Saturday, January 19, 2008

Honest criticism or cheap shot?

Madame DeLadd stitched another name in her quilt the other day (Ms. Rupp's passages are highlighted in yellow):
"I noticed today that reporter Leah Rupp now has her own blog, on top of her beat (I'll never understand papers giving blogs to full-time reporters, but I digress). So, now they have 13 on-staff male bloggers; two female, and only one of them ostensibly discussing serious issues.
Rupp inaugurated her new blog yesterday, starting out:
As a teenager, I never kept a diary. You know why? Because I was embarrassed to write entries to no one, and at the same time worry about everyone seeing them.
Today, the first day of my new blog, I find that writing to a million people who have access to — but probably are not likely to — peruse this little diary, is just as difficult.
So, what I want to do is offer you a disclaimer: I am just learning about Mississippi politics. I grew up in Kentucky. I went to college in the even-more-northern state of Ohio. I didn't realize I really, really loved politics or writing, or writing about politics until I got there — little more than five years ago.
Then get with it, girlfriend: talk about politics. I mean a young reporter from Kentucky/Ohio seems to be the Ledger's plan for a female take on Mississippi politics, so let 'er rip. Educate us. Make us think.
Today at the inauguration, Rupp talked more about technical difficulties than the Mississippi politics she's grown to love:
Again, I apologize, technical difficulties. To make it worse, my battery power is RED. That's bad. Whatever happened to a good old notebook and pen?
Whatever, indeed.
You gotta start somewhere, I guess. Maybe the Ledger will yet find a Mississippi woman to blog about politics. Let's hope.
Posted by: ladd on Jan 15, 08 1:44 pm

OK, I'm going to try not to pick on Ms. Rupp any more ... after this post. Her last post for the evening started out:
Hopefully, you're going to be out dancing all night long at Gov. Haley Barbour's inauguration ball. I have this sweet black sequined dress that would have definitely worked for the occasion.
Alas, that dress never left the hanger tonight. I was saving it for a ball in Louisiana anyway. It's 9 p.m. — as good as any bedtime I suppose.
Thus ends my first day blogging, surely not to be my last, if my bosses have anything to do with it. I will admit, to all of you who are surely not reading this blog anyway, I kind of liked writing in this diary.
And ended:
The Honorable Terry Burton, chair of the Senate Elections Committee, will preside (did I mention I love his voice?)... but only the Senate can officially decide. Their final conclusion is expected by Monday.
OK, Ledger Boyz, this is not what we meant when we pointed out that you have no hard-hitting political (or social, for that matter) commentary by women. If she's going to *blog* about the inaugural, then where is the commentary about the governor's actual remarks and challenges? (Answer: Over in Sid and David's blogs.)

This is not Ms. Rupp's fault. She is a REPORTER, and a young one at that. She should not be expected to BLOG her opinion about the Legislature, especially if she hasn't had time to FORM ANY. She makes it clear right in her post that this blogging thing is her boss' idea. This absurd, Ledger. Can you really find no women columnists to add to your staff who have the depth in the state to say something real? They can then blog. If you don't know how to find any, or train some, you have worst problems than I thought.
This particular blog is an insult to everyone involved, starting with Ms. Rupp. Give her back her notebook, let her go report her face off, and try a smarter route.
Posted by: ladd on Jan 15, 08 10:26 pm "

I am not going to make any comment. Instead I will leave you with the following passage from Plutarch "Life of Cicero":
"And thus was he murdered, stretching forth his neck out of the litter, being now in his sixty-fourth year. Herennius cut off his head, and, by Antony's command, his hands also, by which his Philippics were written; for so Cicero styled those orations he wrote against Antony, and so they are called to this day.
When these members of Cicero were brought to Rome, Antony was holding an assembly for the choice of public officers; and when he heard it,and saw them, he cried out, "Now let there be an end of our proscriptions."He commanded his head and hands to be fastened up over the rostra,where the orators spoke; a sight which the Roman people shuddered to behold, and they believed they saw there, not the face of Cicero, but the image of Antony's own soul."

Ms. Rupp's blog can be found at


Kingfish said...

Ok. Now here is my commentary on it. I wanted the reader to form his own impression without any input from me before I made a comment.

I think that post was very ugly. very. You want to criticize her blogging, then wait a couple of weeks to see what she writes, then blast her. However, that post was not about criticism, it was about belittling a brand new reporter who is still learning the ropes. It was about putting her down in order to Make Madame DeLadd look better.

In case it never occurred to Jackson's resident media curmodgeon, some people like to introduce to their readers on their first post in a blog. I realize that fact may escape you as you constantly tell us about yourself all of the time. However, Ms. Rupp will more than likely hit her stride and get better over time. Trashing her as you did on her first day blogging showed nothing but a lack of class. However, the ends justify the means in your case. Want to know why so many people dislike the esteemed Madame with her poisonous quilt? This is a perfect example. Its not about her politics. Its not about her coverage. Its about the trashing and belittling of anyone that catchers her ire or is in her cross-hairs.

The proper way to criticize her would have been to just criticize the Clarion-Ledger for putting a brand new young reporter to cover the capital. Of course, Ms. Ladd left out the fact that Rupp is working with a more experienced partner, Natalie Chandler. She could have then offered some constructive advice to Ms. Rupp as in how to improve her blog instead of a steady stream of barbs and insults.

Anonymous said...


Isn't it amazing that Donna has all this time to bash a new (FEMALE) reporter, but hasn't the time (or nerve?) to write about the recent bribery scandal? And she has NO EXCUSE not to write about it! She's not a "NEW" "blogger."

Donna, cut new people some slack. This is just ridiculous that you honestly have nothing better to do. Thanks for pointing out her blog though, I'll add it to my list of daily readings.

Anonymous said...

Ladd's strategy seems to be:

(1) Complain about how there aren't enough female bloggers.

(2) When there are female bloggers who aren't making money for the JFP (with unpaid labor), criticize them mercilessly until they fold.

When Ladd says she wants to hear more voices of young Jacksonians...she means more voices of young Jacksonians paying off those tax liens.

Anonymous said...

Ladd conveniently deleted today the post by a blogger asking if the fact that she has tax liens was a "half-truth", which was Ladd's words.

Typical Donna Ladd. She''ing.predictable, and a fraud.

Anonymous said...

That seems to be one of her memes. Come on people. Think.

Tom Head said...

Getting to know a few of the young reporters at the Clarion-Ledger who had been targeted by Donna in the past was one of the main things that got me off the JFP site.

People have a tendency to forget, when they use this marvelous little contraption called the Internet, that there are real human beings on the other ends of these screens.

Anonymous said...

another thing to consider is sometimes reporters are assigned projects, write on this story, blog on this. i think she likely was told to blog about the lighter side of the festivities for people who could not make it. i doubt it was her decision.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

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There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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