Indy Digest: Aug. 15, 2022
If you’re a serious journalist at a publication that covers legitimate news, you’re going to get negative feedback. It’s part of the job, and you deal with it.
However, on occasion, someone will go a bit overboard, or worse, with that negative feedback.
I’ve received death threats twice. The first one came in 2004, from a movie review, of all things. I was editor of the Tucson Weekly at the time. Sitting at my desk early one evening, I suddenly received 20 or so emails from all over the country from people regarding this hilarious review of The Passion of the Christ. All of the emails, save one, were frothingly angry. I responded to the one writer who was not frothing to ask where in the world he (and, presumably, the other letter-writers) had read the review. Turns out Google News, then in beta release, made the review the site’s top entertainment story for about a half-hour or so.
The other one also came when I was in Tucson, from someone unhappy with our border coverage. That one concerned me enough that I called the police and filed a report.
The latest bit of whacko feedback I’ve received was thankfully not a death threat … but it has proven to be both unintentionally hilarious and annoying. It arrived in my inbox—via three messages sent from two different email address by one person—Sunday morning, from a new Independent reader who apparently came across our August print edition.
Here’s the first email I received, it its unedited entirety:
Dear Mr Borglum;
In your debate publication you published a note from the editor which expressed opinions held by you which are simply inappropriate coming from an “independent” publisher. Your defense of journalists who have falsely accused a President of being a foreign agent is incomprehensible. It demonstrates that you are either uneducated, deceitful or just plain ignorant. You are not qualified to assess any subject fairly as you are overtly opinionated and incredible uninformed.
When national media fails to verify sources, ignores relevant facts and lies, that certainly defines them as “enemies of the people”
The number of fictitional news stories broadcast by ABC PBS CNN CBS and many others is off the charts. You Sir are in your “note” stating that Trump is guilty of wrong doing…
You have no idea what you are talking about and I think extremely irresponsible pretending your slander is even close to professional.
In fact your are absolutely the epitome of the kind of writing which makes America media untrusted and irrelevant.
I expect an inside cover correction of this revolting statement about Trump. But your self righteous and emotionally immature lies are what you are.
Your publication of debating points is laughable; so obviously liberal talking points but so obviously out of touch with the real concerns of citizens. Economy not even mentioned, I mean come on pal, WTF
I’m so disgusted by your trying to con us, that I’m going to expose your fraud where ever you peddle this Socialist Race Ideology and advocation of the Totalitarian Regime
In the second email, he rambled on similarly. He did get in several excellent, if occasionally spelling-challenged, burns, calling me a “ignorant self absorbed intellectually stunted ass” before concluding: “Uttterly incompitent idiocy is your domain.”
And then, finally, came this:
Mission Statement is a joke. You are as dishonest as they come. You are nothing but a fraud regurgitating the fake news of the Totalitarian left’s propaganda.
Willfully reproducing the disproven accusations of Trump collusion.
I’m so disgusted at your attacks on truth and proclamations of righteousness in the face of direct evidence that contradicts your phony “ independent” political publication. An outright assault on your fellow citizens, we will bring our case before your audience and sponsors to demonstrate intent on your part to misinform readers
At first, I had no idea what in the heck this reader was talking about. (I sent an email to the reader asking what in the heck he was talking about, but I received no response.) I finally pieced together that he was talking about my editor’s note and our Candidate Q&A with Rep. Ken Calvert and Will Rollins, among other things.
I have not yet figured out where he got “Borglum,” however.
Anyway, the coda to this story occurred this morning: Apparently, this reader was serious when he mentioned “bring(ing) our case before your audience and sponsors to demonstrate intent on your part to misinform readers,” because I received word from an advertiser that this dear reader had reached out to complain about their advertising in the Independent—even going so far as to claim advertising in the Independent could be illegal.
So, there ya go. Here’s yet another reason why some editors tend to drink.
From the Independent
This Vampire Movie Sucks: Despite Jamie Foxx’s Best Efforts, Netflix’s ‘Day Shift’ Is Truly Hard to Watch
By Bob Grimm
August 15th, 2022
Day Shift is just sailing on a sea of very bad ideas—with lots of fake fangs in it.
By Matt King
August 15th, 2022
Get to better know Javie Bahama, a local musician who made a song with more than a million streams on Soundcloud.
Better As It Goes: Louis C.K.’s ‘Fourth of July’ Starts Slowly, but Ends With Some Real ‘Wow’ Moments
By Bob Grimm
August 15th, 2022
Fourth of July is proof that Louis C.K. has some good stories left to tell, and that he might have his own “film” voice after all.
• It’s yet again time to head to CVIndependent.com to vote in the first round of our Best of Coachella Valley readers’ poll! With help from our co-presenters at News Channel 3, we’ve added about 15 new categories this year, including a Best Bloody Mary category! Head here between now and Monday, Sept. 5. Vote only once per round, please, and vote in at least 15 categories for at least five different nominees. Thanks!
• Last week, I expressed hope that maybe, just maybe, the prolonged high COVID-19 plateau upon which the Coachella Valley has been residing for months now might be finally subsiding. Well … this week comes a smack-in-the-face reminder that COVID-19 doesn’t give a darn about our hopes. Here’s the latest Palm Springs wastewater testing results from the virus. The verdict: “The average number of copies (per liter) recorded at the city’s wastewater treatment plant has increased. The average of 523,494 copies/L from the previous week went up to an average of 548,427 copies/L for August 8 and 9, 2022.” The increase was minimal, but the numbers remain rather high, so bleh.
• Down in Indio, the latest testing results released by the Valley Sanitary District, from samples taken Aug. 4, show a small decline—and that the number of viral copies is about a quarter of what it was on July 11. So all hope is not lost … but keep those face masks handy.
• Related: Politico examines the growing groups of long COVID patients who are speaking out around the world to point out that very little is being done to help them: “Governments worldwide quickly mobilized to slow early COVID-19 infections, but patients stuck with long-term, debilitating symptoms from the virus — sometimes left unable to work or perform basic daily tasks — feel national and international responses have ignored one of the pandemic’s most significant effects, nearly a dozen activists in 10 countries told POLITICO. ‘We are just left to rot,’ said Chantal Britt, founder and president of Long Covid Switzerland. ‘That’s why all those organizations are popping up: There is no official help.’”
• Moving to another concerning topic: Expect more headlines like this in the years to come: “Tensions grow over lack of a water deal for the shrinking Colorado River.” The Los Angeles Times reports: “The states and managers of affected water agencies were told to come up with plans to reduce water use drastically, by 2 million to 4 million acre-feet, by mid-August. After weeks of negotiations, which some participants say have at times grown tense and acrimonious, the parties have yet to reach an agreement. The absence of a deal now raises the risk that the Colorado River crisis—brought on by chronic overuse and the West’s drying climate—could spiral into a legal morass. Interior Department officials have warned they are prepared to impose cuts if necessary to protect reservoir levels. Managers of water agencies say they have been discussing proposals and will continue to negotiate in hopes of securing enough reductions to meet the Biden administration’s demands, which would mean decreasing the total amount of water diverted by roughly 15% to 30%. But some observers worry the talks could fail, saying they see growing potential for federal intervention, lawsuits and court battles.”
• Related comes this Associated Press story: “Americans are less concerned now about how climate change might impact them personally—and about how their personal choices affect the climate—than they were three years ago, a new poll shows, even as a wide majority still believe climate change is happening. The June Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, which was conducted before Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act on Friday, shows majorities of U.S. adults think the government and corporations have a significant responsibility to address climate change…. Overall, 35% of U.S. adults say they are ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ concerned about the impact of climate change on them personally, down from 44% in August 2019. Another third say they are somewhat concerned. Only about half say their actions have an effect on climate change, compared with two-thirds in 2019.”
• And finally … to end on a non-depressing note, we bring you this data-analysis story from The Washington Post, headlined “The most-regretted baby names, and more!” Key quote: “Inspired by Mississippi-based journalist Sarah Fowler’s brilliant Washington Post story on the folks who changed their baby’s first name—30,000 in the past five years alone—we asked the Social Security Administration for a list of the most-changed names. They ran the numbers back to 2017. Apparently, it’s hard to spell after you or your partner have just gone through labor: The two most-changed names are ‘Issac” and ‘Chole,’ and the two most-adopted names, as you might expect, are ‘Isaac’ and ‘Chloe.’” Spelling is IMPORTANT, people!
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