I’ve noticed something, in all the recent coverage of my travails. It’s pretty much happened without me.
I mean, sure, it’s about me. (Proximately, at least — I’d argue it’s ultimately about something much greater than a minor dust-up between an ageing author and some border-crawling nitwit who apparently lists We Hate Islam and Glenn Beck among his favorite facebook pages.) But in terms of actual mainstream coverage — well, for example, we’ve got four newspapers here in Toronto. All have covered the verdict to some degree. None, though, have approached me for comment. The closest I got to a question from the press was when the National Post left a voicemail saying they’d already written a story, thank you, but could I provide them with a photo to go with it? Even the reporter from the Times-Herald — the only journalist in sight during the actual trial — wasn’t up for so much as casual eye contact as far as I could tell.
Which is all cool. Given the slant of the Times-Herald’s reportage to date, I doubt that I’d have had much to say to her anyway. And it would have seemed odder to me if I hadn’t just watched one of my jurors trying to set the record straight everywhere from the Times-Herald clear over to boingboing — only to be told that her intimate knowledge of the case was irrelevant, that her opinion didn’t matter any more than anyone else’s, that she should just shut the fuck up.
This is a democracy, you see. Majority rules. Why should a few pointy-headed “experts” get to decide whether the earth was created in six days?
As it turns out, though, there is someone out there who actually took the time to chat with me over the holidays. Steve Humphrey’s story has just gone live over at NewsFix, and he’s not only talked to me, he’s read my books to boot; he leads off with a scene from Maelstrom in which a couple of thugs with badges and shockprods throw their weight around on a Seattle pier. I’d totally forgotten about writing that. His story goes into significantly greater depth than most of the big-name papers ever bothered to.
If the picture of me leaning against the subterranean walls of C’Est What proves a little too much to bear, there’s another story that went up the other day over at Quill & Quire. Laura Godfrey didn’t interview me (although I think she tried — there was an e-mail in the backlog from a week or so ago I only just got to), but she is one of the very few reporters who didn’t reflexively repeat the spurious allegation that I’d been convicted of “assault”. And while she didn’t manage to get in touch with me personally, she did spend some time at Bakka-Phoenix over the weekend, chatting with folks in the local circle. I haven’t been out much since coming home, so I didn’t know until reading Godfrey’s article that all these folks had said the kind things they did. Thank you, Chris, and Karl, and Rob (and Dave. Again.)
So there you have it: two online fountains to wash the taste of all that democratic journalism out of your mouth. Now I have to get back to filling out these presentencing forms. Can anyone tell me why “None” and “No facial hair” are listed as separate options under “Facial Hair”?