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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

Untethered Posting

Saturday
July 22, 2005

There's a great article linked here in the Daily Business Review that talks about "blogs" and the way businesses sometimes find themselves at odds with employees over them. To me, this is old hat. Enough time has passed where I feel comfortable telling the story of the one time I ran into static over this website from an employer -- and no, it wasn't from Channel 10, surprisingly enough.

There's a reporter at WSAZ in Huntington, WV named Kathy Brown who took offense to an article I wrote in October 2000. October 5, 2000, to be specific (since I didn't break them up by individual days back them). She never had the guts to actually approach me about it, but my understanding is that this part is what got her mad:

A story on the West Virginia AP wire this morning really ticked me off. A family is suing due to a DUI car wreck which involved an 18 year old drunk driver. But get this, not only are they suing the driver, they're suing the Go Mart where the beer was purchased. But the Go Mart broke no rules; they sold the beer to a 21 year old, who acted as a liaison for the 18 year old. I hate greedy trial lawyers (who as a whole are major Democratic party financers, by the way), with their scheming and deceiving and lying and unfounded lawsuits and sleazy tactics. But this is utterly ridiculous. The person who's responsible for the drunk driving and the fatality is the 18 year old -- and no one else. MADD and those who seek to take freedom away from you and I, and particularly from young adults (the most discriminated-against adult age group in our country) in the 18-20 range, help to foster a culture where alcohol is seen as some gruesome, horrid evil, and as a result instead of learning to drink responsibly, teenagers see alcohol as something "criminal" which then often gets parlayed into other criminal behavior. Rest assured, there are many people working everyday with the goal of taking more of your personal freedom away.

She interpreted this -- again, from what I've been told, since she never said anything to me about it -- as me supporting "underage drinking". Of course, that's a twisting of what I wrote. What I support is a system where an adult is giving full freedom, none of this "You're an adult, you can face the death penalty, things stay on your permanent record... but we're going to prevent you from doing some things based on your age." That's age discrimination, pure and simple. And the fact that so many in this country go along with that thinking, following blindly, infuriates me. Want to pick a fight with me? Bring that up and take the "government knows best" side. It won't be pretty.

Ken Selvaggi, the news director at the time, came to me and said that "someone" had come to him with concerns about my website. He mentioned the material I just mentioned. Keep in mind, I'm a pretty sharp detective, and it didn't take me long to figure out who had gone to Ken and whined about me, not to mention that I heard about it from third-party sources.

Now I knew my spot in the pecking order at the station; Kathy had been a reporter there for 15+ years at the time, and I was an overnight producer who'd been there for less than one year. You have to pick your fights sometimes, so I opted to let it go. I certainly didn't change what I had written, but my commentaries from that point forward (through the end of my tenure in April 2001) were considerably muted as far as that went.

Anyway, reading the story about the "blogs" (which this is NOT; a "blog" is a weblog, a virtual diary, if you will, whereas what I write on here are commentaries about my take on all sorts of things in life, both involving me and outside of my own little world) made me think of that. So that's the full story behind the late 2000 incident.

BB6 Eric
BB6 Eric was not amused with Kaysar's HOH win on Thursday.

As for now, I'm free to speak my mind as I please. Short of something that would reveal company secrets, I have the freedom to write what I want. It's yet another reason why I love the internet, and working for Bubba, for that matter.

Last night's episode of Big Brother 6 was interesting. Michael was voted out 9-1, which was no surprise. But in the HOH competition, Kaysar won, which made me super-happy. Ivette looked like she had just been diagnosed with a terminal illness when the results came in. It totally flipped the script on the game, and now the lemmings/sheep that followed Napoleon Eric are scrambling, trying to protect their respective positions in the house. It has made things much, much more interesting. For the record, my bro Matt has revoked his prediction of Kaysar winning, in part because of the slightly na´ve way that Kaysar approaches things, and also because Kaysar is pronounced "CASE-uhr", not Kaiser ("kuhEYE-zur") like Kaiser Sose from The Usual Suspects.


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