Thursday, 3 June 2010

The Wakko from Waco

(I actually wrote this for Newsvine last fall but decided to repost it since I haven't been doing any writing for a bit. Busy busy)

When you think of Ted Nugent you think of; The Motor City Madman, guitar slinging showoff, The Amboy Dukes, "Journey to the Center of your mind", "Wango Tango", anti drug hater of grunge, and bowhunting blowhard. But "crusading journalist"? How about the "Martin Luther King" of our time? No? Well apparently you don't know our Ted. It turns out that he has been writing a weekly op-ed piece for a small paper in Waco Texas (where our hero now lives, I guess the Motor City doesn't have enough guns) called the Waco Tribune Herald for a few years until it was bought by a couple of Christian Republicans in August 2009. Now normally you would think that Ted would be cool with that, even when they added "In God we trust" to the mast head and sent out a memo stating there would be "more conservative editorials". In Texas? More conservative than what exactly I wonder? But then they went and did something that just outraged our Ted's sense of truth and justice for all. They sent out a memo stating that;
"The opinions we published were going to be thoughtful and civil.
No more name-calling. Make sure everyone on our payroll knows that."
Well our Ted wasn't going to take that lying down, no siree. He immediately sent out a message on his website which read in part (with spelling mistakes intact);

"So I get this spineless, soulless anti-American Email from Carlos Sanchez, new editor of Waco Tribune, listing new rules for my weekly Sunday feature telling me I cant [sic] criticize anyone, only recommend things, can't have any negativity, only cute nicyness.
The job of the press is to be the "fourth" arm of government. To intentionally muzzle itself is to fail at its most basic watchdog responsibility. As readers, voters and citizens we should demand a watchdog press, not a lapdog press.
I can't envision Thomas Jefferson, George Washington or Ben Franklin making a request of an anti-King George columnist to tone it down. I can't imagine Martin Luther King toning down his message. It is impossible for me to fathom any American to tone down what is in his heart and soul.
I criticize where I believe criticism is due. That's what Thomas Paine did when he published Common Sense prior to the Revolutionary War. He criticized King George for his heavy handed and wrong policies. We are free in large part because of Thomas Paine's open, routine and strident criticism."

OK I know what you're thinking; Ted is comparing himself to Thomas Paine? I can totally see that. But Martin Luther King? Are we sure Ted never does drugs? Maybe he should.

Anyway "Not so Dirty" Sanchez just as quickly fired him. So Ted fired off another message to various media outlets protesting this blatant violation of his rights of free speech and freedom of the press only to be met with resounding laughter and even more resounding indifference. One wit called him the Wakko from Waco. Actually that would actually be a good title for an album if Ted ever remembers that he used to be a musician.

On a more serious note; No Ted, journalists are not "The fourth arm of govt.", at least not in a democracy. The phrase I assume you were referring to was "The Fourth Estate", which is not the same thing at all. I'll leave the implications of that one for you to figure out. Presumably you'll have some free time to work on that.

Oh and by the way Ted; it's called "spell check". If you want to be a journalist, even a "citizen" one, look into it. I'm pretty sure that's what Thomas Paine would have done.

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