Columnist attack off the mark
March 13, 2002
Bob Blaich’s verbal tantrum over Su Lum’s column on the Infill Report sent me diving through my recycling pile for the offending original. What I discovered bears passing on.
Blaich accuses Lum of “attacking Charlie Tarver … while he is fighting for a return to his health.” The column, it turns out, at no point attacks Charlie Tarver; it merely disagrees with assumptions of a report that Tarver coordinated.
Lum, in fact, devotes two paragraphs to her distress over Tarver’s condition, remembers when she was in ICU, possibly in the same bed, and wishes Tarver “godspeed.” This is the empathy that Blaich claims “discredits” Lum’s “judgment and sense of decency.”
Blaich asks Lum to “stick to subjects that are of less importance to the future of Aspen.” Apparently Blaich would prefer that a columnist stay away from examining underlying premises. But Blaich does not want Lum to write lightly either, for he also objects to her speculations about planning and job security at the end of the column.
Blaich apparently does not read many newspaper columns, for it is their nature to express the writer’s own response – be it solemn, upbeat or cynical – once the underlying facts have been established.
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