Mr. Me, Me Me -- columnist Steve Smith has struck a new low. He
writes an entire column about why his child did not get on a team
(“Coach’s decision inspires a bending of the rules,” Saturday). Smith
does not back up his accusation with fact; an “anonymous person”
confided that the coach did not select Smith’s child because the
coach did not like one of Smith’s columns. Isn’t that unsubstantiated
gossip? Smith is basing his entire tirade against the coach by a
person who does not want their name mentioned.
Smith often congratulates himself in his column on what a fine
father he is. Well, in this column, he blew it. He did no favors to
his child. Can you imagine the anxiety and dread any educator or
coach is going to have when dealing with his child. If Smith’s child
is not chosen, or there is a disagreement, the threat of a column
being written about them looms. It would have been much better for
his child if Smith had made his dispute with the coach a private
It appears Smith has a problem with conflict. He does not let go
of it easily. He had a conflict with former school board member Jim
Ferryman over three years ago and still writes about it in his
column; in fact, somehow he brings up Ferryman in his tirade against
the coach. Let Ferryman go, and get on with your life.
Once I wrote a rebuttal letter to Mr. Smith’s column when he
stated that bullying and teasing were OK, that it helped build
resilience in kids. He seemed very angry in the column in response to
my letter. He was upset that I said “shame on you, Mr. Smith,” yet he
uses those same words against the coach that did not pick his kid on
You may have a legitimate issue about your child being excluded.
It is very difficult as a parent to stand by and see your child
hurting. But in this case, Smith stepped over the bounds of
journalistic professionalism. You used your column to avenge your
child, and in doing so, you lost sight of your ethics.
What would Saturday be like without Steve Smith inventing a topic
for his column that provides him a forum for publicizing what a
splendid human being he is? He has, he would have us believe, never,
that’s never folks, called anyone a name. He has never, that’s never
folks, complained about a situation without offering a solution. Honk
if you wish you were that pure. Since, I assume, newspaper columnists
need credibility, you’d think he’d at least use the phrase “seldom if
ever,” instead of “never.”
Recently, he would have us believe, he came dreadfully close to
having a bad day, in which he actually failed to live up to the
stringent demands of his moral code. (Horrors.) Breathe easy folks;
he didn’t crack; he only “bent” one of his rules. Come on!
He has this self-serving theory that when someone can’t argue the
facts, his facts, by the way, they call him “names.” Where are the
facts in the incident he’s writing about? His own words are that it
“apparently” happened. And then later, he was “told” that it
happened. And later still, “if” it happened.
In my own experience, being called names has led to some rewarding
moments of personal growth. Tired of being called a drunk, I entered
rehab some 30 years ago. Stung by being labeled aloof, arrogant and
grandiose, I studied those words and the attitude and behavior that
led to their usage and found them to be painfully fitting. Go to the
dictionary, Steve Smith; look up the word “pompous” or the label
“illusions of moral superiority” and see whose picture is beside it.
I think that your Saturday feature “In Theory” is just excellent.
I look forward to that every week and have saved many of the
responses from many of the various religious leaders. They’re just
And the second thing I wanted to comment on is Steve Smith’s
column Saturday about the coach. I have no agenda, but I do feel that
that was one of the most self-righteous columns I’ve ever read. And
certainly he brought up old grudges, and I think it was a very
unnecessary and unfair column to write.
I have no idea who the coach was, or anything about this, but it
just left a bad taste in my mouth.