Warning: This is not about DeWayne Peevy.
You know, the DeWayne Peevy who thrust himself into the vortex of public opinion, even though he was quietly trying to mete out justice in his role as the Wildcats' associate athletic director for media relations in his noble pursuit of protecting UK basketball players.
I do not know Peevy, nor do I believe everything I read in the newspaper.
An old-timer set me straight long ago in the Chicago Tribune newsroom: "Ninety-eight percent of what you read in the Tribune is true," he told me, "except the 2 percent you have personal knowledge of."
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I do have personal knowledge of the Kentucky Kernel newspaper staff, now propelled into the limelight, from the headlines in state newspapers to the glare of ESPN, all of which tell their dark tales about Peevy, who is not the subject of this commentary.
Dignity and silence, stupidity, bias in journalism and overflowing First Amendment outrage — now we're getting to my point.
First, dignity: the young man "punished" by Peevy has comported himself with a quiet dignity that would make any parent proud. He stopped to talk with me about what happened and, honoring his desire, I will not name him here because he believes his best public response is no response.
Like an old soul, he thinks that when the journalist becomes the story, something is wrong. Sometimes silence is golden, unlike the stunned silence that comes from having the wind knocked out of you.
Now for stupidity: Anyone hired in media relations who creates a national public-relations nightmare is performing like George Costanza in the Seinfeld episode where he believes the key to success is doing the opposite.
As for bias, some people believe public-relations professionals show bias in trying to make their clients look good. They do not act like a bully punishing a kid and getting trapped in a no-win David and Goliath match where, especially in sports, fans like the underdog and hope for an upset.
But I know journalists are biased in at least two profound ways: obits and First Amendment battles. If you are a working journalist and you die, I assure you, you will get a finer obituary than the average associate athletic director for media relations.
Furthermore, if you are a reporter smacked in a First Amendment fight, you can expect every other God-fearing journalist and his watchdog to come to your rescue. I mean these people will pull every lever to unleash outrage so hot it will melt the villain's face.
That bias toward protecting First Amendment rights grows out of a fear of a slippery slope, where press freedoms shrink like 401(k)s in a recession. That means no incident, in high school, or college or the pros, is too small to address, even though to most people the dispute looks like a pet peevy.