This was initially simply an item amidst some forthcoming marginalia but the more I read, the more exasperated and offended I became.
David Newquist expresses the reaction I had on picking up the paper this morning and then catching up the whining, dismay and concern in the SD blogosphere (where the number of posts indicates PP is truly appalled, just appalled). The uproar? Sen. Tim Johnson, through his staff, evidently told the SD media it would be first when it came to interviews. But (OMG!!!!!!), Johnson has been interviewed — and more than once (multiples of OMG!!!!!!) — by Bob Woodruff of ABC. Shock. Disaster. Treachery. Damn near the end of the world as we know it!!!!!
I’m sorry, but a handful (if that many) of sporadic interviews on the topic of recovering from a brain injury conducted by someone who also suffered a traumatic brain injury stands in sharp contrast to the “we should have been first” attitude being expressed by the SD media and blogosphere. Woodruff is evidently focusing on brain injury and recovery. I’m far from an expert but it strikes me that talking occasionally with a fellow survivor of serious brain injury is probably recuperative and rehabilitative in and of itself. It also seems a greater public service piece with an impact far beyond South Dakota in contrast to what I have no doubt would have been “How you doing, how’s your recovery going, politics, politics, bullshit, shouldn’t you have talked to us before about how you’re doing, politics, politics, more politics, more bullshit and how are you doing, really” that would have come from any number of SD media.
Boo hoo is right. If the fact Johnson’s medical recovery will be detailed on ABC rather than in the local media is somehow viewed as contrary to open government or an attack on the SD press, then parochialism and the Lohan-Hilton school of journalism and government does rule the day. The SD media will have plenty of time for interviews and press conferences on issues far more wide ranging than what I presume Woodruff did and to ask about politics, current events and any other number of parochial items and also will undoubtedly and justifiably follow up Johnson’s health status and continue to do so.
But the fact Johnson didn’t give interviews to the SD media although he was talking to Woodruff doesn’t offend me, whether as a former journalist, a lifelong South Dakotan, a voter or just a member of the public. Even though I could never be called a Johnson lackey (and indicated to him directly the last time I saw him my dismay over a then-recent vote of his), my message to the SD media and blogosphere is simple: Get over it.
All this whinin’ and cryin’ and pitchin’ a fit
Get over it, get over it
“Get Over It,” The Eagles, Hell Freezes Over