I’d like to respond to your simplistic theory that my husband’s “ire” toward Cookeville stems from a traffic ticket. Putnam Pit editor and publisher Geoff Davidian gets speeding tickets from time to time -- he’s often in a hurry. But when he sees something wrong, he stops dead in his tracks. As a veteran news reporter, he feels it’s his job to let people know what’s going on. He thinks public officials should obey the laws and that those who are dishonest should lose their jobs. He thinks people have rights.
So when he first arrived in Cookeville to investigate a (still) unsolved murder, got a speeding ticket and was denied his files, he decided to stick around. It seemed wherever he turned there was something wrong - denial of access to public records was just the start. Since then, we realize the information in The Pit has raised questions about whether Davidian’s journalism is based on treatment he received while dealing with the city’s judiciary. Well of course it is. He was astonished by how many laws the judges and lawyers broke without voters uttering a peep.
Since then, more than four years have passed. At this point, if the Herald-Citizen would just add corruption to its local coverage, he would probably turn over The Pit to someone else and begin new projects. But he’s “enod” - in Turkish that means stubborn. He’s not a quitter.
Davidian is dedicated, impassioned -- he’s a crusader. He’s truly offended when he can’t get public records to which he has a right. He doesn’t like to hear a public official say “I can do whatever I want.” He even cares enough to ask me to respond to your letter.
Now I’ve taken time to explain The Pit and Davidian’s views. But KZULLER,
I’m concerned about you. You write in capital letters. Also,
you think “ire” about a traffic ticket would incite a man so much that
he would spend more than four years of his life and thousands of dollars
reporting on Cookeville.
Plus you call Davidian names that don’t make sense. A carpetbagger is someone who comes to town to make money. Davidian makes no money from The Pit - he spends money.
When you say, “I do agree that there is political corruption in Putnam County…” we wonder why you waste time worrying about what’s being said about your town and who says it. That’s not the point. Why not turn your attention to what’s actually going on? Get angry about that.
Finally, you urge: “letter writers, especially those from all over, if conditions are so terrible here please feel free to leave at the earliest opportunity.” KZULLER, they can’t leave if they’re not there.
Will this letter reach receptive ears? I hope so. Maybe not yours, though. The Pit’s vital signs are strong, receiving 40,000 hits a month. But we recommend you have a checkup soon.