Dave Pearce has announced in a half page editorial in his newspaper today that he will not publish my opinion columns. I had guessed as much two weeks ago, when Dave simply went silent on me after we had agreed to the terms of the arrangement between us. I knew that his silence meant that he had backed out of our agreement, and I knew why and I was ready to go public with the information as early as July 02. But a certain mutual friend, of mine and Dave's, had gone to speak with Dave about this and had then asked me, as a courtesy to Dave, to give Dave some time to mull things over before he would respond to me with a final decision. The mutual friend told me that after Dave had agreed to print my columns, that he, Dave, was approached by members of the Tea Party Set who threatened Dave with the loss of a certain large advertising account, an advertising account with which they, the Tea Party people, had some large measure of political influence. I am, in fact, talking with that advertiser now to find out what, if any, interest the owners of the company would have in denying me employment.
Dave also told our mutual friend that if he lost that large account that it could mean financial ruin for his newspaper and that his whole life is tied up in the paper. I fully understood Dave's financial fears, as my own family has been put through a costly financial meat grinder by the same Tea Party folks this past couple of years, with all of the legal expenses we have incurred fending off various Tea Party set attacks on us. So, I have been sitting quietly waiting for Dave to call me, because I was given to understand by our mutual friend, that Dave would contact me as soon as he made a final decision, as to what he was going to do. I did not expect Dave to flush the newspaper down the drain financially in order to print my column. Although that is probably how I, myself, would have responded to threats. I just expected him to tell me, like a man, what he was going to do.
But now, Dave has sort of Bush-Whacked me. Without notifying me at all, Dave has simply printed one side of the story in a huge editorial in today's edition of his newspaper. A case could be made that Dave used my polite silence, that was kept only as a courtesy to Dave, to get the jump on me and make himself look better and me look worse. I sort of resent that. I feel that Dave owed me a man to man response.
I will probably write quite a bit about this incident here on this blog, because it really has a lot of implications, and most of them are pretty ugly. But for right now I want to make just one thing crystal clear; the idea of me doing an opinion column in Dave's paper was entirely Dave's idea. Dave approached me. I did not approach him. We talked terms and conditions by Email and he said that he was glad that I agreed to do it. And I will back that up by publishing, here on this blog, a series of Emails that Dave wrote to myself and others. Such is the advantage of sticking to the plain unvarnished facts.
I am not angry with Dave. Well, maybe a tad! But mostly, I feel sorry for him. The Tea Party folks will now loudly praise Dave as a great journalist and give him some sort of civic award from time to time, and he will get invited to all the important parties to meet all of the people who have either inherited a lot of money (or married a lot of money) or got elected to something or both or all three. But the problem is, that if the Tea Party folks can successfully intimidate Dave about printing or not printing my columns, then they can successfully intimidate him about other stuff too. And, I am sure that both the Tea Party set and Dave know that too.
I would much rather to be me, than to be Dave, I lost only the chance to write a column for a small town newspaper. Dave lost more. And so did the town.
I will post Dave's Emails as soon as I can get them scanned. Stay tuned.
Ron Nesler.....Posting from New Harmony, Indiana where crude and ugly forces hold the power to suppress ideas.