Thursday, January 22, 2009

You Is or You Ain't

How many other newspapers give online readers the chance to comment on every story they offer? And, believe me, this being Sarasota, everybody has an opinion (just like everybody here has a story.) I like to lurk around on the comment boards and read what people are thinking. Sometimes informative, sometimes funny, sometimes thought-provoking, sometimes downright scary --they are always, always entertaining.

There was an incident yesterday here in town that got a ton of reaction in the Herald-Tribune comment section. According to the article, "police were responding to a domestic dispute around 3 am at her boyfriend's house in the 2500 block of South Milmar Drive, where a window had been broken. Mogensen fit the description of the woman involved in the dispute, police said. When an officer approached her, she stated she was a lawyer and did not have to stop, a police report says."

Now, I'm no legal scholar (unlike many of those posting in the comment section obviously consider themselves to be), but it would seem eminently prudent to this unsophisticated observer that if a uniformed police officer asks you for your name while you're out walking around at 3 o'clock in the morning, you should probably just tell them your name.

Nope, too easy.

The officer then 'took her to the ground,' as they like to euphemistically say here in town. It's so much more politically correct than "we knocked her on her ass and cuffed the bitch." It means the same thing, though.

Although, not all 'take to the grounds' are equal. After her arrest, she looked like this:

Last weekend, a Tampa newsman was 'taken to the ground' in Hillsborough County on suspicion of DUI and he looked like this:

Yowch, Russell.

Many of the comments centered on the opinion that this was newsworthy only because she was an attorney. People get arrested every night in Sarasota, so why do they have to put her story and her picture in the newspaper?

Because she is an attorney.

Because attornies, doctors, clergy, teachers, judges, politicians, police, etc., are constantly bombarding us with the fact that they are better than us. They get the perks, they get the limelight, they are professionals and deserve the kid-glove treatment.

Teachers say wistfully, "We touch the future." Doctors say they are "healers." Clergy say they are "men (and women) of God." Politicians say they are "servants of the people." Lawyers--well, lawyers will say anything......

Or, in this particular case, they won't say anything.

So, if these self-righteous types claim to be on a higher plane than us mere mortals, they should be judged accordingly.

There should be a whole sub-division of schadenfreude devoted to the missteps of big shots.

It's like celebrities who crave the spotlight, yearn for recognition and when they finally get their big break, they snub their fans and hide from the paparazzi. Unless, of course, they're promoting their new movie, new book or just looking for a raise.

Welcome to 'You Can't Have It Both Ways.'

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