Researching the article on the decline of American newspapers was a depressing activity. I admit that I am a bona fide news junkie. I read our local paper, the Paducah Sun, Wall Street Journal and when I can get it by driving twenty miles south, USA Today. Media is the largest category of my online sites to visit. I love newspapers and I love reporters (in a platonic sort of way).Through this site, I experience the vicarious thrill of tracking down a story and sharing it with whomever may be reading.
So, I feel that this criticism is offered with love, nothing but love, to the journalists who trudge the halls of power every day.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press: 2009 is the year without an election. I looked forward to this year. In part, because I foolishly thought you could concentrate your not inconsequential talents on issues that mean a great deal to your fellow citizens. Instead, I read almost daily speculation of who will run in the 2010 elections.
Please let me clear. I do not care if Jim Bunning is running in Ought Ten. Not yet. Ask me in December 2009. I don’t care to speculate on Crit’s plans or whether Jack is in it or not. I don’t care whether Dr. Dan is raising oodles of money. Not yet.
A wise judge once listened to the arguments of two attorneys. The motion they debated was a pretty minor one, considering the importance of other issues in their case. Later, the judge said to me, “There’s bear in them woods and they’re out chasing bunnies.”
There’s bear in Kentucky’s woods. You know what they are. Stop chasing the bunnies of an election months away. While following the easy stories of “Will he? Won’t she?” you are ignoring the issues that threaten your fellow Kentuckians. Sure, it’s safer and more fun to speculate on who’s going to file in January, 2010.
Here’s the thing. We depend on you to hunt bear. You are the only ones with the abilities to do it. You know what the bears look like. You know their tracks. You have access to the powers that be. You’re smart or you wouldn’t be doing what you’re doing. We out here far from the center of decision making need you to search out and report on the bears that are coming to eat us up.
I have faith in you. Stop breaking my heart. Hunt bears. Not bunnies.