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Today's word on journalism

Monday, November 5, 2007

On Objectivity:

"I still insist that 'objective journalism' is a contradiction in terms. But I want to draw a very hard line between the inevitable reality of 'subjective journalism' and the idea that any honestly subjective journalist might feel free to estimate a crowd at a rally for some candidates the journalist happens to like personally at 2,000 instead of 612 -- or to imply that a candidate the journalist views with gross contempt, personally, is a less effective campaigner than he actually is."

-- Hunter S. Thompson, from Fear & Loathing: CORRECTIONS, RETRACTIONS, APOLOGIES, COP-OUTS, ETC., a 1972 memo to Rolling Stone editor Jann S. Wenner, excerpted in the current (November 2007) issue of Harper’s Magazine (Thanks to alert WORDster Andy Merton)

Mendon man will serve 30 days for aggravated assault

By Angeline Olschewski

October 26, 2007 | LOGAN -- David Matthew Funk, 34, Mendon, was sentenced Monday by Judge Clint S. Judkins to spend 30 days in Cache County Jail, fined $1,500 and put on probation for five years for aggravated assault, a a third-degree felony.

Funk choked on his words as he spoke through tears, expressing his regret for physically beating Chet Parker on April 27, 2007. "I regret what this has done to my wife and kids," Funk said, taking a tissue offered by the bailiff, his hand visibly shaking.

Lt. Troy Thurston summarized the police report, stating that Funk pulled up behind Parker at Beto's Mexican restaurant in Logan. He began aggressively honking his horn, implying that Parker needed to pull forward. Funk continued to honk until he exited his vehicle, approached Parker's car and began yelling at him, eventually punching him through the open window.

"At this point Parker exited his car, and heated words were exchanged," Thurston said. Parker implied he had a gun, and Funk asked directly if he had a gun. When Parker reached behind his back in a way that made Funk believe he was retrieving the weapon, "Funk repeatedly struck Parker, causing him to fall to the ground," Thurston said. "Funk took the weapon from Parker's body and threw it down, then left."

The report further states that Parker was found at the scene semi-lucid, then quickly became dizzy and disoriented. Officers called for an ambulance to take him to Logan Regional Hospital.

"A person has a right to defend himself, but the question is did he do more than that?" attorney Jamie Swink argued. According to Swink, Parker underwent facial reconstructive surgery estimated at around $20,000.

Funk currently attends anger management sessions, which Judge Judkins ordered he continue. He also ordered Funk to pay full restitution and write Parker a letter of apology. Funk was escorted from the courtroom to be moved directly to Cache County Jail to serve out his 30-day sentence. His family left as well, suppressing quiet sobs.


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