Friday, October 13, 2006

october 11th

yesterday is going to be a memorable one. I had a face-to-face interview with Lindsey Buckingham (one of my musical heroes and one of the few capable of bringing the pre-interview nerves up to levels previously only reached by impending sessions with Paul Westerberg and Charles Thompson III (a.k.a. Frank Black) and I attended Carnegie Hall for the first time (for a Randy Newman concert - love the Randy Newman)).

but the main reason that October 11th will linger is the plane crash into a 72nd Street apt. building which tragically claimed the lives of major league pitcher Cory Lidle and his flight instructor Tyler Stanger.

for the few hours that crash details remained a mystery, most every New York transplant received a phone call (or three) from family and friends asking what the hell was going on? (most often phrased as, Where are you? Are you safe?) because, understandably, planes crashing into buildings is something this city will never get over.

rumor, conjecture, uncertainty is almost to be expected in those first few hours. but damn if it should be continuing 24 hours later. and by theoretically reputable journalists.

which is why I'm extremely disappointed to see Philip Weiss' downright irresponsible blog entry on the New York Observer's website.

the blog entry's title? "The Suicide Question Re Corey Lidle"

I had a few days' worth of interaction with Philip about 14 years ago when Esquire sent him to Tuscaloosa to write an article on the starting gate of Alabama state politics that is the University of Alabama's fraternity system (it's called "The Machine" down there). and since native New Yorker Philip was rather a duck out of water in those Southern environs, and since I knew one of the assigning editors at Esquire, my roommate and I tried to make Philip feel a little wetter, or at least a little less ducky. we even introduced him to a few of our students who were active in Machine politics.

that's called an aside. I have no idea if my disappointment could possibly increase just because I spent some time with the writer 14 years ago. but the blog entry is downright sloppy and, worse, unbelievably irresponsible.

Weiss' contention/conjecture, of course, is that Lidle may've been depressed enough over the Yankees' early playoff exit to kill himself.

first of all, he spells Cory's name wrong not only in the title of his entry, but throughout his piece.
secondly, Weiss writes that "at least one MLB pitcher who screwed up committed suicide in the off-season." he doesn't even bother to look up the pitcher's name (I'm pretty sure he was thinking of former Angels pitcher Donnie Moore who killed himself with a handgun a full two and a half years after he allowed a playoff home run that is often misremembered as a game-winning blast. it should also be noted that Moore suffered from multiple financial, marital and emotional problems, had just been released by a minor league team (effectively ending his career) and shot his estranged wife three times before turning the gun on himself). because if one human being who happened to be a major league pitcher could kill himself following a loss (even a loss two and a half years before), all major league pitchers are capable, right? and really, it's not enough to suggest that the guy killed himself without any evidence at all, while we're here let's imply that Cory Lidle was selfish enough to not only kill himself (leaving behind a wife and six-year-old child) but take his flight instructor out too while endangering the lives of countless New Yorkers who might be in or around a towering apt. building on the upper east side in the middle of the afternoon (as opposed to say taking a solitary nosedive into an uninhabited field). is that your logic, Philip?

jeez, somebody hire an editor with the balls to say, Uh, that's about the dumbest fucking thing I've ever heard. and by the way, your writing on this one is almost unimaginably lazy (for starters, we still don't know for sure that Lidle was even piloting the plane) and this piece in no way qualifies as journalism. why don't we not post this entry?

or something.

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