February 8, 2015 12:04 am ET
Sun’s Zurawik soothed my soul with remarks on integrity/accountability
Source: Veni, Vidi, Vici, Vindicate
Photo credit – Nilsenport CA
During the primary and general elections of 2014, I wrote about numerous political candidates. Much of my work focused on a candidate’s accountability, particularly regarding certain statements meant to embellish a candidate’s stature in a heated and contentious political race.
I was roundly criticized for my writing, with my detractors acting as though the candidates did nothing wrong. Indeed, judging from the comments I received—many from the “trolls” (i.e., people who use pseudonyms)—there was no concern regarding integrity or accountability of the candidates; instead, it was all my fault.
Without exception, almost every candidate had issues with “skeletons in the closet” that derailed a campaign in one way or another, but how dare I expose these bare bones that had very little skin holding their facades together.
By exposing and writing about a candidate’s faux pas, I was vilified as a naysayer—as if I had the gall to expect the truth from those that would lead this county for, in some cases, years to come.
However, as the headline suggests, “I came, I saw, I conquered … and I am vindicated.”
Why, you ask? You see, I am not the only journalist who has called out those who stretch the truth. Case in point: Sun film critic David Zurawik bringing the Brian Williams of NBC fame boondoggle into perspective. Mr. Zurawik very simply stated that it is better to tell the truth than lie, and—when one chooses the latter path—that one must be held accountable.
Mr. Zurawik starts off his blog, “Z on TV,” with a simple but profound statement: “If credibility means anything to NBC News, Brian Williams will no longer be managing editor and anchor of the evening newscast by the end of the day Friday.”
That’s a pretty powerful statement about a man who is the face of a major network’s news division, which is the lifeblood (i.e., moneymaker) of the network. The question remains what price determines the fate of Brian Williams?
Time will tell.
In my case, after 39 years of service to the county, my life’s work came crashing down, not because I did anything wrong, but because I was a liability.
A former retiree once told me years ago, “Never retire.” I asked him why? He responded, “When I was a sergeant in the police department, I was a somebody, and now (after retirement had sunk in), I’m a nobody.”
Inside, I already knew that. My job was my life. After being forced out following a visit to the dark side, and know I did not see a light or the tunnel of love, I resumed that life. I did so with a complete bill of health from my doctor and the doctors at Johns Hopkins.
But that was not how the story was meant to go.
The fact that I was cleared mattered little to the “Office of Fred,” so I became one of the first victims in the County’s ADA disaster. (And, no, I was not part of the lawsuits filed against the County that are well into the millions as hundreds of other potential cases pile up.)
You see, Mr. Fred was told not to do what he was intent on doing because it was against the law. I guess the old saying is true: “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Years ago, I would attend retirement parties and—when the alcohol flowed freely—those who once had power, in more ways than one, lost the ability to take command of their own actions.
What followed was sad.
I myself stopped drinking 43 years ago because I saw how destructive it was, not only to me, but to those around me. The sad part is that there is nothing you can do for others because it’s a personal choice.
Time and again, the wrong choice can lead to disaster. Sadly, we see that far too often.
I once told a reporter, “I gave the county my heart and they took my soul.”
Years ago, under a different system, my blog host Patch.com gave me a chance at a new life, and I took it. I regained my heart and soul, and I have never stopped.
I want to thank Mr. Zurawik for his “Z on TV” blog because it vindicated my mission to inform the people of this County what the truth is. And, despite those times that the truth will not sit easily with some in power, I hope that my words will give the “powers that be” pause for concern.
After all, that is what Democracy is all about.