“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

so I ran into John Kanelis at a KKK rally. . .

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

The editor of the Amarillo Globe-Republican Opinion page was, of course, there for the same reason I was: to report on the events of the day. And to be fair, I saw him again an hour later at the diversity rally and he said that the environment there was much nicer. And I can't find much to disagree with in his column in Sunday's paper, inasmuch as he pretty much echoed my impressions.

Of course, at the rally, Kanelis couldn't resist but make a funny: "This is Barry," he said. "He attacks us on that website. I call it the Panhandle Truth-As-I-See-It Squad." Snorkle, guffaw. I tried to point that "The Truth As I see It" is a workable definition of the word "opinion" and Kanelis edits the Opinion page, but he dismissed my protestations with a "it's-all-just-a-game" chuckle.

But, y'know, that whole enounter got me thinking about the difference between Us and Them.

And then I opened Monday's paper.

Buried on page 4A was the headline "Georgia honors Jewell for Olympic heroism." (print edition of AG-R only, but here's a similar story.) Jewell, you'll remember, had his life wrecked by the mainstream media during the 1996 Olympics. He was initially hailed as a hero for spotting a suspicious backpack that turned out to be a bomb, but then the Atlanta Journal-Constitution described him as the focus of the investigation and suddenly he was a terrorist. Long ago, Eric Rudolph was uncovered as the real terrorist and Jewell quietly went back to cop-ping.

Bloggers try to correct the flaws of the mainstream media. On this blog, we focus on the Amarillo Globe-Republican. Now, I would never claim that this piling on the the mainstream media did to Richard Jewell would not be duplicated by bloggers. If anything, we're worse about piling on than they are.

But, there is this: we correct mistakes. Not always and not all of us, but review and correction is implicit in the form. The mainstream media's mistakes, and our own. The better bloggers believe in, and demand, peer review.

So, after ten years, I think it appropriate that the blogging community correct a mistake of the mass media by highlighting Jewell's story-- as the AG-R did not by sticking in on 4A.