Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Greatest Blogger on Earth

No, I'm not talking about myself -- it's much too soon to accept such accolades, even if I'm the one handing them out. Nope, today the Best Blogger on Earth Award goes to Jonathan Messinger, of Shoot the Messinger, of Time Out Chicago magazine and of course, the sometimes Partly Dave Show.

This morning at work I heard some cop talk about a CTA train that was stuck in the subway downtown. I didn't think it was such a big deal, since being a Red/Brown Line rider myself, delays are now just part of the ride on CHICAGO 2016's public transit system. But one of the editors on the paper side said people on the trains weren't being told what was going on, so I called the masters of understatement at the CTA, who told me there was a bit of a mechanical problem with one train, and some inconveniences would be experienced and shuttle buses, complete with cotton candy machines and onboard entertainment were being provided for displaced riders.

Then the fire trucks and ambulances started to respond and I realized there was more, much more, to the story.

I bounced around to all the local Web sites/blogs which were not blocked by the Sun-Times dirty nasty Web site catchers, and found a few rather detailed comments and even some pictures, from people who had been right in the thick of it and who told a rather different story from that being told by the CTA. One of these was a blog entry on Time Out Chicago's site by Jonathan Messinger. I e-mailed him, told him who I was (did not mention how big a fan I was of his spoken word performances) and said, "hey, if you'd like to tell me about your trip in to work this morning, give me a call."

The result is my epic Blue Line disaster story.

He had what sounded like a horrible experience on the Blue Line this morning, he was two hours late for work, his clothes and hands were dirtied by having to crawl through the subway tunnels, but he was able to take a few minutes out of the day to call me and tell me what happened, which I really appreciate.

The pace of the day today was maddening, since I updated the original story eight times in the span of about six hours, including once to clarify a sub-headline which read, "Fire on the Scene," and which one of the STNG Wire's clients took to mean there was "a fire" in the subway, even though those words never appeared in the story nor were any words within the story constructed as such to suggest there was a fire in the subway. TV people, most likely.

In the meantime, in between time, I did some other stuff, like write a murder story, a couple death investigation stories, checked out a report of a bank robbery that was unfounded but talked to the FBI and did a brief story on the record-setting pace of this year's bank robberies in the five-county Chicago metropolitan area and re-wrote a press release story about Oprah presenting an award to Desmond Tutu next month in Chicago. Oh, and I followed up on the cop shooting the cougar story from Monday -- couldn't get anyone from the city's Animal Care and Control Department to return my two phone calls, but I did update it with a statement from the police superintendent.

It's days like today that make me feel like I was made to do this shit. It would be nice if I could get a "Hey, nice work" at some point, though.

1 comment:

jenny said...

jim! nice work!

i have had a raging crush on jonathan messinger for years. i saw him speak at this 'no love for love' npr thing a couple years back and swooned as he explained his terrible breakups.