When inclined to grumble about one of The Spokesman-Review's editorial positions or political endorsements, I sometimes think of Ed.
Ed was the sports editor at the small newspaper where I started my so-called career. A proud University of Missouri grad, he was a bit of a nitwit in several ways. But he was no dumb jock. He was interested in current events.
So when our predictably non-progressive publisher would write an editorial that upset Ed, the seething sports editor didn't just shrug it off. Oh, no. He would fuss and fume. And in a bit of bluster that I'll now chalk up to his relative youth, he would say something truly moronic.
"I've got a good mind to quit this job and then start writing letters to the editor about our editorials," he would say.
I couldn't tell you how many times he said that. But it was quite a few.
I left that paper before he did, so I don't know if he ever made good on his ridiculous threat. I suspect he did not.
Still, as crazy and immature as Ed's impotent revenge scenario might have been, almost anyone who has worked for a newspaper could identify with the sentiment.
Some readers realize that very few members of a newspaper's staff have anything to do with editorials and endorsements. But not all readers understand that.
Moreover, there are readers who have little patience with the "I had nothing to do with it" explanation. They want to know how anyone with a modicum of self-respect could work at place that supported such a repugnant candidate.
It's a fair question. I guess you just have to realize something about newspapers.
You know what would have happened if Ed had resigned and then written a letter to the editor taking the newspaper to task for its shortsighted editorial stands?
We would have printed it.
Feel free to send me your list of other businesses with a long tradition of offering their harshest critics a public forum.