I’ve always thought that Internet blogging was a modern day version of the newspaper. At least that’s how I’ve been using it. Like a newspaper, I want the facts. I want someone to dig into a story and uncover all the details and present them in a straight forward manner. As I become more educated, and begin to form some thoughts on the matter, I’ll go to the Editorial section to get an opinion. Even if I don’t agree with it, I like to hear a fairly reasoned opinion. Next to the Editorial, I like to read the Op-Ed. Again, I like to hear reasoned opinions.
Another stop in my newspaper reading is the letters to the editor. These help me begin to understand the “man on the street” opinion. These unstructured, sometimes stream of consciousness writings are entertaining and informative. If you don’t believe me, let’s look at the Floyd Landis case. From the beginning, the intrepid investigative reporter role can be found at Trust But Verify. There is more detail than you would ever want to know. TBV has gotten under the covers on this very complex issue. TBV’s reporting has been so comprehensive, he even had his own Deep Throat, the infamous Ferret that turned out to be none other that Floyd Landis himself!
The Editorial function has been run elegantly and eloquently by Rant Your Head Off. He has taken the raw data and put his perspective on the issue. Trying to make the complex clear and compelling is very difficult and I applaud RYHO for your efforts.
The Op-Ed has been served by Martin Dugard, author of Chasing Lance. When Martin provides his perspective on this issue, it becomes a must read for all you Floyd watchers. The Letters to the Editor is a little more difficult. Great pulse checks can be found at blogs like Biking Bis, Nashville Cyclist, TDFBlog, RaceJunkie, among many, many others. The winner has to be the Daily Peloton Forums. No where does the fur fly faster then in here. One of the more active participants is Floyd. He jumps from forum to forum reading, answering, and generally engaging in a civil exchange of ideas while pointing our the merits of his case.
Where does that leave me? Well, I try to sit back digest an issue from a few different angles then connect the dots. Once that is done, I continue that line out into the future and speculate where it might go. I try to connect lines from different connecting the dots exercises to see what might happen. Sometimes I attempt a little wit.
You might have noticed that I have yet to do that with the release of Floyd Landis’ documents. Why? Because I really don’t know where these dots are going. If I connect them one way, it shows that Floyd has a good argument at exoneration. If I walk around the puzzle, I can see that the dots can point to an excuse for a guilty verdict. Don’t kid yourselves, there has to be a lot of pressure across all of the back offices in the cycling world to find Floyd guilty. With Floyd going “all in” and releasing everything, he has upped the stakes. That may spark some all or nothing responses in front of and behind the cameras.
There you have it. I don’t know. No wit, no sarcasm, just puzzlement. Maybe that is the line to be drawn. The muddy waters need to settle before your man on the street can understand and form a reasoned opinion. It is unfortunate we are in election season where attack ads are everywhere. I know that come November, it usually comes down to who I dislike least vs. who I am for. Therefore, the public may not have an appetite for protocols vs carbon testing.
Maybe we need to learn from that and focus on getting the story out in a way that clears up the muddy water. I don’t know.
It all might come down to what Floyd wants. Who does he want to convince of his innocence? Just the arbitration board? The cycling community? Cycling fans? The general population? What would you do? Would you want to be convicted but have everyone think you were robbed and were innocent? Or would you want to be found not-guilty, keep the tour win but have everyone think you were guilty?
Like I said, puzzlement. I guess in the newspaper of Internet blogs covering this case, my niche will be covering the pie-eating contest at the county fair.