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Friday, October 7, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: Time to stick a fork in this one

Editor’s Notebook: Time to stick a fork in this one

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Talk about beating a dead horse: Norman Leahy, who punditizes for the Bearing Drift blog site and The Washington Post was out a couple of days ago with yet ANOTHER screed complaining that the federal judiciary would not order special elections for all 100 Virginia House of Delegates seats this year.

Ol’ Norm is right that the judge in this case could have cut to the chase and saved a year by simply ruling back in 2021 rather than letting it drag out. But nobody – literally nobody – except the columnist and a handful of people ever cared that the elections run in 2021 were conducted using districts from the 2010 census.

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As the judge (correctly) divined, albeit in more lawyerly language, a lot of things got messed up owing to COVID, and given that there will be a regular election for the legislature coming in November 2023, the greater good was served by holding elections in 2021 under the old districts and then keeping to the normal cycle.

Mr. Leahy and his count-’em-on-one-hand band of compatriots who flogged this dead horse for more than a year just can’t, or won’t, see the forest for the trees on this one. Using the old districts was no assault on the rights of voters; it was simply doing the best one could under the circumstances one encountered.

EVERYONE’S GOT AN OPINION: Like it or not, with such august power vested in me as editor of Ye Olde Sun Gazette (ah-hahahahahaha!) comes the responsibility of reading feedback from our public.

Some of it is good, some of it is cranky.

We had one of the latter yesterday, as a reader opined our little organization had “lost all credibility as a news site.”

(Darlin’, that ship sailed a loooooong time ago, for just about everyone in the news biz, sadly. You are just catching on?)

Now, I go back long enough in the newspapering business to remember the days when, if a reader had the temerity to call up and give an editor attitude, that editor would cancel the reader’s subscription to show them who was boss, and tell them to, in the lovely words of Slim Pickens, “piss on you; I’m workin’ for Mel Brooks.”

(OK, that last part about Mel Brooks is an embellishment borrowed from “Blazing Saddles,” but the rest of that paragraph is true. I won’t name any names except to say it wasn’t here and it wasn’t me. But I witnessed it happen.)

All of this talk about interactions gone awry reminds me of a former colleague, and a beloved one at that, who is no longer with us. (By which I mean she’s working elsewhere, not that she’s gone to the great newspaper office in the sky.)

This colleague was in a customer-service capacity here at Sun Gazette World Headquarters, and even with difficult customers she would generally be as pleasant as could be while on the line with them. And then, when the call was completed, she’d yell out “Bitch!” for the entire office to hear.

You’d think someone might be reprimanded for that. If so, you’ve never worked in customer service, where letting off steam is a necessity.

– Scott McCaffrey

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