We hear from Beltram a lot. I mean -- a lot. To those who just get his daily e-mails: That's nothing. We are the local paper, but try not to give him a bigger stage than he deserves. My philosophy is we should use him as much as he tries to use us. But when you have someone who sends out e-mails across the state -- and usually gets attacked for them -- as a reporter, you can't just ignore that.
You may have seen today's story about the potential impact the Internet could have on the 2008 presidential race. Tomorrow's story focuses more on the blogosphere.
I was wrapping these stories up Thursday night when -- surprise, surprise -- Beltram called. Eventually, I had to say, "Look, I've got to go. I've got finish my story on the Internet." Immediately, he saw an opportunity, saying that he was the person most often attacked online, and he felt he could contribute something to the story. (I'm writing this part from memory as I deleted the quotes.) "Like what?" I asked, and he goes into his spiel about bloggers needing to be honest, nice, etc. I don't even bother telling him the whole point of blogs is that they are wily, sometimes offensive, slanted and, most importantly, uncontrollable. I thank him, get off the phone, and finish my stories.
Jason Spencer is a pretty good journalist. Always fair, does what it takes to chase a lead down ... so if he says it, I trust it.