Scratching the itch: Why Doug Thompson will (hopefully) be back

Maybe it won’t be called "The Rant" anymore. Online the word rant is now overused, and in fact most of Doug’s columns, despite some colorful verbiage, are far too well reasoned out to be called mere rants. I expect that unless Doug plans to ignore national politics, no amount of Benedryl or cortisone will stop the itch to share his opinions with his coast to coast audience and read the comments from regular readers.

There is certainly an immediacy and a sense of gratification that comes with being a journalist in a small rural county like Floyd where you know hundreds of people by name, and where you can make a difference by writing about, and taking pictures of, events that impact their lives.

Of course when one becomes more than a reporter of local news and writes controversial opinion, it is inevitable that eventually someone will decide to target you with their wrath. I’ve been called some pretty nasty names in local blogs because of my involvement in a heated controversy in our town, but there’s really no parallel with Doug’s situation because people on each side here are equally fed up with Bush.

In Floyd County’s most recent election 65% voted for a constitutional marriage amendment and 57% voted for George "Macaca" Allen for senator.

Doug is a local celebrity, mostly for the better but sometimes for the worse when he upsets the vindictive few. With his passion and talent for writing and photography he’s lucky to have a local venue to express himself.

We were all reminded of our own mortality yesterday with the news about Senator Kennedy, about how you can seem healthy one day and be told you are dying the next.

With this in mind, nobody should suggest Doug fill his time except to do what he enjoys the most as much as possible.

Doug’s columns have made Capitol Hill Blue what it is. In fact, Robert Kezelis, Phil Hoskins and I have only been writing columns for 15 months. We have the luxury of not having any deadlines. There are no expectations except our own guilt feelings that we produce X number of columns a month.

Doug must know that many readers of the front page log on every day to see if he has a new column and with that realization has to come a sense of not wanting to disappoint them.

Even my relatives and close friends don’t log on to Capitol Hill Blue regularly to see if I’ve written a new column.

This brings me to the itch I predict Doug will need to scratch from time to time.

Sometimes national issues will come up that I know will make Doug want to, dare I say, rant to his many fans from Capitol Hill Blue.

By remaining as Capitol Hill Blue’s "columnist emeritus" he can retire from self-assigned duties while still writing the occasional column.


  1. jay_spaan_sr

    Doug you are the modern day Mark Twain. I don’t blame you for getting out of this political mess. I thank you for supporting my right to my views. And making me tow the line when I went to far. You are my hero.

    You are a great writer. You have big brass balls.

    Thanks for your link to the local paper you write for, it is in my favorites and I will, as always, read every jewel you write.

    Of course I would never comment there. But I enjoy your writing.

    My mind sees Doug feeding the deer in his yard and enjoying nature and life.

    Doug, don’t try to rope those little guys for a BBQ… they fight back!

  2. JudyB

    Thank you Hal you pretty much said it all in this article. You, Phil and Rob have done a great job, and will continue to do so, I have no doubts. Heres wishing all of you the best along with the satisfaction of knowing what you do will make a difference to many in these troubled, changing times.

  3. nigeldh


    To paraphrase the unofficial motto of Floyd:
    The wife, yes; the dog, maybe; Capitol Hill Blue, NEVER!

    Doug just needs to swat a couple of other hornet nests. Then maybe he can return as a less of a helicopter parent. Do you truly expect Doug to “Step away from the keyboard sir. Keep your hands visible at all times. Don’t make any sudden moves.”

  4. Sandra Price

    rigby, it is obvious that our chief, Doug, knows right from wrong instinctively. I have written about his ability to spot not only a wrong but a potential wrong. He’s been in politics to know all the symptoms. I believe that if he sees danger approaching, he will step in and warn us. I check in here daily to see how the wind blows in D.C. I have to trust somebody….Doug has been that somebody for years.

  5. Sandra Price

    Wonderful Hal. Thank you for expressing what many of us want for Doug. I gave up writing here and elsewhere when it became a fight rather than sharing issues. We all have issues that mean the most to all of us. Mine are simply against the majority which I blame on my age and the fact I actually lived at a time when Capitalism meant something. I am speaking of the time after WW2. Doug knows exactly what needs to be an issue and will most certainly bring us all up to higher standards when we roam off into a wrong direction.

    He has been my model as a great writer as he says what he knows to be right and can justify his comments. You are right up there with the best of them. No one is faster than recognizing the key stories of the day than you.

    We here are pleased that the 4 of you have carried this site and I look forward to the 3 of you carrying on a great tradition. Thanks Doug, Hal, Phil and Rob!!

  6. Flapsaddle

    I’d certainly hope he’ll return. As you say, it’s an itch that requires scratching. In fact, I’d bet at least half a donut that he will! Just like the old cavalry horse that – despite having lost its rider – still responds to the sound of the bugle and gallops with the rest of the troop.

    I wish him well. Most of all, some well-needed rest and diversion to refresh both body and spirit.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  7. rigby

    Hal, I don’t know Doug Thompson from any stranger on the street, but I know him !
    I absolutely guarantee you that the fire in Thompson’s gut will not be put out until the day he dies, he will be back !He may try the small town thing for a while and it’s the same as throwing more wood on the fire.
    He is not one to sit on his hands with cotton balls in his ears and his mouth taped shut, Thank God!He is one of the few around that has the cajones to call this bought off, corrupt political system we have for what it is, as it no longer represents the American People.

  8. Elmo

    As long as people continue to place loyalty to faction above the good of the nation, there will be idiots who rise to attack any person who disagrees with them. Absent a clear external enemy, the Us vs. Them mentality will tear the nation apart.

  9. Sandra Price

    NO! Floyd is his home and this is where his heart is. Leave him to his own decisions.

  10. CheckerboardStrangler

    Doug might not ever admit it but he worships the quicksand we all walk on….or is it vice versa :-)

    Doug…be well and follow your heart and we’ll leave the light on for ya.

    JeffH in Occupied Texas