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UA student gives the paper what-for

The public information operation of the University of Arkansas (the flagship one at Fayetteville) distributed last night a pugnacious statement from Bo Renner, student government president, in which Renner declared that the Razorbacks finished  the regular season 12-1 and will play Florida State for the national championship.

No. Wait. That wasn’t it.

What the lad said was that the university is doing great — growing, attracting stellar students, retaining those students, engaging in vital research and earning national academic acclaim. And he said the Democrat-Gazette ignores this good story, this real story, to harp on chronic multi-million-dollar overspending in the fund-raising office that has produced an unfavorable state legislative audit and led to a prosecutor’s investigation.

The university Mr. Renner accurately describes is indeed to be celebrated. But the inability of the young man to compartmentalize issues, to separate the general success of the institution from pockets of budgetary misfeasance and FOI law resistance, suggests that he needs to mature if ever-so-slightly so that he can keep unrelated matters in an emotionally detached perspective. I’m sure his fine university can help him with that maturation.

It’s not a precise comparison, but it’s close enough to be instructive: Take the case of Bobby Petrino. He misbehaved egregiously and was fired. All of that was legitimate news. But, at the same time, the UA football team had been highly successful under his coaching. It had just finished a season of 11-2 after one of 10-3. So was the media at fault for reporting his misbehavior? Or should it simply have reported the successes of the two most-recent seasons and ignored motorcycle wreckage and girlfriend-hiring and public misrepresentation?

You see?

So let’s go forward by walking and chewing gum at the same time — praising the general performance of this flagship while reporting as well on the big Legislative Joint Auditing Commirtee meeting on the budget woes taking place tomorrow morning.

And, most of all, we must never yield.

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13 Responses to 'UA student gives the paper what-for'

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  1. Nice to hve you gone for a while.

    Glenn, Sr.

    12 Dec 13 at 12:08 pm

  2. There were those who missed you.

    Glenn, Sr.

    12 Dec 13 at 12:09 pm

  3. There are many who reach mature years who could learn moderation.

    Glenn, Sr.

    12 Dec 13 at 12:10 pm

  4. What is a “Joint Auditing Commirtee”?

    Wilson

    12 Dec 13 at 1:34 pm

  5. Actually, I think Mr Renner is spot on. The negative stories far outnumber the positive ones. Shame on you for reprimanding a young man for exercising exactly what you claim to stand for- Freedom of Speech. Perhaps you could stand a little maturation yourself.

    Suzanne

    12 Dec 13 at 1:40 pm

  6. I don’t usually agree with you politically, Mr. Brummett, but I can on the point of this article. The most recent case-in-point is the media frenzy-feeding over the departure of ASU head coach Bryan Harsin. The central Arkansas media only occasionally mentions the ASU football program during the regular course of events, including the successful football season, but now that the coach has resigned, one would think the Governor or even the President has resigned. It was the lead story on central Arkansas television news last evening and the ADG has given it more than enough coverage. If you are going to report the negatives, at least give equal consideration to the positives. The entire state will benefit in the long run.

    Mickey Maddox

    12 Dec 13 at 1:44 pm

  7. it’s very similar to a committee

    jbrummett

    12 Dec 13 at 2:37 pm

  8. Brummett is passive agressive in his stance towards the “UA-F”. Have there been issues on the hill? Yes. But if not for young Renner, nobody would know about the good things he points out – due in large part to the ADG’s (and in particular Brummett’s) discontent with the “UA-F.” Brummett, the old chap, seems to have an Old Main-sized chip on his shoulder about the flagship university of this state being positioned about 200 miles to his north and west. Get over it, Mr. Brummett!

    Brian

    12 Dec 13 at 3:30 pm

  9. Must suck to be a sad, miserable human being with a job in a dying industry

    Dancing Dude

    12 Dec 13 at 4:03 pm

  10. Mr. Brummett I believe that you might be wise to take a few notes from Mr. Renner. He points out that he is not asking anyone to ignore the facts, he is simply asking that all of the facts be revealed. Again, you make this a personal attack on the writer, rather than the issue that he is writing about. All of his facts are true, and his article was written solely in response to the negative writings of the ADG (hence the title of his piece). As Student Body President at the UofA, Mr. Renner’s role is to stand up for the University and it’s students, which he has done an impeccable job of. As a man who loves to have his opinion heard, you should admire and encourage a young man who stands up for what he believes in. Next time you make the decision to criticize another for reporting facts, you should take note of which side the facts lie on. The prosecutor found no evidence of criminal activity in the budget deficit.

    Tanner

    13 Dec 13 at 3:11 pm

  11. Wait, wait.. You’re slamming an article that you refused to publish? Maybe that’s why you’re stuck here working in a dying industry as a blogger. As an alumni of the University of Arkansas, we were all sent Bo Renner’s article. He was spot on. While you were busy calling him names, he was busy doing your job of reporting facts.

    As for my family and our small business – we’ll add our names to the list of people unsubscribing to the ADG.

    Amanda

    13 Dec 13 at 3:42 pm

  12. I say it’s about time we read negative ink on the so-called flagship university. I’d always been under the impression that the Demozette was just a branch of the UA Sports Information and Marketing Department.

    Delta2

    13 Dec 13 at 8:43 pm

  13. i didn’t refuse to publish. i’m an independent contractor providing columns. i don’t work at the dem-gaz and i certainly don’t make any editorial decisions. first i knew of this was when it showed up in my email box last week. thank you for the opportunity to clarify that.

    jbrummett

    16 Dec 13 at 7:22 am

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