Updated: Dec 29, 2021
By Chad Hobbs
I woke up this morning and walked down the sidewalk, overcome by the perfection of this county. There is no pain or suffering. There is no strife. Crime never happens; pure honesty always rules the day. Our politicians are perfect servants, and every working man earns a wage that is way more than his worth. The sun is always shining, but it never gets too hot. Meade County is Shangri-La for each and every one of its 28,000 plus citizens.
Cue up John Conlee, “These rose colored glasses that I’m looking through show only the beauty ‘cause they hide all the truth.”
I hadn’t planned on wading into Randy Johnson, Joe Redmon and Conrad Doyle’s love triangle, but after last week, I guess I have no choice. So here is my rebuttal to all three—ad nauseam.
Starting with Johnson, I’ll keep it short and sweet. First off, it is pretty rich hearing you, of all people, go on and on lecturing this paper about negativity. Your solo show is rarely anything more than you and a couple repeat callers slapping each other on the back as you rail against anything and everything you disagree with. Yet, this paper has one to two articles a week, in its opinion section I might add, that usually rail against something its writers disagree with, but you have the audacity to rant about how negative our paper is. Over 95 percent of this publication is nothing but straight news or “feel good” feature stories. Can you say that about your product?
As to Joe Redmon/Citizen Joe/Vice Chair of the Meade County Republican Party, it is beyond comical that your “Letter to the Editors” piece last week started by labeling my editorial as “screed”. If there is one thing I’ve learned since working here, it is that long monotonous speech and writing can be found nowhere in this county in greater supply than flowing from your mouth or hand. I am not sure I have ever met someone with a more disillusioned love for their own voice or intellect than you good sir.
Like this county, I am far from perfect, but I am long past tolerating your insistence on calling me a liar every time I pen something that stands in conflict to your narrow minded understanding of Meade County as the self proclaimed expert and Citizen king of the county. I have not, nor shall I ever, pen something in this paper that is a lie. What is a lie is the fact that you and your cronies continue to publicly blame the farmers, my writing and others for killing an elected official. I know you feel I should have called someone like yourself for information on my article about the land sale, but as your “Letter to the Editors” made clear, you are a biased Vice Chairman of the Meade County Republican Party and great friend of the former judge who is willing to say anything just to “photoshop” your people’s images. Plus I have little faith in people who give themselves a nickname.
As for Conrad Doyle, he has his opinions and I have mine. Sometimes I agree with him, sometimes I disagree, and other times I really just don’t care. The beauty of working for this newspaper is that no one tells me what I can or can’t write, and therefore, I don’t tell any of the other writers what I think they should, or shouldn’t, write. That environment makes for a healthy publication full of diverse schools of thought, unlike the biased viper dens that many larger newsrooms have evolved into. Love him or hate him, I do believe Conrad plays a role as the town crier, keeping the elected officials on their toes and challenging the citizens of this county not to become complacent with government status quo.
I love this county dearly. However, I do not work for Meade County Tourism. I work for the Meade County Messenger. If you want to see Meade County through rose colored glasses, you should go check out the tourism office. That is their job. My job is that of a journalist—to tell the whole story of this county, for better or for worse, until death do we part.
So, to answer Citizen Joe’s question of “How does this county explain this behavior to people in Charlotte (Nucor’s HQ) or Indianapolis (Monument’s HQ) or Frankfort?”, I offer you this: I don’t care what anyone in Charlotte, Indianapolis or Frankfort thinks about my work. I only care about what the people of Meade County need, want and deserve, and I plan to do my best to keep them informed with information I feel like they should be informed upon. It is up to them to decide whether