Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Open line: a quiet start to the New Year

Posted By on Wed, Jan 1, 2014 at 3:54 PM

The line is open. Finishing up:

* WHO SAID LITTLE ROCK WAS A VIOLENT PLACE?: Lt. Sidney Allen of the LRPD sent this summary of police calls on the first day of the New Year. Quieter than last year, according to the numbers:

On Tuesday, December 31, 2013 we answered 8 fireworks violation calls, 7 loud music calls, and 69 shots fired calls.

On Wednesday, January 1, 2014 we had 0 fireworks violation calls, 3 loud party calls, and 52 shots fired calls.

There were three DWI arrests made with no reports of alcohol related accidents.

These numbers could change once more reports are submitted. 

* LABELS? WHO NEEDS LABELS: Several have noted that the Blue Hog Report's Matt Campbell got deserved credit in a New York Times report on Lt. Gov. Mark Darr's ethics violations and calls for his resignation. 

Noted: The New York Times refers to Campbell as an Arkansas political blogger. Which is purely accurate.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette refers to Campbell routinely as a "liberal" blogger. That is true, to a degree. As it would be true in identifying me as to political proclivities. But good ethics knows no political boundaries. I once praised Doyle Webb when he was a Republican senator for pushing unsuccessfully for ethics legislation (Ironic in several respects, yes?) Was I a liberal blogger then? Or just a blogger? In fairness, the D-G often refers to a blogger who filed an ethics complaint against a Democratic representative as a conservative blogger. True enough as to Jason Tolbert's political outlook, but that blogger, too, occasionally doesn't fit in the  hole to which the newspaper pegs him. Both reporters noted discrepancies in campaign filings and filed formal complaints about them to the Ethics Commission, a bipartisan group that found complaints in both cases were well-founded. That's the point and it cheapens their good work to imply, as the label does, that it was ideologically motivated. Nobody would suggest labeling the reporting work of the Democrat-Gazette as coming from a newspaper with a conservative, generally pro-Republican editorial page. Though it does. Just a thought. It's confusing when a single person wears a couple of hats — reporter and opinion writer — but that's the way of the world these days.

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