Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Off-Line Comments

I got a note from Bill Harvey today. Earlier today, I saw his competitor John Brennan going door-to-door on Euclaire and I pointed him out to my wife, who had missed his visit. When we got home, she read the Brennan lit and said something to the effect of "Parks and Rec, huh? That's as good a background as any, isn't it?" And I concurred. Something started nagging at me then, and it came to the surface when I got the email from Mr. Harvey - I've been a bit less than fair.

See, Mr. Harvey wrote to let me know that he did not leave the anonymous comment directing me to put up a link to his website, and that he would have, in fact, asked nicely. For the record, I never really thought it was him. I've had a bit of interaction with him now, and he has never been anything but polite, so I believe that part, too. I can certainly see, however, how anyone reading that post might have thought that I was trying to imply that he left the comment.

How does this relate to John Brennan? When my wife asked which one he was, I responded "the one with all the girls in t-shirts," not "the former Bexley Parks and Rec Director."

So far, as I've been following and writing about the municipal races, I've been following the Print/TV model of covering the horse race, rather than the issues. This allows the commentator to maintain a certain neutrality as to the caliber of the candidates as potential officeholders, by limiting opinions to the candidates in their role as candidates.

In my role as a blogger, I sometimes take advantage of the general perception of bloggers as bottom-feeding journalist wannabes to act like, well, a bottom-feeding journalist. I'm not above a bit of dehumanization. These folks running for office, however, are my neighbors. And furthermore, if I'm going to tease them, even simply as candidates, I should make sure my aim is a bit better.

So, Mr. Brennan, Mr. Harvey, I apologize. I'm still going to have fun writing, and I'm sure I'm still going to end up saying some things that I'll wish I'd said differently, but I will try to do at least a bit better.

3 comments:

Casual Observer said...

Well, if you're going to reduce each muni candidate to smug little descriptors (which could well be accurate) why stop at Brennan and Harvey?

Party time.

Scott Weinblatt is the guy who doesn't shave yet but, like, seems pretty cool and stuff.

Matt Lampke is the guy who is shaving his back now, but, like, seems pretty cool and stuff.

Bill Minckler is the guy who likes computers and probably cool video games, too. And wears a pocket protector. You know, because he's the Technology director.

Travis Irvine is the guy who made that low-budget flick about killer raccoons (and who likes squirrels a lot). He's probably complex.

Robyn Jones is that gal who's on city council or planning commission or something so she totally knows stuff about budgets and things.

Gene Weiss is that guy with glasses and a Gene Weiss T-shirt on sometimes, like that one time I saw him at the Block Party. Oh, and he likes ice cream.

But why stop there?

Mark Masser is that guy who is named Mark that lives near that other guy that I used to work with back in '89. Charles, I think his name was. He also likes the band Boston. Mark, not Charles.

Jed Morison is that guy who runs the Beat Bus. No wait, that's some other guy. Now I'm all confused. Well I heard he does something noble for a living.

Hanz Wasserburger is that guy with that long name who lives in south Bexley (or something like that) with his cousin Franz.

Jeff McClelland is that guy who has been on council since LBJ. He also dated my sister back in high school, but it was nothing serious.

Ben Kessler is that guy with that website that has those links to the cool Columbus Zoo mega passes.

bonobo said...

I'd read your blog.

Even if I was the victim of a Zoo Megapass wild goose chase.

Anonymous said...

Scott Weinblatt may not be a national merit scholar...but he has one on his campaign staff. That Robert Moore is a really cool kid.