Category Archives: news

Jumping the gun

I majored in journalism in college. I like to joke that I got my BS in BS. I worked in the field for over a year before I decided I didn’t like certain aspects of the job. My breaking point came about this time of year. I had to cover a car accident… where I had to stand on the side of the road, taking pictures and asking questions, while I could hear kids crying from inside the mangled car, and I could see Christmas presents stacked up in the back window. I felt like such a vulture.

I still love writing (as evidenced by writing a blog!) and I still love many aspects of journalism!

However, this week I was presented with something I hate about the job: getting the scoop at the expense of anyone and anything.

My university, Texas A&M, fired their head football coach this week. I started reading the rumblings about it as a possibility already Wednesday night. Twitter is a great place to get the “scoop” — but keeping in mind that what you’re reading is primarily rumors. Sure, I know the people to follow whose rumors tend to be spot-on. But at the end of the day, they are rumors and discussion.

I look to newspapers — the media — to report the facts as they happen.


Thursday, the Twitter-verse exploded after a blog post was run on the Austin American Statesman’s website, stating that “Mike Sherman will be fired as Texas A&M’s head coach either later today or early Friday morning, the American-Statesman has learned.”

WILL BE FIRED. Not has been fired. But will be fired. Information given by an anonymous source. In comments, the defense of the article came that its not anything Aggies hadn’t been discussing as rumors the day before.

In a statement from Sherman after he had been fired, he stated, “It was disappointing to me because my family found out before I did, because it was released (through a leak in the media) before I was told. I think we’re better than that.”

I can easily point fingers at the anonymous source as being out of line leaking the information to the media. I hope this source is found out and reprimanded, because this move makes the university look horrible.

But in the same breath, getting the scoop and running it in the media offended Sherman. And, forgive me, but to me this goes against the Journalism Code of Ethics. Specifically to Minimize Harm. Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect. Running an article that someone is going to be fired before they’ve actually been fired leaves me sick to my stomach. Can you imagine opening the newspaper and reading that you’re going to be fired. Or that your spouse is about to lose their job?? Can you imagine the punch in the gut?

It leaves me angry and sickened!

Past that… what if last minute they decided to hold off on the firing. Either not do it, or at the very least wait until after the bowl game. Suddenly you’ve run a misleading piece, done harm, and you’re left with egg all over your face. It’s just irresponsible.

Yes, this is a blog report, not an “official article.” But its run on the Austin American Statesman website. The post reads as an article. Its my opinion, it should be held to the same code of ethics as any other piece run on that newspaper site.

A very special Opry night

I’ve talked in here quite a bit about loving the Grand Ole Opry. I’ve been lucky to get to go a lot the last couple of years, but I also never take my attendance for granted. I hold my breath every time I see the Opry show up on my husband’s schedule… I hope to get to go.

Tuesday night, I honestly was braced to be denied entry. It was George Jones’ 80th Birthday Bash, and I knew there would be big names even just hanging out. I fully expected extra tight security. I fully expected to be told, “No guests.”

But instead, I got to go! TOO COOL! Just getting to attend the Opry and be backstage continues to be a surreal event. Getting to attend the Opry on such a big night? If there’s a more dramatic word for surreal, that would be the word.

Group-sing rehearsal

I was a bit surprised how many people were in attendance backstage — both artists and random guests. My expectation of it being tighter than ever seemed to be incorrect… which was equal parts really cool and a little overwhelming. Even in a place as big as the Opry, a lot of people backstage can get crowded quickly.

We saw lots of friends from other bands. It’s always funny to me how we all live in the same city, but it takes a show sometimes to see your friends. .

It was, as I said, a mix of artists and random guests. I’m a funny one, I suppose. I just really don’t ask artists for autographs or to take a picture with them. Oh, I do all I can to sneak a candid shot of them talking to someone else, or whatever. But to actually ask for a photo? Really not my style. (Which is precisely why I have only TWO photos with artists my husband has worked for… and one was because I took my cousin through the meet & greet one night.)

I’m not opposed to take a picture with an artist. I mean, the shots I have with Steve Cropper still make me grin ear-to-ear. But on a whole and in general… eh. Whatever. That mind set is precisely why I didn’t get a photo with Carrie Underwood that night. Oh I could have asked. I mean, she was standing less than a foot away from me at times. But I just couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t interrupt her evening.

Similarly, my husband and I got a poster they were selling as a memento for the night. We both really wish we’d had George Jones autograph it. But we just couldn’t bring ourselves to do it. As cool as it would have been to have, we both wanted to give him his space. He was getting mobbed enough, no need for us to join in the crowd.

I’m content with the photos I took during the show. I’m content just knowing I was there. I’m content having gotten to feel the vibe and have that experience.

George Jones coming off stage after the show

I guess you can call this one of those “married to a musician” perks. But definitely one I never, ever, ever take for granted. SO thankful to get to see such a great show. So thankful to be in attendance for such a special night.

This show will be televised in October (or so I’ve heard) on GAC. I have no idea what parts will make the show, nor do I know what parts will hit the cutting room floor — making room for backstage interviews, etc. I’ll be curious to see how it comes out. And I’ll watch going, “I was there!” and THAT is still too, too cool.