On today’s show we, of course, mentioned that Deena Winter has responded to the criticisms both we and presumably plenty of LJS readers have thrown her way regarding the lack of thorough and timely information in the first iteration of the Sacramento Railyards article. Frankly, I’m glad that she did take the time to clarify the factual issues I raised, as my real hope in the entire arena decision this city is facing is that people go to the polls with accurate information. While I’ve consumed the information and decided, for my part, that I believe the arena is an absolute must for the long-term success of Lincoln, I understand that everyone will not agree on this issue. I just want to make sure those who disagree with me are doing so based on accurate information.
On a slightly related note, as I browsed the online comments on Deena’s story, I came across something of an unprovoked attack on our show by commenter “Ed Patterson”. Here’s what he had to say:
One of the problems with ‘government town’ media in the past was “he said, she said” smoke and mirrors took up enough column inches and on air minutes, that important, even critical elements of issues were obscured. In the courts, particularly where issues involving claims against the government (the judges’ and government attorney’s employer) are involved, a similar systematic exclusion of all critical elements of issues typically occurs, leaving the plaintiff with essentially no access to the court system or the rule of law. So now, lets’ mix the two poisons, by injecting a former trial court lawyer into the talk show circuit on a local radio station unabashedly supporting the position of the government! LOL
Today, a key element of internet infrastructure, SEARCH, which some pioneers like Yahoo had originally thought of as essentially a free service of the overall portal site, has veered off into a highly monopolized, primary vector of targeted paid advertizing, the lifeblood of newspapers. Obviously by demanding expansion of detail, and legalistic documentation of all important elements of fact, a modern, ‘lean and mean’ newspaper, operating on a fraction of its former budget and with reporters wearing multiple hats, would simply cease to function as a source of news.
I have heard the entire evolution of the Jack & John radio show from the beginning, actually even egged them on and encouraged it now and then. In their ‘Deena Damage Control’ segments they are essentially accusing Ms. Winter of shooting from the hip. This is a case of the pot calling the kettle black, if ever there was one. Tonto and the Lone Ranger here (I’m not sure which one is which), these two guys are not. It’s more like the Merrill Lynch steer meandering through the china closet, only they didn’t get the part about missing the china.
While the general “These guys are out of control” criticism Ed heaped on the show is something that’s certainly been rehashed by a small subset of listeners who are put off by our unique brand of Morning news/talk, there are few other items that I think demand a response.
First, despite the fact that both John and I have come out in favor of the arena after nearly a year’s worth of learning about it via interviews, show prep and speaking with people involved, we’ve never been anything close to some sort of full-time pro-government cheerleader, as Ed insinuates and a few others have suggested. If you recall, we’ve been bitingly critical of the current administration on several occasions: “Catalyst One”, 48th & O, the dispute with Carptenter Motors, collective bargaining with the fire department, just to name a few. And as for our criticisms of Nebraska’s state government at both the legislative and executive level, they’ve been very widespread and intense when merited. This “government cheerleader” line seems to have become the trump card of arena opponents who are bothered by our position on this issue, but have rarely taken the time to listen to what we’re actually saying or have said in the last couple years.
Oh, and about the bull-in-a-china closet line: go ahead and read my critique of Deena’s piece last week, which was the genesis of this entire discussion, and let me know if I was reckless in any way. I’d submit I was actually the one addressing and correcting recklessness. I’m not sure we were calling her out for “shooting from the hip”, but instead for writing an inaccurate article that will have genuine reverberations on the arena discussion. We may be aggressive and make our points via grandiose satire, but I’d like to know if and when we’ve misstated facts relevant to this discussion or anything else we’ve taken up. So, if by “shooting from the hip” you mean making calls to first-hand sources, doing extensive research, and presenting a complete and accurate factual account of stories germaine to the arena decision, yes, I most certainly shoot from the hip.