I am writing to you in response to your irresponsible reporting of a story about my son, Ian Noyer, in the Nov. 6 Steamboat Today about his alleged burglary of a local business and "random act of violence." Your article presented readers with only one tiny portion of Ian's story - the most sensational part - and at the expense of Ian and his family's self-esteem and true character. What you really have done is added to the endless heartache and suffering Ian is experiencing, a young man drowning in shame and defeat as the result of an incurable disease.
I am writing to tell you the rest of Ian's story. Ian is an alcoholic fighting for his life, trying to overcome his addiction and find a path to peace and happiness. His addiction, which began almost three years ago, has intensified and has been devouring him during this past year despite his relentless efforts to rise above it. Ian willingly has participated in three months of inpatient care at two different Colorado rehabilitation centers. He willingly chose to move to a sober living environment in Florida for an additional four months where he vigorously pursued maintaining his sobriety. He has sought counsel and treatment from multiple addiction counselors and physicians. He has participated actively in AA, most recently attending meetings twice a day since leaving rehab. He has prayed endlessly for spiritual guidance and help. Despite these efforts, Ian continues to relapse.
Here is the rest of what you omitted in your coverage. Ian recently had been hired as a first officer for a national commercial airline after completing a four-year degree in Aeronautical Science in three years. Before achieving his dream job, Ian had entertained countless Steamboat families for years through his participation in Steamboat Springs High School's theater productions. He had volunteered for his community and worked for several local businesses throughout high school and in the summers, always receiving accolades from his employers for his stellar work ethic.
My son has lost everything to his addiction - his career, his friends, his future. You have chosen to portray him as nothing more than a worthless drunk. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I know those who truly know Ian in this community know this. Ian is a good person with a gentle and caring heart who has lost his way because of alcoholism.
This story really began Tuesday morning. Ian had completed a successful job interview and had called me to share his good news. The last time I spoke to Ian before his arrest, he called me, freezing and distraught and completely disoriented on this particularly cold and snowy night, to tell me he was afraid, lost and could not find his way home. Alcohol had destroyed his ability to reason, and the break-in inexplicably and unintentionally followed. Ian had spiraled down from success to defeat in a day's time - this is the power of addiction and actually the whole story as you should have told it but didn't.
I believe you have the responsibility as good journalists to educate yourselves and then your readers regarding the power of addiction and to consider the destructive nature of this disease before you depict my son as nothing more than an intoxicated cat burglar or choose to recklessly disgrace any other person who is struggling to overcome this debilitating and deadly disease.