Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Newspaper stuff, a question for bloggers, and how AC/DC let me down

My monthly SJ-R column celebrated International Newspaper Carrier Day by harkening back to my days as a paper boy. Here’s just a sample of what at-home subscribers were asked to stomach while sipping their morning coffee last Sunday.

It was the ability to consistently answer the early-morning call that separated us paperboys from our contemporaries, who chose pampered pursuits such as store clerk or burger flipper to earn a little spending money. While the rest of the town lay snuggly in their beds, we were setting the day into motion by greasing the wheels of civic life through the delivery of the local daily, the lifeblood of the community.

There was a special camaraderie among paperboys in those days. A few of my fellow carriers and I occasionally would gather on the corner after completing our rounds. Here we would swap stories of bravely facing down vicious dogs and espying comely housewives as they attempted to stealthily retrieve their paper while still in their nighties. Old man Fishburn, our district manager, would drive up to say hello while suspiciously eyeing our bags to see that all of our papers had been delivered.

So it turns out that detectives in trouble aren’t a temporary thing, as I so cleverly and erroneously opined last summer. I’ve kept quiet as more and more published reports have questioned their ethics and practices in carrying out their duties. The Bloggers Code of Conduct dictates that I now speak.

Although I never defended the detectives beyond the fact that no charges were ever filed against them, I did suggest that a certain weekly publication was slanting their coverage to disparage the duo. After reading parts of the report that the SJ-R has posted online, it seems that the IT was on to something with their renegade cops angle. They’ve earned the right to gloat a bit in the comment’s section, but I suspect that they won’t.

I had some down time this weekend so I decided to look-up the lyrics to AC/DC’s “Givin’ the Dog a Bone.” I was appalled, nay, sickened at what I discovered. That song’s not about forced child labor in third world Asian countries. It about advocating the teachings of the Crawlin’ Kingsnake John Lee. Just when you think you know a band.

Call it vanity if you will, but I occasionally Google BlogFreeSpringfield to see what blogs and other Web sites are referencing or linking to my work here. Most bloggers will tell you that such searches will occasionally result in a surprise or two. Someone unknown to them will have stumbled across something on their blog and found it compelling or ridiculous enough to mention on their own site.

I was fortunate enough to find something that I wrote here about Barack Obama on the Chicago Tribune Web site. They didn’t credit me personally, but they did mention BFS. What’s more, I must have been making sense at the time I wrote the passage because it wasn’t listed under a category called “Idiot Ramblings of Downstate Bloggers.”

A question then for all of you bloggers: where was the most surprising place you found a link or a reference to your blog?


Dave H said...

There's nothing new in that report that we didn't know six months ago. These also are only allegations by interviewees and have not been proven to be fact. I think this thing has been blown way out of proportion. If these guys deserve some days off so be it. Get it over with and get back to business. There will be some privacy issues involved with the premature-release of this document and I wouldn't be surprised if it goes in the favor of the two detectives.

BlogFreeSpringfield said...


I didn’t read that report as if it were the undeniable truth. I also admit, given my lack of knowledge of law enforcement, that on some of the allegations it’s hard for me to grasp whether they are really serious offenses or just minor breaches of protocol. That said, when you take it as a whole it doesn’t seem like nothing and it must add up to something.

Take just one of the allegations. Didn’t Graham admit to being in bed with the witness in Mississippi, albiet fully clothed? Would that not be a dismissable offense? Forget about the morality of the issue, it’s really none of my business, but I would have to think that if that woman had ever taken the stand for the prosecution and the defense found out that she was literally in bed with a detective, the case would be thrown out pretty quickly.

It looks like a situation that gradually got out of hand because a lot of people weren’t doing their jobs. But ultimately, everyone is responsible for their own behavior.

Thanks for commenting,

Dave H said...

There is some question as to whether it happened at all or whether it was a witness or not. This whole thing should not even have reached this level of public involvement. The Carpenter arrest today appears to me to be damage control for the States Attorney's Office (i.e. Weinhoft). I am going to refrain from speculation anymore and hope this plays out in their favor and not played out in the public arena.

Anonymous said...

As far as that certain weekly publication goes let me say this. It has nothing to do with the fact that the allegations against G&C may in the end be true (more on that later). The issue with that publication is the way they report. It is slanted. Period. There is no objectivity. It is a liberal point of view and no reasonable person can deny that. When they report on anything that has to do with authority or government, particularly conservative government entities, it is grossly slanted. The fact that they run two ridiculously liberal cartoons each week with no rebuttal says it all.

As far as the probe against G&C goes let me say this. I have zero first hand knowledge of their acts or omissions. However, I know enough to say that much of the contents of the 30 page summary can possibly be explained as procedural mistakes or the misguided zeal of 2 guys whose goal was to put as many dirtbags who threaten your, and your children's safety each minute they are free, in jail. I applaud them for that. It seems to me that they did what their direct supervisors allowed them to do. In many ways they were a monster created by apathy. I say monster but that does not mean that I believe they were monsters. I just believe that they were misguided and begged for strong, competent supervision. They received none.

With that being said, let me also say that if it can be reasonably proven that the allegation of drug use is true or that stolen property was knowingly obtained, then let justice come down swift and hard.

nancy said...


Could it not be argued that the convictions of dirtbags who threaten me and my children's safety might likely be overturned by the actions of these detectives? Laying down in bed with an informant is an awful lot of "zeal". I am disturbed by the claim that these men were crying out for supervision. While I believe strongly in the tiers that make up the police department, if these men were in such need of close supervision, perhaps they are better suited for a different job. There seems to be a reluctance on the part of Graham and Carpenter's supporters to acknowledge that while maybe these detectives were doing things the way they've always been done, that
way may have,in fact, been wrong and possibly illegal. I don't know. I am just an outsider looking in and I'm positive there are things that I am not privy to that might change my opinion.

Dave H said...

Well stated anonymous

DownLeft said...

After '04 the official web organizer for the Bush campaign started a big name blog that I forget the name of. It linked something I wrote about Kucinich. That was an ironic surprise considering the tilt of my former blog.

Anonymous said...

(Fudge) tha police
Comin straight from the underground
Young (brother) got it bad cuz I'm brown
And not the other color so police think
They have the authority to kill a minority

A few recent posts on my other blog were linked to from Deadspin. It was surprising given the high quality of that blog and the low quality of mine.

gotshoo.com said...

BFS, if you really what to know who is talking about your blog, hit up Technorati. Great source for finding who is linking you, when did they link you, and have they posted anything about you.