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Angry calls come with the territory of being an editor. After many years of practice, I usually can listen quietly for a while and get to the heart of a reader's concern.

Occasionally, though, calls go like the one I received soon after I walked into my office Monday morning. A woman who didn't identify herself was angry about the pro-con story on Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays.

We publish the pro-con packages on Mondays to emphasize the fair-and-balanced approach we try to take on controversial issues. This reader, though, decided the Advocate was against Christmas because we chose to even write about the issue.

I assured her that wasn't the case, but she switched gears to complain that Pepper wasn't worthy of being the most fascinating person in our recent series. I explained that our readers voted him to that position.

She then suggested we strike through "Victoria" in our name and ask our readers to vote on whether we should replace that with "Obama." I let her know our newspaper did not endorse President Obama in the last election and asked her what the pro-con story and Pepper had to do with politics. Our focus is local news.

She hung up.

For the record, I usually say "Merry Christmas" when I greet people at parties during this season. If I'm seeing friends of other faiths, I generally say something else more specific to their religion. Of course, a general "thank you" or "best wishes" always works.

Clearly, I didn't do a good job of getting across any of this to my Monday morning caller. When we write about people or issues, that doesn't mean we're endorsing them. Rather, it means we think the story is worthy of your attention in some way.

What you think of the person or issue is, of course, up to you. Our goal is to provide sufficient balance and information to help you make informed decisions.