J. Todd Foster, editor of the Bristol Herald Courier, takes this month’s “Best of the Net” award because his op/ed column always makes me laugh.
Excerpt of Foster’s column:
“But I can’t just walk away from my hunt for this elusive congressman.”
“Go for it, Ahab,” the publisher said.
I had actually begun the search for the Great White Whale several weeks earlier by enlisting the tracking abilities of two top-notch reporters, Michael L. Owens and Gary B. Gray, along with Opinion Editor Andrea Hopkins.
Not even Owens and Gray could find Davis – or get him to return several calls and e-mails. Meanwhile, Hopkins came up with an idea to lure the congressman into an editorial board meeting under the guise of, you know, an editorial board meeting, which is required before we can endorse candidates. After Davis entered the room, I was going to harpoon him and prove his existence.
But his handlers would have none of it. When they weren’t returning our phone calls or e-mails, they were referring us to the Davis campaign staff, which in turn referred us back to Davis’ congressional office.
After several weeks of political ping-pong and intrigue, I went to the Bristol downtown parade earlier this month to celebrate our nation’s independence from English tyranny; surely, I thought, I’d be able to spot the congressman there. But he was a no-show.
His Republican opponent, Phil Roe, on the other hand, walked both sides of State Street, touched more hands than a glove salesman and had two – count them – two parade floats.
If I didn’t know better, I’d swear the U.S. Congress had only 434 members and that Tennessee’s 1st District was represented by a phantom, an apparition, a political yeti.
And it’s common knowledge in the newspaper business that you can’t endorse a political yeti.
Phil Roe got the endorsement.
Now, if you want to understand why Foster has been worried about cardboard boxes and rent-a-cops, you’ll have to go read the entire thing.