When a newspaper editor writes something as off-the-wall as advocating the return of Ku Klux Klan nightriders to string up politicians in Washington, it almost is too ridiculous to deserve comment.

Goodloe Sutton, the owner of a small-town weekly newspaper in Linden, Alabama, only brought discredit on himself with his recent rant, one of apparently a pattern of unrepentantly racist writings the 80-year-old has indulged in during the senior years of his life.

It is a sad and disgraceful turn for a journalist who, along with his wife, was hailed nationally 20-some years ago as a crusader against government corruption. His reputation is now in tatters.

The University of Southern Mississippi removed him from its School of Communication hall of fame this week. Auburn University took back an award he received in 2009. And the Alabama Press Association has suspended the membership of Sutton’s newspaper.

The First Amendment gives Sutton every right to print in his newspaper whatever idiocy he chooses. But no one has to buy it or read it.

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