“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"

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Of October and Surprises

OK, for the record, since some folks seem to think they know what was going on in my/our heads at The Amarillo Independent, I note that the endorsements came from the editorial board, with the mentioned exception of the judiciary races. And the three reporters on the board are senior ones — years of newspaper experience, not some lightweight newbie fresh from j-school.

Further, the more I read SD’s and the other posts, and the more I think about it, the more I come to see it was a petulant, knee-jerk reaction for us not endorsing Bell. We get no credit for the other endorsements. You guys want Mac again?

And Hutchison? That she didn’t talk to us was her choice. That we felt she had an obligation to is our choice. That it drove part of the rationale for our endorsement, our choice. It’s not quid pro quo. It’s about the accountability of those whose salaries are paid by you and me and about how the media represents you and me.

Perhaps the thing that pissed me off most about the original post was how it was an example of what Panhandle folks call “All Hat and No Cattle.” How many times did I come to the liberal and progressive part of the community and ask for support? Tell your friends about us? Tell your friends in business to consider advertising with us? Help us find additional distribution points? And how about that offer how many months ago to put our ad on the PTS site? Not there yet, is it?

Maybe, as “the self-appointed ombudsmen of the local media,” the bloggers criticizing The Amarillo Independent should learn more about how the media works, how journalistic standards work and the implications and significance of The Amarillo Independent being started and — so far — succeeding. It’s easy to sit back in your self-satisfaction and throw stones. I don’t see any of you stepping up to the plate. I’m proud of the journalism we — and I mean the entire staff — do, and it’s a lot more important than some damn endorsement that, frankly, no one gives a shit about.

You want another voice in the town? You want progressive media? You want institutions and public officials held accountable?

Then don’t eat your young.