The Stuck on the Palmetto controversy keeps churning over at SotP. Now that Rick's quit, his sidekick Alex is fighting for him:
We embark sometimes in heated arguments which we should be able to keep them confined to opinions and ideas. You don't like somehing you read, attack the idea, not the person. Some people, unfortunately or by training, can't keep themselves from taking that extra step. That's what Bob Norman chose to do. The question is not innocent of course, because he knows. The threat is clear: "I know what is important to you, and I have the power to publish it if you piss me off". It's not a matter of "rights", a word that gets thrown around too often without knowing the meaning. It's a matter of decency and trust. He is privy to information he knows is destructive and he's using it as a weapon to shut somebody he doesn't like.
Then he goes on about how now I'm backtracking and, after his high-minded words decrying personal attacks, calls me a malicious dick (or d*ck, as he more politely puts it). Then he goes on a paranoid tack about how journalists (like me) are out to get bloggers (like Rick).
All this is getting just a little strange. For somebody that doesn't want to lose his anonymity, Rick and his blog sure are drawing a lot of attention to the issue. Not at all what I had in mind, but now they've put me in a position where I need to expound a bit more on the thing (as self-defense, if nothing else).
A little background: Rick is/was probably the most active blogger in South Florida. He mines the newspapers and the larger Internet for his material and posts several times a day, illustrating just about every post. I'd say he averages three to four hours a day on it. Just an educated guess.
Everyone by now has gathered what line of work he's in, thanks to his bullhorning of an obscure jab that was tucked away in a comment on the Pulp. Now it's time for you to put two and two together. I've devoted half my career so far to exposing waste, corruption etc in government. So I'm not going to lie and say my eyebrows didn't raise a notch when I found out what Rick does for a living. It crossed my mind that all that Palmetto time might be better spent doing his actual job, which is not an unimportant one at all.
I barely gave it a second thought, though; this wasn't a job for Pulpman. His blog was decent and who knew how he juggled it with his job to make it happen. But when he started accusing me of bashing police and made himself out to be some avenging angel of law enforcement, it did irk me. It's the one issue Rick -- solid, middle American, mind-numbingly normal Rick -- gets totally irrational about. I knew he why he was biased, but nobody else did. Basically I thought he should admit what line of work he was in, in general terms. We tussled about it a little in the past and I nudged the guy over the weekend. I thought it was harmless.
But he overreacted and spilled it all over his blog and made a huge issue out of it. Why? Ask him, because it doesn't matter what I think. People are making this about me, but it's all about Rick. He's the one who brought attention to the issue. It's his fucking thing, not mine.