Monday, May 25, 2009

A Voice That Must Not Be Silenced

For those of you who don't know already, Maggie Thurber of WSPD's "Eye on Toledo" program and the blog "Thurber's Thoughts", has resigned as a columnist for the Toledo Free Press. The uproar was created due to accusations of plagiarism in her most recent column for the TFP "The history of Memorial Day". 

I won't go into the whole mish-mash, as the reader can do so in the Toledo Blade article of May 23rd (and Lord knows I want to get that attribution correct), and the article online by Michael Miller in the Toledo Free Press. I will say however that I believe Maggie when she says that the mistake was an honest one. 

It can be very difficult to remember to credit every source when doing one of these history pieces, which are compilations and interpretations of information from multiple sources. It is also easy to write lines very similar to the ones that you have just recently read when you read so much from so many sources when doing one of these pieces. 

I will also say that Maggie has been a strong, clear voice in Toledo, taking on the tough issues and the subjects difficult to understand for most of us (especially when it comes to the finance). She has likewise been extremely fair over time in bringing such information to the public, complimenting opponents when they make good decisions, and taking them to task when they do otherwise. 

That she should be taken to task so enthusiastically in the Blade in an unattributed article (Blade staff) is both cowardly and typical of that organization. One could expect little else of a newspaper however, in which many of its main editorial columns go unattributed as well as Cowardly.  

Cowardly as well has been much of the criticism in the online community that she served so faithfully and so well. Catchy online "nom de plumes" (by the way, I had to look up the spelling in Merriam Webster - attribution, attribution) do little to hide inconsequential, incomprehensible, and incoherent vitriol (came up with that one by myself) aimed at smearing a person who has only sought the best for Toledo and Northwest Ohio.  

I hope that these continuing cowardly and anonymous attacks from the left will not prevent others with a Conservative voice from likewise speaking their minds. The runaway train of Progressivism is out of control these days and about to jump the tracks. Those with the courage to speak out against it are vital to our future survival. It is also my hope that this minor setback will not keep Maggie from continuing to be a strong Conservative voice. She has given far too much to the area with the information, interpretation, and education to let that voice go silent now. 

 (I originally titled this posting "A Voice That I Hope Will Not Be Silenced", but retitled it after a little additional thought this evening.)

 

11 comments:

Roman said...

What is happening to Maggie Thurber is almost to be expected.

In this city you cannot be a conservative and express your thoughts without having every nit picked. I wonder how many people on Superior Street are assigned to do the requisite inquisitions?

While plagiarism can be quite serious, forgetting to source an article, in the grand scheme of things is not a big deal. There is a Pulitzer Prize winning writer of the NY Times and the current Vice President of the United States who have committed considerably worse deeds.

Is there any wonder why it is so difficult to get quality people to pursue elected office.

I echo your thought that Maggie will not be silenced!

Hooda Thunkit said...

Tim,

Excellent post on this subject!

And, as a fiscal conservative, I would mourn the loss of Maggie's clear and no nonsense approach to challenging the stupidity that seems rampant in our loco government and her enlightening of the rest of us on our government, how it is supposed to work, and when it doesn't work.

I take solace in the fact that she will return, just as soon as all who fear her presence have finished venting all of their vitriol and "vile" bile...

Until that day comes, many of will feel the loss. . .

IMNHO, the collective I.Q. and integrity of the Internet just took a very large hit, which can only be undone with her prompt return...

Tim Higgins said...

Roman,

You've said a mouthful here and I hope and believe that Maggie will not give up.

Tim Higgins said...

HT,

I too trust that Maggie will be back with us when the babble of the mindless has settled down to a dull roar.

I was likewise pleased to see Brian Wilson take a position in her favor in his own inimitable way in the TFP. He showed no fear or hesitation in expressing his feelings about the online drones.

Winky Twinky said...

OH MAGGIE NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Noooooooooooo...... thought I can't blame you..... I so sorry to see yet another hero fallen.............

Hooda Thunkit said...

All,

Though I don't know Maggie that well I can't see her buckling under the "pressure" of some blathering bloggers, she's tougher and has more "pluck" that that ;-)

Tim Higgins said...

WT,

I do not believe that Maggie Thurber has fallen. I could understand however, if she was feeling just a little under-appreciated right now.

My motive in writing here, and I believe in the comments that are bound to follow, is to show how much she is.

Jay Ott said...

How this mistake has been handled transcends the mistake itself. I think Maggie has handled it quite well--with honor, humility, contrition, and accountability. Therefore, it should not only be welcomed, but also forgiven.

It is so much different in contrast to what we are so used to seeing from the mayor (and others who deliberately obfuscate, and mislead) on a daily basis, viz., "I'm in charge here, you're not", or "Get a life" or always playing the victim of some conspiracy.

That's not humility, it's arrogance; that's not contrition, it's unrepentance; that's not accountability, it's wreckless abandon and lack of shame.

Maggie cannot be legitimately accused of hypocrisy, because a hypocrite means someone who appears to be someone they're not. Because Maggie has stated publicly that she includes herself in accepting consequences when [rather than if] people make mistakes, Maggie is no actor.

The principles which Maggie stands for, by and large correspond to reality, they are coherent, cogent, and consistant.

Something is seriously wrong with people who "strain out a gnat yet swallow a camel".

These are the same people who are always talking about equality, fairness and justice yet in practice, they overlook the mayor's numerous misdeeds; who apparently is answerable to no one, while they gloat over Maggie's failure to credit her sources.

Let's put this in the right perspective which is not to minimize the seriousness of the offense, but to also see Maggie's willingness to accept the consequences which was without hesitation, a sincere, heartfelt, humble apology and resignation.

That is class. It says a great deal and she should be respected for that.

Wrong is wrong, mistakes are mistakes regardless of who the person is or what their status is.

The thing that distinguishes someone who is honorable from someone who is dishonorable, or what separates a true public servant from a tyrant who is to be unquestionably obeyed and served, is humility, contrition, and accountability.

In my own experience, my problems did not really begin not so much from a misdeed itself, but in trying to correct it by denial, blaming others, lying etc.

Winky Twinky said...

Tim,
To clarify: I came across wrong. I didn't mean that she did wrong, what I meant was that she was a casualty... It seems those who think like we do, and especially those like Maggie and others who speak up are more susceptible to scrutiny... I know Maggie will persevere.

Roland Hansen said...

While I have not always agreed with Maggie Thurber, I have never doubted her sincerity to be of public service, a trait which I greatly admire.

In regards to the anonymous flaming trolls with the "nom de plumes" as you have stated:
I do believe I have pretty much gone on record with my thoughts about them.
Your description Mr. Higgins, sir, of their comments, i.e. "cowardly," is much more kind than I would have used, although it certainly is an intrinsic component of the descriptive phraseology for which I have become known.

Tim Higgins said...

Roland,

It is the brightest lights that draw the most pests. Thus people like you and Maggie suffer far greater assault from the internet trolls than I do.

While you and Maggie may not always agree on how, no one who has read the work of either of you could doubt both your sincerity and your commitment to make Toledo a better place.