OK, this is what my week has been like. I got an email message from someone who had found one of our news stories on the GenX situation in the Cape Fear. Describing himself as an "environmental activist", he had tried to repost it on Facebook but Facebook would not let him do so, and he wondered if we could fix that. I told him that we were all scratching our heads about this, though now I think I have a better idea. Then I started getting more, and lengthier, communications from him. I wrote to him, as I have done with many groups, “I do not participate in decisions about what goes into our news coverage. Please remove me from your mailing list. Thank you.” Well, as the crummy paid ads on the web say, you won’t believe what happened next.
My correspondent wrote back with two messages. One read:
I’ll be using this response in my writing piece. Those that have to power to act and don't are just as responsible. You are by definition, the very archetype of a corrupt human being, and based on our previous numbers, I own your public reputation. I grow tired of this game. Much like every person who has treated me like this has learned, over the last five years, as you sit there think you are talking to nobody, that you are speaking to one of the most powerful activists in the country, so please watch how you speak to me, sir.
And the next one:
Please let your editors know that the official response to my publication and statements, that will be featured in my coming film and writing pieces about corrupt media in Wilmington is, "Take me of[f] your list." Much like every other town we have worked in, none of you in the media will learn who I really am until I have already beaten you with the single largest media campaign your city has ever seen.
At this point I have no response from elected officials. I have "take me off your list" from your outlet. I have "Sorry, we only cover locals" from another, and "If you publish anything about us, we'll sue" as I can literally sit here and provide third party source information that all of you have lied to the public, or at least unwittingly misled them, because one should never blame conspiracy where they can attribute to ignorance.
Ah, very true. I love the 1930’s evil-villain language here:
I grow tired of this game. . . you are speaking to one of the most powerful activists in the country.
Shades of Ming the Merciless. I’m going to see if Celia Rivenbark can fix me up a T-shirt with “Very Archetype of a Corrupt Human Being” on it.
My name is Eric, and I’m calling from Wilmington, North Carolina, in regard to The State of Things. What an impressive interview that was with the woman who went to Duke University and started her own food business. She talked about the need to be humble, she talked about how she grew up in poverty, she spent time living out of her car. It just lets you know that even if you’re living in a state of poverty, as long as you have your health both mentally and physically, you can still do some wonderful things in this world. I was so touched by that interview, I really really was. And the interviewer — he always does a nice job. I enjoy listening to The State of Things.
I’m recording this Feedback on Thursday, before last night’s WHQR Annual Meeting. I’m going to speculate that everyone there appreciated the Czechoslovak Marching Band and the special appearance by George Clooney and Michelle Dockery, as well as the new car that was given to all attendees. Well, we can hope. Or perhaps it was more like a heartfelt thank-you from me to our wonderful listeners who have made WHQR what it is today. Thank you to all who attended, in person or in spirit. I’m sure we’ll be posting photos on whqr.org.
We’d love to hear from you on Friday Feedback. You can send an email message to feedback-at-whqr-dot-org, or you can leave a call at 910-292-9477. Download the new WHQR smartphone app for iPhone and Android. And as always, thanks for your Feedback.