Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mountain Xpress isn't in Facebook Heaven because John Boyle is

Mountain Xpress publisher Jeff Fobes seems annoyed that Citizen-Times columnist John Boyle scored another hit with his column exposing the tone-deaf tin-ears of Susan Fisher and her family.  (80 comments, up from 54 yesterday.)

Fobes writes, "Rep. Susan Fisher and family just made Asheville Citizen-Times columnist John Boyle’s day. Boyle was already in hog heaven taking Asheville Airport board members to task for their Shangrila [sic]-like working conference in Hawaii."

He seems to be taking Boyle to task for taking Fisher to task.  "Inexplicably, Boyle takes Susan Fisher to task for letting her family stay in her room with her, on the Airport’s dime — even though the room rate didn’t increase because of the increased occupancy, according to her. But Boyle’s column is a fun read. . ."

Maybe Fobes is annoyed at himself for missing the scoop for MountainX.  At least a day before Boyle revealed the Fisher family Facebook photos, citizen journalist Tim Peck had revealed it in a comment on Mountain Xpress.  Did the MX staffer who moderated that comment miss an opportunity?  Or does Fobes' tone with Boyle suggest that the Xpress is too high-minded to do whatever it is that Boyle may be guilty of?

RandomAsheville gave the Tim Peck post a heads-up a day before Boyle's column and urged readers to see the Fisher Family Facebook Album before Susan Fisher realized her daughter's indiscretion.  (We got it wrong and attributed the Facebook page to her son.) 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for wondering what was behind my blogwire post.

    The tone of my post does indicate I have some misgivings about journalistic cheap shots — which Boyle’s article may be.

    I agree with Boyle that the Fishers stepped in it, maybe two or three times. (And I also enjoyed the brash frankness of the family members’ replies.)

    Boyle would surely agree that it was easy pickin’s to ridicule the Fishers when the audience is fully riled.

    I find myself wanting some nuances. What sort of trips ARE warranted? What constitutes a junket? How does an agency evaluate whether the conference is worth going to? Who should go? The board members or the paid staff? And so on.

    I too dislike junkets and waste, and this conference has a wasteful feel. Bryan Freeborn’s explanation of his trip, taken immediately prior to his leaving the board, rang hollow. But both Fisher and Gantt strike me as hard-working government representatives, so I’m wondering if we shouldn’t curb the desire to heckle and give them and the situation a fairer hearing — rather than just stir ourselves into a mood to toss tomatoes first and walk-out while any explanations are forthcoming.