As an essayist, when I get stuck, I often resort to the “just imagine you’re writing a letter to a friend” technique. Except in this case, I really did write a letter, and I sent it too. Here it is.
This morning, I read a comment written by you on Buckeye Senate Blog. I’m not going to get involved in something about which I know next to nothing and doesn’t really involve me, but this portion caught my attention:
You have a right to factual opinion. Bloggers do not have a right to libel or slander in a legal sense or malicious unsubstantiated rumor as fact from a journeyman’s stance.
If blogging is to become a serious dialogue, it must evolve into basic standards of decency and accuracy, or else it will not become what I often hear bloggers in these pages wanting it to become.
When I combine the extent to which the final post that existed at the High and Broad blog (just before someone removed all of that blog’s posts) made unkind insinuations about me, with these words of yours – particularly the suggestion that bloggers adhere to basic standards of decency and accuracy, I can only think of one piece of information that I want to know and that I deserve to know: If you or someone you know knows what in the world gave rise to that final post of H & B’s, for the sake of those of us who are Democrats in our hearts and values, and Ohioans by residence as well as personality, then that information should be publicly revealed and the person who is responsible for that very distasteful post must take responsibility.
Just to remind you why I feel even a bit offended, here is the post, as reproduced yesterday on Michael Meckler’s blog post about the entire situation (and I think he does an excellent job in his recap):
Then Jill, at Write Like She Talks, spends all day blogging on it (here and here and here and here). She’s a conservative Jew. She doesn’t seem happy.
But wait. Wasn’t that Eric Fingerhut up there addressing theDemocracy For America/Blue 88 Democratic candidates forum just two weeks ago in Columbus on a Saturday afternoon?
It was. Here isaudio, in which Fingerhut notes that he had driven down from Cleveland with his son.
So what gives? Who is it that’s supposed to be offended here?
Because I’ve made it clear in several places that I see this post as only borderline anti-Semitic but primarily insulting, unnecessarily provocative and sarcastic, and with no value whatsoever since it appeared after Eric Fingerhut dropped out of the race, it should be obvious to you that for me, this is a matter of putting closure on what appears to have been a very dumb post. This cloud, that now hangs over the author of the post and by association the Ohio Democratic Party, its staff and individuals who associate with the ODP staff, must be cleared, for the sake of every self-respecting Democrat. Such posts, such thoughts, such comments must be condemned. Period. In public. By the person who wrote them and the people who decided to shut that person down, even and especially if that includes Chairman Chris Redfern.
Do you and those with whom you work not see how the refusal to completely and finally clear up the High and Broad situation does nothing but demoralize not just those of us who read it, but all of Ohio’s voters who think of themselves as Democrats? We’re supposed to be the party of tolerance, diversity and inclusion.
When someone like Brent Larkin, one of the most senior editors of The Plain Dealer – the largest newspaper in a county with so many Democrats, is saying, “it’s Amateur Hour at the state party headquarters,” it is time for you and/or your superiors to acknowledge a mistake and take the necessary steps to correct the behaviors that are leading to such observations and opinions. (Yes, I’m aware that Mr. Larkin was referring to a different incident, however, my point goes to how the impression he formed could just as easily apply to this situation as well).
At a minimum, I did nothing to deserve the snideness in the H & B post. I wrote a thorough and very specific comment which too has disappeared and, for closure’s sake, I would like a response from H & B about my comment.
To be even more candid, I find it unbelievable that no one is coming out, apologizing and expressing the shame they feel for making the implications made by the H & B post. Eric Fingerhut has been a valued, well-liked, well-respected, public servant for decades. So there’s a disagreement about the scheduling. How on earth does a post that tries to paint Eric Fingerhut as being insincere with his religion help resolve the disagreement?
If the blog author is affiliated in anyway to any official branch of the Ohio Democratic party, all he or she has accomplished with that post is the breeding of distrust for the party, by voters. If party-affiliated individuals make errors like this now, and in relation to members of our own Democratic party, what will happen when the general election battle must be waged? This aspect, this outgrowth, of such sentiments as those expressed in the High and Broad final post is what disturbs, disgusts and worries me the most.
In conclusion, I am asking you as sincerely as I can, without any undue inflection, to account for or make those who can account for this distasteful post to do so. If more inflection on my part will make it more incumbent on you or anyone else to get the truth out and under the bridge, I’ll be happy to inflict inflection. But given the lack of civility that can reign in this issues, I usually d
on’t find much value in carrying on that way.
This email speaks only for me and my feelings and passion about this situation. I’ve been appreciative of your prompt responses to each of my emails. Please, do the right thing and let’s get this mess cleaned up. I’ve cc’d this letter to the ODP Chairman and Mr. Kohlstrand, the latter because of the references made to him in Michael Meckler’s blog.
Very truly yours,