Thursday, May 11, 2006

I Take Back Everything I Said

Have I mentioned how much I respect the Roanoke Times editorial staff? Sure I've called the staffmembers a bunch of freaking morons - on frequent occasions - but I never meant it in a bad or disparaging way. Not really.

It's amazing how a few words of glowing praise will sometimes alter my opinion like that. I guess I'm easy.

After reading the snippy line in the Times-Dispatch to which Will Vehrs referred yesterday - "Quips that offended the region were as clever as typical jests in the blogosphere i.e., not very ... (link)," I was reminded how these guys in the lofty position of staffmember view themselves - and of how they are viewed by the world - Elitist.

But that was then. Today I have only good things to say about ... well, only about Dan Radmacher of the Roanoke Times actually. He had an interesting (and non-snippy) piece in the paper yesterday (link) about blogs and how he finds them - particularly those with a point of view with which he disagrees - entertaining and informative.

Dan gives favorable mention to Jim Bacon of Bacon's Rebellion and then he has this:
Another favorite -- this one probably falls into the love-to-hate category is "From On High" (, a blog by Jerry Fuhrman out in Bland County. I think the love-to-hate thing is mutual, judging by the joy he takes in eviscerating our editorials. Sometimes he has a point. Sometimes he misses the point. I rarely agree with him, but I enjoy his perspective, his general thoughtfulness and the sharp edge he brings to his commentary.
I'm not sure I like the "love-to-hate" line. After all, my motto is Love Everyone - even those flaming liberals who are afflicted with an inability to reason and the annoying habit of being wrong on all issues (I'm trying to get that motto worked down to fewer words like "Love the stupid"). I consider myself more of a hate-to-hate kinda guy. Call me Rodney King.

Anyway, while I'm basking in the glow of fame and soon-to-be-fortune, let me say something about Radmacher.

There are two people on the editorial staff at the Times who can write. Only two. The others belong in second year English Comp class - or the McDonald's receiving line handing out Happy Meals to the kiddies. One is Tommy Denton - the leader in the Den of Iniquity. I rarely agree with anything the man has to say, but he is one of the most gifted writers in the Old Media today. If you're interested, read "Confusing Raw Power With Wisdom." If you pay no attention to the bone-headed conclusions he draws, and concentrate only on his writing, you'll agree that he's a gifted professional.

The other skilled professional is Dan Radmacher. Dan is right about the fact that he and I don't agree on the issues that are important in the USA today - the war in particular. The issues swirling around the environment. He believes humans are causing global warming. But his editorials are always well-written. Despite his irritating use of questionable sources, he backs his arguments up with facts - and lots of them. I'll bet he would be a top-notch debater. His columns are always top notch. And they have been since he wrote for the Charleston Gazette (his articles on the coal industry were fabulous) years ago.

I'll have to invite Dan down to the local Chug-and-Puke (that would be a local Roanoke Chug-and-Puke; the closest we have in Bland is the Citgo station that sells beer out of the cooler) and debate the most pressing issues of the day over some of America's finest Bud. I think it would be a hoot.

Anyway, the kind words are appreciated. Especially since they came from a man destined to rise to the pinnacle of success in the mainstream press.

Assuming, of course, the mainstream press doesn't implode before he gets there ...