Boy Columnist and Erring
Boy Columnist (aka Larry Dale Keeling) of the Lexington Herald-Leader brought forth a column on Sunday last (the 21st) headlined thusly: To err is human; to pardon, ill advised. Interpreted, Boy Columnist’s message: Everyone – especially Governor Fletcher – is likely to make mistakes, but to forgive alleged partners in error is a mistake. Applying the same logic, Boy Columnist would have expected the proofreaders and editors at the H-L to be fired immediately upon any misspelled word, grammatical gaffe, or (horrors) outright misstatement rendered by him in the course of the perfectly respectable profession of pontificating as normally uncorrected/unrevised by proofreading/editing. That he and these fellow wretches remain at the paper (at least at last count) means that they have either been forgiven his/their transgressions by his employer or that he has, indeed, never committed a miscue.
Concerning the former and assuming that Boy Columnist belongs to homo sapiens and is therefore human and thus, by his own admission, susceptible to and guilty of making mistakes (prone to err), his advice to the governor appears a bit hypocritical, since he and the Giddy Gang (editors, at least) are still employed (or were, at last count) at the H-L. Of course, it may be that the latter applies to Boy Columnist, in which case all bets are off and anyone accepting that premise as valid is invited to apply here in order to buy the Brooklyn Bridge for 79 cents. Item – Boy Columnist’s third paragraph: “Suddenly, conventional wisdom has been born.” The definition of conventional wisdom is the generally accepted belief, opinion, judgment, or prediction about a particular matter. In other words, Boy Columnist wrote an untruth, to wit, that something already existing has just been brought into existence. This is a direct violation of the first law of journalism, to wit, that only the truth is acceptable. Keeling would be declared guilty in a court of law. So…okay, no takers for the bridge at a huge discount.
Consider a hypothetical: A fellow columnist of Boy Columnist (or even [gasp], an editor) at the H-L, seeking to advance Boy Columnist’s career – maybe to a position at the Miami Herald – actually rewrites a column by Boy Columnist, who, upon noticing such an exercise in skullduggery, is faced with “going with the flow” and keeping quiet in order to protect his colleague…or turning in his would-be benefactor. In other words, should his friend be pardoned?
Consider a further hypothetical: A jealous and competing fellow columnist, who only gets to write obituaries, actually sabotages a column by Boy Columnist – for instance, calling the governor governor, instead of Boy Governor, the preferred and prescribed term of endearment for Governor Fletcher at the H-L, and does so at a time too late for editing to correct this profoundly unforgivable miscue. The obit-writer goes directly to the publisher/editor and demands that Boy Columnist be summarily fired, as well as his partners in error (editors, etc.) and that he (the obit-writer) be instantly installed in his place at the next meeting of the Knight-Ridder Board of Trustees, perhaps known as the Supreme Giddy Gang, that meets regularly in Grand Ju…oops Fashion.
Thus may be seen some similarity between the circumstances herein noted and those prevailing in Frankfort. Perhaps it is well to remind those who live in glass houses to be wary of throwing rocks.
And so it goes.