Hey, look — I’m in the newspaper.
OK, yeah, my actual name is in the newspaper fairly often, but this is a bit different. I got a tweet from DD this morning, who said that my post about the Stanton Heights shootings had been excerpted in the P-G’s weekly Cutting Edge column, a review of bloggers’ takes on a wide variety of stuff collected by Bill Toland.
Disclosure: I’m a friend of Mr. Toland’s — I’ve worked with him in real life — and he’s threatened to do this to me once before, when I wrote about Punxsutawney Phil soiling himself on Groundhog Day 2006 and what that might portend for the Steelers’ chances in the upcoming Super Bowl.
This time, however, I had no warning. I got a lot of nice feedback on the post, but I wasn’t expecting that kind of attention. And I’m especially pleased to be quoted alongside Chris Briem, an economics researcher at Pitt — a guy I use frequently as a source for my own stories and the person I generally regard as the smartest man in the city.
Bill points out the political side of the massacre, and that’s a debate that will probably go on for a while. I’ve given up writing about politics here, but in this case, and in this city certainly, the personal is much more important. Friends of mine have often written that Pittsburgh is the biggest small town in the country; when something like this happens, there is an excellent chance we have some kind of connection, whether it’s direct — Chris speculates that his family lived next door to the family of one of the slain officers and recounts another horrible experience that happened to a friend of his on the force — or indirect, as in simply wondering if the cop who lives across the street is OK.
The rest of the country can — and will — talk about the politics. For us, it’s still personal.