The local yellow rag is at it again. March 9 issue. We’ve all heard that other people “have been told when someone writes an editorial about you, it’s up to you to prove them wrong.” It’s still impossible to refute subjective opinions, but there are plenty of ways to refute the subjective facts that people use to build those subjective opinions.
To borrow a phrase, and a listicle from the opinion piece,
“here’s the message” from the alleged Dirty Dozen cabal back to the Bowman cabal:
1. If you know who they are, go ahead and divulge. Harassment by mail is an actual, federal charge that would find its way to courts. Whoever it is must be some kind of political shark. Instead, you’re in the paper, alluding to “anonymous letters” and assuming you know the letter’s source because your American Girl toljaso.
Crime is too important to be tried in the Publisher’s Pen section of your yellow rag.
It shouldn’t be allowed to continue, even if someone can repurpose it for politics’ sake.
What is the content and the context of your letter of which you speak? Please divulge that too.
Is it the same or different from the other five you allude to?
You’ve created a mystical world of the Hope Mills social media scene, where you don’t go, and where your sources don’t go, but you know all of what goes on in there? That’s fake news, same as it was two or three years ago when you told people not to read Hope Mills Bee and other sources, because they were lies….but then told me you had never read anything I’d written. Pick a story.
It’s all conjecture. At least most local people who criticize the mayor have actually seen her in action themselves, over recent years. It’s not third-hand ideas that have remained the same since the last time they saw her in the 1990s.
Your paper called her and her husband “political sharks.” Nobody made you do that. You chose to. More likely, Warner the political shark has told you who is in this “cabal” and what she hears is going on, or imagines is going on, because she’s not “in” any groups either. Don’t assume she’s honest or accurate about what she alleges. She reads what she wants and avoids what’s challenging. That’s why nobody in their right mind wants to join up with madness. That’s why, among other things, she deleted her facebook page, stopped talking to radio hosts as a spokesperson for the town, and uses you as her human shield with a pen.
2. Political sharks also use anonymous letters, but I agree—that’s still ”cowards.” Might even be “criminals” but I only mention that because you lumped the ideas together. Political sharks use them for false flags, to create dissension and doubt and fear, much as when they create a group label (i.e. “cabal,” “Dirty Dozen,”), and then tell another group what “they know” that first group is doing from afar.
Anonymous letters must carry some importance or significance. Otherwise you would have never brought this one up. Determining credibility is up to the reader, and nothing in this town that disagrees with Jackie Warner has any credibility in her eyes. Nor yours. That’s why people who disagree are “disgruntled outsiders” in your eyes. You’re just a social climber trying to make some business/art/whatever, and she’s your local political patron. Most people I’ve spoken to have no interest in being an “insider” or appealing to anyone involved in that kind of political relationship.
As for credibility in anonymous letters, like you say later, that’s why we have whistleblower laws. Just because you disagree with the content of a letter doesn’t disprove the credibility of the letter, nor does it tell you who wrote it with much accuracy. If crimes and fiction have taught us anything, it’s that only DNA and fingerprints or video of someone mailing it can do that. Your best guess or information from a jaundiced source is not very credible.
Here’s a little linear thought exercise to help you and your yellow rag readers consider some of the evidence and content in context:
Do you really think a dozen people spent time sending anonymous letters to the publisher of a yellow rag? Probably not. There are easier ways to intimidate people, or communicate a message, or waste 50 cents and an envelope, or whatever was the goal.
What was the goal? Are the other letters the same or different? Story doesn’t tell. The fact that they exist is supposed to be the shocker, then the goal is to build the anonymized group attribution on that. Story just alludes to anonymity and bad content. Evidence isn’t as important as (alleged) existence.
Why would it allude to anonymity and bad content? Because alluding to anonymity and bad content is easier than proving it has anonymity and bad content….especially if it’s not a real letter.
Why an anonymous letter with bad content? Because it’s a false flag to make any readers think the writer was trying too hard to sound dumb.
Why do people send out false flags? Because they are habitual, manipulative liars and pretense matters more than actual facts and reality. But my daddy always told me, when they argue with someone and doesn’t know a camera is on, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
Who sends out false flags? People who want publicity or, often, sympathy. It’s a desperation power play also tried by political sharks who learned their tricks in the 60s or further back when mail was a big thing to get, and people took it as important just because it was hand-delivered.
Who sends out false flags with at least one attribution to characters from American theater in the 70s? Artsy people and people who have auditioned for other plays will mine obscure “creative” references, such as The Producers, as the basis for their creative efforts. The Producers has a character named Leo Bloom.
Who is Leo Bloom? One of the names the anonymous letter writer(s) chose to use, but which only the most vehement, stalwart theater hounds, or those who audition for plays from the 1970s, will recognize. Some people use Leo Bloom’s monologue as a script to audition for plays.
Who auditions for plays? Drama-driven people who want to be in the artsy world group in the artsy world yearbook and be the center of attention so much they publish a local arts and entertainment magazine.
Who publishes a local arts and entertainment magazine where he decries anonymous letters, but anonymizes a fictional group so he can throw charged criminal allegations at them and hope some stick? Bill Bowman.
Who decries anonymous letters, but anonymizes blanket charges against groups of people? Hypocrites.
Yeah, that’s the pathway to learning, how “we all know” who wrote those anonymous letters and then circulated them around with a slow rollout, behind the scenes, where no one else can see them, but they can be talked about and alluded to in yellow rags. This pathway is at least as equally valid as your pathway, which was just allusion and smoke covering up the source of your other details (most likely, the mayor). You probably forgot how high your American girl political shark queen told you to jump soon after she communicated your directions about who to jump on—a manufactured, anonymous generalized group of people. But those people she is undoubtedly including in her enemies cabal are just people who hate to see other people (especially officials) treat people and towns like political sharks behind the scenes, but your American girl on the stage and in your paper.
3. You haven’t “exposed” anything. You’ve mentioned that you received a letter. You’ve made up a group and made allegations about the made-up group. How can you “expose” something that isn’t even a thing?
So far, this story line is barely reaching the level of “entertainment” and verging on fiction. Don’t get me wrong, it’s “entertaining” enough, but it’s just political propaganda, not “entertainment.”
As far as the political angle, this is the same throw-trash-then-duck-behind-the-fence mess that political sharks do every day. It runs some people out of involvement with local politics. Again, hard to blame them for not clamoring to be “insiders” if ultimately the only way any of their ideas will be “valid” or appreciated is if they continue to make town-spokesperson-without-a-vote Jackie Warner errrrrrrr the town look good by staying in lockstep with every single one of her ideas. Even 98% agreement of a full board gets characterized as “lack of unity” and she bails. Anyone who disagrees with her will probably get their position ended through back channels, and then a whole new committee will be formed. Ask some people who’ve been on committees about that, not her.
4. You’ve created a conspiracy target group and then anonymized it. If anonymous letters about conspiracy theories are an “unethical tactic” then anonymizing a group and peppering them with conspiracy theories is too. Or you’re just a cheerleader throwing out words in a yellow rag. Again: what other letters have you seen, with your own eyes, and read the content of without it being filtered through….others?
Maybe we need whistleblower laws to protect the public from hit pieces and bad, anonymized propaganda journalism? It’s also unethical to pretend something criminal was done anonymously if you know who wrote it. That’s just a political shark scare tactic, akin to “I know what you did last summer. You better go along with my idea, or the pictures will come out.”
Obviously you don’t know, and this is just more generalized group character assassination fueled by the idea of you getting (or not getting) paid by the town to plan a party to make your American Girl doll look like “excellent leadership.” But even if it happens, and it ends up being the best party ever, it’s just a party. Many more bad decisions and behind-the-scenes political shark shenanigans that affect the town now and in the future will follow. Someone will disagree with something and we’ll be back to square one with revenge on our minds. At least one of us will.