Confehr: Best use of time is always up to yourself

Friday, May 20, 2011

Some folks just don't have anything better to do, do they?

The question comes from a variety of newsmakers and this week it came from Lewisburg's recently re-elected councilman.

He asked the question during a return phone call. He deserved to have his side of the story told, so he was called.

One of our news sources suggested we run a photo of a campaign sign that was still up after the prescribed time for removal. Presumably, a photo would have delivered the message others didn't want to deliver.

However, two calls elicited replies saying that the sign had been taken down, apparently within a couple of hours of the original tip and then delivery of a photo; back lit because the sun rises in the east and the best view of the sign was from the west.

It would appear that this kind of news and/or friendly suggestion travels faster than the newspaper's deadline and delivery time.

That's life in a small town. It's why the best name for a small town paper could be the Chronicle. By the time it's in print, people already know it happened.

Why it happened, how, and some details are what you deserve because sometimes the rumor mill or telephone tree have some half-truths. Unfortunately, getting the whole truth and nothing but the truth is nearly impossible and this first draft of history ought not be held to the standard set by a respected book chronicling a story that's more than 2,000 years old.

As for the recently re-elected councilman's sign, he says it wasn't his. He rented it and the place where it was posted, thereby comparing it to a billboard.

Furthermore, the enterprising sign shopkeeper didn't know the election was over, that his friend from childhood had won, or that there was a requirement that the sign come down.

Well, this is just another friendly service from your local newspaper, reminding folks that there are more than two peas in a pod. And while sometimes it seems like some people don't have anything better to do, others might conclude that this kind of service might have been a reason for the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech and of the press.

It was good to get return calls with regard to SignGate. It's also good to be able to tell someone who's in a jam, "Your side can be told, if you want to tell it. If you prefer to refrain, please don't shoot the messenger. Just say something graceful like, 'At this point, I'd rather leave explanations to others.'"

It's what Andy of Mayberry would say if Barney shot his only bullet through Aunt Bea's tire.

These views are the author's and not necessarily reflective of the Tribune's views.￿