Evidently, I’ve been doing my job right this week, because damn people all butt-hurt and telling me how to do my damn job. Jesus. Look, lady, I didn’t stay for “the whole meeting” because my deadline is 9 p.m., and it takes me a half-hour or so to write up a story. Therefore, since I left at 8:45, surely you can see the dilemma, right? As for how I cover a story and what I end up writing about it, my job is to provide readers with the newest information humanly possible, and I hate to tell you this, but the people in the crowd were NOT SAYING ANYTHING NEW. I know you think they were, but between the nutjob who had his son refigure the study numbers, the Rush-wannabe wingnut accusing the board of entertaining real estate offers and HIS mother getting up and talking about how her father was the first union president, really, they weren’t. In fact, the only parent who offered anything remotely reasonable was the woman who asked what improvements would be made with the money that would be saved. And no, no one on EITHER SIDE gave any viable solutions, either, so tell you what: When the parents CAN say anything I haven’t heard ad nauseum since November, I’ll stop acting like I have better things to do. ‘k?
THAT one wasn’t even the best one, either. Behold the atrocity I got over the weekend; my comments are obviously italicized. [WARNING: It’s SUPER long.]
I am writing to you to let you know the utter distain and frustration I have for the article you wrote regarding the generous donation given by the Embassies of Christ Church in Gary, Indiana of $36,500 to retain a police officer from getting laid off her job.
[Yikes. Sounds serious.]
To say that you minimized a major event that took place in the City of Gary and made it to look like a minor event is an understatement! You evidently are an expertise in downplaying that could have been a monumental change in our city had you wrote the article correctly.
[Hold up—did you just accuse me of subtlety? I don’t think anyone’s EVER accused me of subtlety before. Huh. No one’s ever called me an “expertise,” either, so this makes two foreign concepts for me to digest, and I haven’t even gotten through two grafs yet.]
Your slant and opinion was revealed in your headline title, “Church Kicks in Cops Salary, left much to be desired and showed your lack of respect in several ways. [Since I don’t write the headlines, please go on. I will say, though, it hasn’t been long enough to notice you forgot the close quote on the hed.] In the first place, the derogatory slang word, “cops” is not an endearing word that denotes honor and dignity nor is it a respectful word such as policeman, or police officer would bring to mind. The word cops is generally used by unsavory individuals who lack respect for our men and women who lay their lives on the line everyday to protect us, and your negative input and comments helped to bring forth negative comments from outside readers was even more frustrating.
[Again, had nothing to do with the headline, but would you have preferred the more common vernacular of “Po-Po?” “Pigs?” “New World Odor?” C’mon, at least let us have “5-0.”]
They were clueless like you, for Pastor Cedric and Joyce are giving and loving shepherds who have loving and giving hearts and believe in blessing others generously.[Huh? What has that to do with using “cops?”] They feed the hungry with food baskets and clothing every month, people in financial trouble get assistance from the Transition Housing we have, where those in financial distress don’t have to pay rent for a year, and are given free utilities to help pay off their bills, and every year, they give away brand new stoves, refrigerators and washer & dryers to help needy people. [I know; I was there during the service, where the good deeds were announced on the giant flat screens via “newscast.”] They have never had a Pastor’s anniversary, but instead give their members a Worker’s Appreciation every year at their expense.
[Mmmhmmm. They also have “Member Appreciation” cards that members swipe each week for the chance to win a trip to the Bahamas. Person with the most swipes wins. Wonder where the money for THAT comes from ...]
Secondly, you misspelled Pastor Cedric’s name(not Cedrick as you spelled it), and had you done your research or took time to even interview him or his wife, you would have known he does not use the title of Rev, and prefers to be called Pastor C or Pastor Cedric.
[He can call himself the Goddamn “Lord of the Rings” if he wants. *I* have to call him “The Reverend” on first mention and by his last name on all subsequent references. Don’t like it? Call the people after whose stylebook we and the entire news industry have modeled ours for the last 75+ years: (212) 621-1500. Good luck with that.]
You had the opportunity to show Gary and the surrounding cities of a love and kindness shown to Shanesha Emmons, who was about to be laid off her job due to the City budget deficit. Your article should have contained words like:
• WAY TO GO !
• GOOD JOB EMBASSIES OF CHRIST!
• WONDERFUL !
• CONGRADULATIONS! [This isn’t even a word.]
Yet none of the above words were present in your article at all. Why not? I’ll tell you why, because they are positive, uplifting and inspiring words. Instead, your condescending words painted a picture of distrust of motives, downbeat, unconstructive, unenthusiastic, and had a very pessimistic slant on a good deed that was done, and to me, your article was a waste of good paper.
[See, that’s interesting to me, because REPORTERS AREN’T ALLOWED TO EXPRESS OR INFER THEIR OWN OPINION WHEN THEY WRITE A STORY, and if you’re taking away all that ish from what I wrote, that’s coming from inside you. You might want to talk to the Olivers about that.]
Your style of writing reminds me of the National Enquirer [Note to self: Stop trying so hard.], where they feed on negative assumptions instead of reporting the whole truth of the matter. Good journalism-definitely not!
We have enough negative people, as well as some reporters, who down-play any good thing that happens in Gary, but they are great on reporting crime news, or articles that reflect anything bad and for you to minimize something great as this event was, the word unbelievable comes to my mind.
Your small dig when mentioning the Honorable Mayor Rudolph Clay [Aaaaaaaaah, I get it: You’re a city employee, aren’t you? Because I’ve never met any people who aren’t, yet call him “Honorable.”] was uncalled for and your total disrespect of not acknowledging Senator Earline Rogers, Ms. Emmons, and the Chief of Police who were present and on hand, was an insult to our distinguished elected officials, and the honoree, and this was basic elementary reporting that you neglected while writing your article.
[(takes deep breath) Ok. Point one: Now I’m not sure you even read the article, because Ms. Emmons WAS THE STORY LEAD, and Chief Harris comprised the WHOLE SECOND PART OF THE STORY. How is that not acknowledgment!?? Point two: Regarding my “little dig,” let’s talk about the “honorable” Rudy Clay’s views on crime in the city. Rudy has been quoted many times as saying “There’s no crime in Gary”—see
Evidently, a $10,000 fundraiser by the NWI Credit Union to the Northwest Indiana Food Bank was obviously greater than the $36,500.00 Embassies gave freely from their hearts. [Yes. Because the money EOC raised is worth more than money for a stinky old food bank—one that y’all over there at EOC likely dip into to do your good works since Angie and her crew give food to 92 entities throughout Lake and Porter counties, but you know, details and whatnot.] The donation by the Credit Union has a picture with their people holding a copy of the check and was on Page C2, yet not one picture of the pastors, mayor, police chief, the recipient, nor Senator Rogers’ picture of them holding the check for $36,000 make the paper at all-why I ask? There was a post tribune reporter there taking pictures.
[No, there wasn’t, because only a handful of reporters take pictures, and I’m not one of them.]
A half-fuzzy picture of 3 people in the choir with the article did not compare and again, added insult to injury. [It’s too bad you feel that way, because the performance was spectacular and much more visually attractive than a pack of mopes holding a damn check. But since YOU know how to do our job better than we do, I’ll make sure to pass your critique to the award-winning photographer who took the shots.] This reflected to me on the attitude of your Editor as well, is why I am sending him a copy of this letter as well.
[I’m sure she’ll welcome it ... as much as anyone likes anything from a know-it-all harpie.]
I feel you both did an injustice here and owe my Pastors a positive rewrite for the negative coverage given [Will I get to go to the Bahamas if I do?] because something good like this could have generated much good will in the city had it been done right, and it seems this was done purposely. Nobody could write such a bad article about such a good event unless it was done purposely. How sad!
[Yes, I intentionally set out to offend a large portion of the population by not using “Way to Go!” in my story. Do you know how dumb that sounds?]
The next time you are assigned to do any news worthy and exciting about a wonderful event that is done in Gary-DON’T! PLEASE DECLINE!! We want positive reporting when a positive thing happens.
[There you go again with that “positive” nonsense. I told you: I DON’T GET TO EXPRESS OR INFER OPINION WHEN I WRITE A STORY, so anything negative you took from it is ALL YOU, sweetie!]
I would rather have no news reported than to have your slanted view with your gratuitous remarks reporting anything else good that happens in our City.
[So then I guess you’re really going to hate knowing that I’ve moved into the Gary office and have been given the church beat, huh?]
One last note: The story she’s bitching about? Was referenced ON THE FRONT PAGE.