Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Blogger Catches Scene Political Writer Passing on Fabrication About Gentry

First, I owe Mayoral Candidate Howard Gentry an apology. While sitting in the Sylvan Park Goldie's Deli yesterday morning, waiting for my take-out breakfast, I made the mistake of picking up last week's Nashville Scene. That was my first mistake.

Then I made my second mistake: reading Jeff Woods's anecdote about Mr. Gentry trying to use his high-profile name to get into the Nashville Rescue Mission in order to sleep during his participation in Urban Plunge after all the beds were full.

I confess to Mr. Gentry that my final mistake was forgetting my usual skepticism when reading the Nashville Scene and buying the anecdote all the way down to Mr. Gentry's warm-ups. I regret my naivete now that Sean Braisted has caught the Scene at best failing to fact check and at worst perpetuating a lie about Mr. Gentry.

Sean, bless him, even takes a swipe at the Scene's Editor

who says that she is frightened of bloggers, because they are not subject to the rigorous fact-checking of the newsroom like reporters are. Actually, I find it more frightening that someone with journalistic credentials like Jeff Woods and his "rigorous" news editors could run a false, but colorful anecdote that reached (tens of?) thousands of readers in the past week, making Mr. Gentry look pompous and self-privileged.

While we are rubbing Scene staffers' noses in the hypocrisy of criticizing bloggers for mistakes that they make themselves under the auspices of professionalism, allow me to call your attention to one other comment:

Exaggerations [by bloggers] ... are signs of overwhelming self-importance and an easy way to ruin a thirst for knowledge.
The hard-copy Gentry story was exaggerated to the nth degree. It was fabricated, and thus, even more ruinous of the thirst for knowledge (if the Scene still has a thirst for knowledge as opposed to a thirst for sensation).

UPDATE: Scene Editor-in-Chief "Name-in-Large-Font" gives the News 2 Political Blogger a lame excuse for their failure.


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