Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Fog of War Has Nothing on the Fog of Commentary

There are many times I desperately miss my old job. Then there are times like the last two days.

Didn't think about Randy Moss for a second today. Yesterday, either. OK, that's not strictly true. When I heard the news some woman in Florida had accused Moss of hitting her, I thought, "Gosh, that'd be bad if it's true. Hope it's not. Randy never seemed like that to me, but hey, who knows?"

And that was it. Moss went in one synapse and out the other. I had no desire to speculate, recall Moss' past shenanigans as an adolescent, or get on the phone to some ferocious attorney in Florida. I had no obligation to beat feet down to Foxboro and get Moss' side of the story or delve into the background of his accuser, so, naturally, I didn't.

Best of all, I didn't have to fill up a Herald column with many words about Moss' situation. I would've had the same opinion, that is, who knows, so why don't we wait and let the facts emerge (or not) in the legal system, but all newspapers frown on one sentence columns. I'd have been stuck. What would have wound up under my name and picture is the sort of column I hated writing most of all, and still hate reading.

I'm a civilian now. I don't have to read columns or stories I don't enjoy. No sane person could deny that the Moss allegations are news, big news. News, however, does not always lend itself to cogent, pungent, engrossing commentary. The list of known facts in this case is short. Ergo, the list of non-bullshit opinions to offer on Moss' beef with this woman is even shorter. I sure don't have any, except for "let's wait and see."

Columnists are not allowed to write "let's wait and see." Too bad that is exactly the correct reaction to about 98 percent of breaking news stories.


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