Don’t outkick your coverage

I accept that facts can be garbled or lies can be told and that confusion often reigns in highly-charged situations.  But the impulse of people otherwise wholly uninvolved and unfamiliar with a given series of events to rush in and “debunk” is telling. Even pathological.

It speaks of someone desperate to shout down a story that is uncomfortable to them for some reason. It speaks of a person who cannot, even for a few days as confusion is sorted out, endure the notion that something they don’t believe may be true. Or, alternatively, it speaks of their desperate need to explain away that which they don’t want others to believe for whatever reason.

If you’re on the ground in Missouri or if you are otherwise engaged, as a matter of course, in the events, ideas and arguments that arise from situations like it, I understand the need to find certainty and shed light as quickly as reason will allow.

If, however, you’re on the outside looking in – say if you’re some sports writer with a history of angering people over your views on race – maybe sitting back a day or two and waiting for some certainty before spouting off is preferable to charging in blindly in an effort to make damn sure no one believes things you’d prefer they not believe.

At least if, as you claim, you’re actually interested in the truth as opposed to something else.

Craig Calcaterra

Craig is the author of the daily baseball (and other things) newsletter, Cup of Coffee. He writes about other things at He lives in New Albany, Ohio with his wife, two kids, and many cats.

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