Well, Allow Me to Retort

Just finished reading Observer music editor Jonanna Widner’s explanation of the, shall we say, curious ballot for this year’s Music Awards, wherein she dances around the most egregious miscue: the fact that Radiant is up for Best New Act, when the group already won the award … in 2004.

Since I used to sit where she does (metaphorically, at least), I have a few thoughts. Let’s jump, shall we?

First off, I’m no big fan of her defense:

“The voting public is responsible for who goes where. This is a public undertaking, meant to reflect the public’s wishes. Therefore, I’ve chosen the philosophy of not interfering with voting results no matter what. If the results are off-base, so be it.”

In other words, “Don’t blame me.” Here’s a problem with that thinking: Say I wanted to nominate the band Tony Romo’s Beard, which doesn’t exist, but should. I really want it on the ballot as Best New Act, so I nominate TRB as many times as possible, and then get a ton of my friends to do it. By the end of the nomination process, TRB clearly has the most votes. But since it doesn’t exist, it doesn’t belong in the category or on the ballot. So you strike it from the record.

Hey, I’m not saying I didn’t make mistakes during my tenure at the Observer. I did. A lot of them. I burned bridges like Deaf Smith. I didn’t run the Music Awards voting perfectly; I doubt there is any way that’s possible.

What I’m trying to say is this: There’s a time for defiance and a time for diplomacy. This all has a very simple solution: You made a mistake; correct it. Radiant, obviously, should not be up for Best Act. Neither should Black Tie Dynasty; they’ve also been nominated in that category, and several others, previously.

I understand the idea of not wanting to disrupt the purity of a reader-generated award. I also understand the job of music editor. In this case, use part of the skill set inherent in the job title, Jonanna: edit the ballot.

But let’s end on a good note: The Music Awards show will be a dandy, no matter who wins. Performing will be the greatness that is the Reunion Tower Revue, a collection of local singers performing great Dallas songs, all backed by Shibboleth and my man Don “Costa” Cento. Here’s what I’m most excited about: PPT performing The D.O.C.’s “Thinking of a Masterplan“No One Can Do It Better.” You know what that is? That’s good times, my friends.

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