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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.
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.