Maybe the SacBee should “Lighten Up”

There has been quite a bit of attention from the Sacramento Bee about the John McCrea story, and I’ve got a few things to say about it. I appreciate the attention to the SacRag, positive, negative or neutral, but I feel the need to correct a few details that I feel the Bee got wrong.

I think Rachel Leibrock missed on a few points. Call it poetic license, call it journalistic opinion, but I call foul. You may have noticed that there are many things in her 21Q blog entry in quotation marks, which I said, and other things that are not, but are attributed to me as they are accompanied by the words “so says”.

Her headline was “Lighten Up Sac – or so says Sacrag writer”. Well, that sentence implies that I said those words. I did not. I never said that Sacramento should lighten up, mellow out, take a chill pill, calm down, cool it now, or float on (oops, that last one shows my age). In fact, I acknowledged to her that I knew that I was running the risk of offending people with this story.

Another quote from her story is the implication that I said, “Ya’ll should step off, too.” Again, I never said anything to this effect. In fact, I don’t think I have ever used the words “step off” in my life, and I would expect my friends to punch me square in the face if they ever heard me utter this phrase.

Most offending to me is her claim that I feel that “SacRag readers don’t have a very good sense of humor”. Whoa. Damn. I have all sorts of problems with this statement.

First and most important, I never said that, nor did I say anything that implies it. In fact, the readers of the SacRag crack me up. Some comments to stories bug me, but I am still amused by the interaction that occurs on this site.

Second, please look at the comments that were made by readers. A total of six readers made negative comments about the story. Six. According to StatCounter, we had 1,053 unique visitors and 551 click-throughs to the entire story. I know that we have this level of daily traffic (although this was a bit more than usual), so I would never judge the readers of the Rag based upon negative comments from only six readers.

Third, I am not arrogant enough to think that if I write something humorous that others do not find funny, that this means that the dissenting readers are somehow deficient. Different strokes for different folks.

To conclude, I don’t want anyone to think that this article is “sour grapes”. We at the Rag provide media commentary and criticism, just as Rachel does when she writes her 21Q blog. Blogging is not necessarily journalism, as a blog provides opinions, interpretations and spin with more individual freedom than a piece of journalism that is subject to editorial control and a more stringent demand for neutrality and a consideration for a well-rounded presentation of opinions. We at the Rag have already acknowledged our mistake; I hope that our counterparts at the SacBee are big enough to do the same.