James Ragland is no Mike Royko. Hell, he’s not even John Anders (hi, Helen!). You might remember that Ragland took a beating for defending Brandon Jackson, the Lancaster kid who’s wearing an ankle monitor to football practice. In his column today, Ragland in effect says, “Hey, man, I didn’t mean what I wrote.” Here are his words:
My colleague, Jacquielynn Floyd, pursued the more popular slant — which is that Brandon should be banished from extracurricular activities and shipped to an alternative school. She got lots of hugs and kisses. You can say, as many of you figured out, that I played the devil’s advocate. For that, I got socked in the face. But I couldn’t construct the argument if it didn’t have merit.
What? Okay, first, a good city columnist has an opinion and sticks to it. I mean, you’re paid to have an opinion. An honest opinion. One you believe in. Not one your editor tells you to throw up to counterbalance Jacquielynn Floyd (as if that weight even required a counterbalance).
Got that? Right. Now, secondly, he couldn’t have constructed the argument if it didn’t have merit? I’d like to call that sophistry but “sophistry” implies a certain amount of cleverness. You can’t construct an argument if it doesn’t have merit? Didn’t Hitler have an argument for exterminating the Jews? The Church certainly had an argument for why the Sun orbited the Earth. And you know what? Neither had merit. Besides his own opinion, Ragland seems unable to muster the force of logic.
One person in West Plano just cancelled his subscription. You’re down to two now, guys. Keep it up.