Saturday, May 26, 2007

Pot. News Letterwatch --- Smear Edition

As any regular reader (both of you) knows, I frequently have little use for Greg Letiecq's creatively named blog, Black Velvet Bruce Li. It is too often as tacky and classless as the velvet wall-hanging after which it named. Unfortunately, these characteristics overshadow those occasions when he does good work.

Now, when I was a weekly columnist for the Woodbridge Fishwr... er, Potomac News, I would occasionally see printed a letter to the editor which attacked not something I wrote, but rather, something that I had done (or more frequently, was falsely accused of doing) which had not been subject to any news story in that "journal." It started occurring regularly when Susan Svihlik appeared as Managing Editor, and started her campaign to oust me as a weekly columnist.

I consider it a fair accomplishment that it took her four years to succeed.

So even though I have litttle use for Greg's blog, I have to wonder why in the Hell things written there, and not reported in any kind of news story in the paper, are appropriate fodder for a letter to the editor? I can't say that I disagree with much said by the author, save for her apparent hostility to Glen Hill, and the notion that Greg is acting as an agent for Hill, an assertion ridiculous even in its construction. Indeed, they are as ridiculous as Greg's and his commenter Jonathan Mark's smears against Faisal Gill.

Charles discusses it here, making the valid point that this writer's accusations against Hill are about as credible as Greg'sand his commenter Jonathan Mark's smears against Faisal Gill. And while Charles does not address the rules governing journalistic ethics --- so far as I am aware, he is no more a "journalist" than I was, and makes no pretense of being one --- it certainly is perhaps the more objective question to ask.


Charles said...

I remember when another letter attacked Greg for his blog stuff a couple weeks ago, and I agree with you that it seems odd to allow such attacks.

I think it's possible the paper is treating Greg like a public figure now, because he is the President of Help Save Manassas.

What do you think? That is a "public" organization, and he is the President. Should the public be able to discuss things written on a blog by a public figure, even if the paper hasn't discussed them?

James Young said...

I still believe that there should be some sort of connection between attacks allowed on the editorial page and the subject of some kind of report. This strikes me as some sort of license that are allowed against those not liked by the management of the paper.

Con Vallian said...

While I detect a lot of jealousy from you concerning Greg, why you have to cheapen yourself with these infantile allusions rather than just state a newspaper name, is not cute (Rush knows how to do it, learn from the MASTER). Try stating your point and then go on.

James Young said...

You know, "con vallian," one thing I tried very hard to avoid when I was writing a weekly column for the Pot. News was to accuse my critics of "jealousy" when they attacked me. What is "infantile" is using such an accusation to avoid addressing the point.

With that having been said, I'm sure that my readership would increase if I were willing to do what Greg does. But I am not willing to smear others with innuendo to do so. Call it a different standard. "Jealousy" it is not.

But thanks for reading!