Jack Zaleski, Published April 20 2013
Zaleski: You dirty, dirty sinners at The Forum
The phone rings.
“You dirty, dirty people at that newspaper are going to hell,” the agitated caller said.
Dirty? I said. Dirty?
“Dirty, dirty sinful,” she said. “You and all the others down there – ’cause of those awful editorials on the abortion bills …”
Well, you know, I said, not everyone at The Forum is involved with editorials, and …
“Don’t try to make excuses,” she said, her voice crackling with anger. “How dare you! How dare you! God told me about you. All of you …”
What? I asked. God told you? How’s that? You’ve been conversing with God?
“Don’t you dare make fun of me, you sinner, you dirty sinner…” she screamed. “I talk to God all the time, and he talks to me …”
I was close to having enough, but this was just too good to cut off. And if she and God talk, who am I to say they don’t? OK, I said, tell me more.
“Don’t be smart with me. You’re not smarter than God, you know,” she said, a little calmer now.
Oh, I know that, I said. No one is, right? I mean no one is smarter than God.
“You’re still making fun of me, aren’t you?” she said.
Well, I guess I was, just a little.
She hung up. Maybe God was calling.
This email exchange:
“There is no flood coming. You media people and Walaker and Fargo are just scaring people so you can fund that goddamn diversion. Be honest!”
I replied: Last report from the weather service is a big flood is coming – might be a record-setter. All we do here is report the information we get from the weather service people. We’re not making it up.
“Be honest! I been out there and there’s no snow and no water in the ditches. Can’t be a flood. I been around here a long time and I know what I’m seeing.”
Reply: I hope you’re right, but all the experts who have been working on this see it differently. Everything is shaping up for a flood. Would you share your numbers and your analysis?
“I don’t need goddamn numbers,” he emailed back. “All them numbers is phony and all you do at that newspaper is repeat all of it like it’s gospel. You people are wrong like always, and you should quit scaring us.”
End of correspondence. By the way, from what we know about the flood forecast, it’s OK to be a little scared.
Contact Editorial Page Editor Jack Zaleski at firstname.lastname@example.org or 701-241-5521.