The Blog Squad

Monday, February 06, 2006

More on Holmberg's insult of Behl's mother

There's an interesting discussion going on behind my post from a few days ago about a Mark Holmberg column, in which he -- in my opinion -- maligned Taylor Behl's mother. I was about to post a lengthy comment but I figured I might as well revisit the whole issue since it seems to have struck a nerve out there. One anonymous poster (gee whiz, I wish you people would use some kind of name just so I can keep you straight...) suggested that perhaps it is Janet Pelasara's fiery personality that comes across as harsh on TV, which the poster described as a "cool medium." Another anonymous poster countered that Pelasara has earned her right, in the most dreadful way, to be harsh on TV.

Here's the thing. All of those comments are interesting, well-reasoned and most of all, respectful of Mrs. Pelasara and what she has been through. My point continues to be that Holmberg stepped way over all those lines by using the language he chose. Remember, he accused Pelasara of continuing to "bask in the media spotlight like a contestant on some kind strange 'American Idol' for grieving family members." Am I the only one who finds that comment revolting? He owes Janet Pelasara an apology and I for one am astounded that there hasn't been a slew of letters to the editor of the T-D yet or comments in the Your Two Cents section. Readers tore Holmberg apart when he wrote that story about the kid who beat up the bully at the bus stop and then blamed our "feminized" society for the kid's punishment. Then, of course, Holmberg got to write another column about the reaction to that column.
Oh, I see now! Holmberg's probably just saving up the outraged comments so that he can write another column about that, and chastise the rest of us for buying into the corporate cable news philosophy that the murder of an attractive white girl "weighs more" than the murder of people who have lived their lives in the margins of society.

There is room for legitimate -- and respectful -- debate about how far the family members of murder victims should go in feeding the hungry cable news monster that survives on gore and grief. However, Holmberg's grenade at Pelasara was neither legitimate nor respectful.


At Tue Feb 07, 10:31:00 AM EST, Anonymous rmjournal said...

Mark has something very unique to the TD, a free pass. He's the only colorful writer they have. You want Cynthia McMullen's cats' opinion of the Taylor Behl case?

There's hardly any reason to read the TD anymore, expecially Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday when it is so anemic. Sunday sucks, too, except for the Target insert. Mark's popping off like Citizen Holmberg is the only interesting thing.

At Wed Feb 08, 10:50:00 AM EST, Blogger Janet Giampietro said...

i will not argue that he is interesting. he clearly works really, really hard. as a reporter, i can truly say i was never walking richmond's mean streets at 3 a.m. chasing down a story. i absolutely support the freedom he has a columnist and want him and other columnists to push both buttons and envelopes. (it's a funny little image, isn't it?) i just deeply, strongly object to a comment that seems to have been a cute little toss-off for him but was in no way harmless. ... and i think you sell cynthia mcmullen's cat a little short. if those whiskers could talk...

At Mon Feb 13, 03:25:00 PM EST, Blogger Greg Weatherford said...

The typically brilliant Andrew Beaujon (of Save Richmond; now the managing editor of the Washington City Paper), pointed me to this analysis: Ed Anger or Mark Holmberg?


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