worth following given the higher contagiousness of the delta variant.” For now, though, the only information we have regarding child transmission of the delta variant is anecdotal. So, I stand by what I reported. Furthermore, even if children are spreading the new variant the fact remains this virus is simply not a serious health threat for the vast majority of people under the age of sixty. I know … I have had it twice!


RE: Henry McMaster Sued Over Decision To Cut Supplemental Unemployment Benefits

(Via: S.C. Governor)

Dear Editor,

As a previous press secretary to the governor of South Carolina, Will Folks has no business writing this article.  He is completely biased regarding this case given his close affiliation with the Governor.  Please stop promoting his/your false narrative.  I trust you  saw that 83 percent of your readers disagree with you and ALL the other States have won their cases.  FYI – We will win! 

Kathy Ludlow


Kathy: I was press secretary to former governor Mark Sanford from 2001-2005. I have never worked for the current governor and am, in fact, one of his most vocal critics. Just yesterday, in fact, I penned a lengthy story detailing the ongoing dysfunction at one of his cabinet agencies. Thank you for your feedback, however.


RE: Clemson Football: Tigers Tapped To Win Another Conference Championship

(Via: Columbia SC Photographers Travis Bell)

Dear Editor,

Hi gloom and doom. Never read your column before and never will again. If (Shane) Beamer does win you are not welcome to party but will likely say you knew it all the time. Such negativity leads me to believe you are a “Blabbo” Swinney fan. Anyway you are a detriment to the school and should just go fuck yourself.

Robert Deese


Robert: Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I believe there is a 10 percent chance Shane Beamer could wind up becoming the next Dabo Swinney, a 40 percent chance that he restores the program to its historic levels of mediocrity and a 50 percent chance that he winds up as another Will Muschamp – or worse. I am not trying to be negative, just realistic. To be clear, though, I am rooting for the 10 percent option!



Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our articles? Or an issue you’d like to address proactively? We have an open microphone policy here at FITSNews! Submit your letter to the editor (or guest column) via email HERE. Got a tip for a story? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question or a glitch to report? CLICK HERE.