An editor for a Michigan college newspaper wrote a column taking his school's baseball team to task for playing lousy ball this season and yet walking around campus with what he felt was an air of arrogance and entitlement.
When he left his apartment the next morning to go to class, the editor's porch was covered in dead animals, including rodents, a deer, and a goat. And animal entrails were strewn across the porch.
Hmmm. It sounds more like this guy lives next door to the Blair Witch than anything else.
I only think one thing was done wrong here: the executive editor of that college paper punked out and sold out the editor who wrote the baseball team column by telling the Detroit Free Press that in retrospect the paper didn't do the right thing in publishing the editorial. She should've stood by her own player. It was his opinion. Columnists are supposed to give their opinions. Does a losing record equate to lousy play? Makes sense to me.
In my junior year in college, the women's basketball team was in the NCAA title game against a major powerhouse squad.
I was at the Women's Final Four to cover that game, and my article the next day said the women's team "got spanked." I used those exact words. There were few other PG-13 ways to describe what happened to my school's team that night.
I suppose I could've used "beaten" (sounds just as bad as "spanked" to me) or "throttled," or something like that.
Anyway, the women's team put a price on my head. Not literally. I don't think they wanted me dead, because they didn't kill me. And they couldn't have wanted me physically hurt, 'cause they were all bigger than me and more than capable of beating me like I stole something...or perhaps spanking me! Ha ha ha ha ha! Just kidding. Go team!
Still, some team members protested loudly and demanded sanctions against the paper, and some of their diehard fans with too much time on their hands sat outside the school newspaper offices in protest too.
I understand fighting back against slander and libel. But this thing in Michigan was different.
At M.I.T. a couple weeks ago, two campus cops were caught stealing copies of the school paper because they didn't like an article in it about a fellow campus cop who'd gotten busted in a drug-dealing sting.
I wrote a crime-related narrative a couple months ago, that examined a middle class neighborhood struggling to fight off the advances of blight, drugs, and homeless people. In the article I mentioned a seedy motel on the edge of that neighborhood and how that motel was visited by the cops more than 300 times last year. Know what happened when I reached out to the motel's management for comment? They threatened to sue me if I mentioned anything in writing about their property's many run-ins with police. The truth is ugly sometimes. I mentioned their problems with the law. Still waiting to be served papers. Not holding my breath.
I don't get the mentality: If I don't like what you wrote - regardless of whether it has basis in fact - I'm gonna make you pay? Tsk, tsk.
Anyway, I miss the good old days of college journalism when you'd write something that certain people didn't like and all they'd do was call you names and tell you your mother didn't love you.
Now, they've graduated to dead goats on your porch?
Given the state of media and the economy that editor may have wanted to test the goat for freshness and if it passed, shoved it in his freezer...the deer too.