View Full Version : Doug Thompson Says He's Sorry

04-17-2006, 04:16 PM

An apology to our readers

Apr 16, 2006, 04:49

In recent days, I have penned some angry columns -- over the top even for me.

Some of these were written in anger that stemmed not from the subject of the column but with my frustration over the declining health and approaching death of a brain-damaged kitten, Loki that Amy and I had grown to love. We spent the last several months trying to save Loki and watched in despair the last couple of weeks as his already-fragile health deteriorated and we were forced to put him to sleep.

I had not realized the toll the battle had taken on my psyche. My mind was elsewhere and that was not the state of mind that one needs when writing commentary or reporting on current events.

Two weeks ago, I asked some friends who are writers, editors and journalism professors to review the archives of Capitol Hill Blue and identify any columns or articles didn't meet what they consider to be acceptable standards of journalism.

They gave me their report this weekend and found three columns and a posting on Politics on the Half-Shell that they felt crossed the line. All were written at times when my mind was on a beloved pet, not on my job.

Upon review, I agreed with them, and have removed the four items from our archives. There were:

* 9/11 conspiracy theorists: Scam artists and fools (April 14, 2006)
* Nutcases on parade (April 13, 2006)
* Partisans: Americans REAL enemies (April 13, 2006)
* Charlie Sheen: That's the best the conspiracy buffs can do? (April 2, 2006)

The three columns in question were off-the-cuff tirades that served no purpose and - in the case of the 9/11 conspiracy columns - redundant and overreaching. This does not mean I have changed my opinions on what I wrote but it does mean that I expressed those opinions poorly and with language that was inappropriate. I have edited three other recent columns to correct similar mistakes.

I'm a passionate man who believes strongly in what I say and write. Unlike many writers, I do not approach an issue with a pre-conceived point-of-view but - as a non-partisan - start each project with a blank sheet of paper and an open mind. But such passion is diluted if I express it too quickly without examining all sides or when distracted by other events. Truth is not served by off-the-cuff rants. I have been striking out in anger at many people in recent days because of grief. That is not right.

So I offer my sincerest apologies to our readers. Journalism requires logic and a clear head. I have not had one for a while and it was bad form for me to try and write while trying unsuccessfully to deal with grief. I don't expect readers to always agree with the positions that I take but you, as readers of Capitol Hill Blue, have a right to expect that positions I do put forward are based on reason and sound research.

We put our kitten to sleep Wednesday but we have not yet stopped mourning the loss.

So I'm taking a break until we have put Loki's death behind us. When that is done I will resume writing about issues that I feel are important to this nation. OUr thanks to the many emails, private messages and calls we have received on the loss of our kitten. Your compassion and understanding means a lot.

© Copyright 2006 by Capitol Hill Blue

04-17-2006, 06:00 PM
Too bad fucktard.

04-17-2006, 06:12 PM
Ha ha!

04-17-2006, 06:12 PM
He blames it on his dying cat. Boo fucking hoo.

04-17-2006, 06:13 PM
Ha ha!

So that's what it's like when your personal life interferes with your "journalism".

04-17-2006, 06:17 PM

Capitol Hill Blue Bites Back

Teresa Hampton, editor of Capitol Hill Blue, has responded (http://www.capitolhillblue.com/content/2006/04/takes_more_than_a_modem_and_a.html) to my criticism of Doug Thompson for his characterization of people interested in nine eleven truth as fools, lemmings, scam artists, and other not so nice names (a link to this article no longer exists). Ms. Hampton seems to believe I am lining my pockets here via Pay Pal donation button (less obtrusive than numerous flashing banner ads courtesy of multinational corporations) while Thompson gives ad money to charity. I am roundly chastised for not reading the Capitol Hill Blue FAQ on such things. Ms. Hampton calls this shoddy journalism, or a “mouth” with a “modem.”

It is interesting to note Ms. Hampton did not touch nine eleven with a ten foot pole. Instead she picked on insignificant details such as the purported anti-Semitism of a website going by the name HaloScan.com and the oopsy of Doug Herman getting a fact wrong about an Oscar and Charlie Sheen. She also considers scant few of us out here journalists—and considering the state of journalism these days, I shall take this as a compliment.

If Doug Thompson is a journalist, he is a journalist refusing to do sufficient research on the inconsistencies laced throughout the nine eleven fable. I find this lack of research far more egregious than my lack of foresight in checking the Capitol Hill Blue FAQ before posting. I am still irked and take personally the fact Thompson believes we are exploiting the dead of nine eleven. On the other hand, I can live with the idea I am considered a nut case—not a day passes I don’t think all of us here in America are nut cases for accepting what the government does in our names.

Ms. Hampton, I’d like to know, now that Doug Thompson has admitted he went overboard, calling people cretins and scam artists (the column now removed, please excuse my poor journalistic research, I can’t provide an exact quote), will he also reconsider his belief in the Grimm Brothers story known as the Keane-Hamilton whitewash commission report? Or does he stand by his statements and simply regret using strong language to describe those of us who demand the truth.

“It takes more than a modem and a mouth to be a journalist,” Hampton concludes. “Research also requires more than running a quick Google search. It requires training and hard work, two items we find lacking in those who claim to know more than us about our chosen profession.”

In other words, I am not a journalist because I don’t have the “training,” that is to say I didn’t go to college and earn a degree, and then didn’t work my way through a series of newsrooms, as Mr. Thompson did. Not doing such simply makes one a “mouth.”

Moreover, I detect a bit of anti-blogger sentiment here—it really is getting tedious, reading “professional” journos dissing bloggers. I am tuned-in to the argument—the bloggers don’t have the training or expertise to report or even comment on the news, they make too many mistakes, are shoddy, rely on questionable sources—sort of like Judith Miller of the New York Times.

A few months ago, I heard basically the same thing from a neocon, a Princeton grad now teaching economics in Israel and California. In addition to calling me illiterate, he basically said without an “education” (my daddy was too poor to send me to Princeton) my opinion was about as worthy as a pile of dirt, or likewise colored substance. I admit a high school diploma and a lifetime (at the ripe old age of 53) of factory work, culminating in a decent wage in the late 90s as a web designer in Alan Greenspan’s dot-com bubble. It was short-lived and here I am, back where I began.

It’s not all journos out here, Ms. Hampton. Some of us are normal people, sans fancy diplomas, and our opinions are as valid as a guy who has a degree, worked in a bevy of news departments, founded one of the web’s first news sites, and now appears ready to throw in the towel following the receipt of one of those “national security” letters.

Excuse my mistake of not checking the CHB FAQ. However, I still want to know if Mr. Thompson believes we’re scoundrels and ninnies for believing the nine eleven whitewash commission story with its hole you could fly a Boeing 747 through, pun intended.

In the meantime, while I wait, probably for hell to freeze over, I will take the meager donations I receive, pay for the server space and maybe a new computer, if I save for another year or so. I explained this to my readers, a few thousand a day—I remain a small fish in a big “journo” pond—and most of them don’t seem to have a problem with it. Most of them choose to ignore the button. No obligation. No problem. I do this for pennies a day, far less than Mr. Thompson earned as a respectable journo at all those newspapers, regardless of the fact he now gives it all away to charity.

Of course, it’s easier to ignore a little Pay Pal donation button than a big honking and flashing Cisco banner ad.

04-17-2006, 06:20 PM
You know... we have a Paypal button.

04-17-2006, 06:23 PM
Yes, I know that.

How dare you take advantage of the victims of 9/11 to scam people out of their money to make your fortune!

04-17-2006, 06:25 PM
Yes, I know that.

How dare you take advantage of the victims of 9/11 to scam people out of their money to make your fortune!

I know... I'm sorry. Psst... by the way, can you lend me $30 for this month's website fee?