Champ Car Rant

 Letter To A Man Of Letters

Ed Donath invites you to read and comment about his Op/Ed commentary.



A Champ Car Blog

by Ed Donath



Dear Jeff-

I agree with you 100%.

Iím sorry you got stuck in a profession that has so many un-professionals in it.  Darn that Al Gore for inventing the Internet and allowing every dimwit with a keyboard and a modem the ability to exercise his/her right to free speech.  Darn those blog-writing dimwits for believing that their opinions are worth expressing in the first place. 

Darn those word butchers; the ones who donít have a clue how, when, where and why to use a semi-colon and probably think itís a condition that requires a colostomy bag.  Darn Bill Gates for creating Microsoft Wordģ and the host of copycat dimwit-enabling programs it spawned.

Darn those motor sports sanctioning bodies and venue promoters for allowing any wannabe hack who can afford to pay his/her own way to roam free at their events with plastic cards around their necks.  One would think that the issuance of something as important as a press credential would include a much more serious vetting process. 

Darn them all for giving undeserving, subversive knuckle-typists access even to the Inner Sanctum where professionals toil. Darn them for not realizing that only professionals know and care enough to honor journalism by taking pains to get it right, just, objective, fair and balanced.

It is no coincidence that Superman chose your profession for his alter ego in his glorious quest for truth, justice and the American way.  It is no coincidence that Clark Kent chose a cub reporter named Olson as a future follower in his own footsteps.

The Us/Them mentality you so discerningly describe, unfortunately, exists not only in the minds of recalcitrant Champ Car fans who are unable to wrap their tiny brains around the fact that open-wheel racing has been, finally, unified under the banner of the very person who fought these many years to rescue it.  But it is still Us versus Them in the minds of many of the bitter Champ Car propagandists, as well.

What makes them (those un-degreed louts) think they are journalists just because they pen a poorly structured rant any time the spirit moves them?  All too often they do so almost daily to the chagrin of the disciplined among us who know what it is to compose that singular, carefully crafted gem fit to be submitted to a magazine just once a month.

What gives them the nerve to think it is possible to become a journalist solely through on-the-job training.  Whether they have ten months or ten years of Internet writing experience it will never equal the dues paid by true journalists like you at the universities and through their apprenticeships in the print media. 

Even those literate ones who have themselves raced, written for print media and have a good understanding of the complexities of open-wheel racing (that Jeremy Shaw guy comes to mind -- you may remember that your employer once allowed him, unexplainably, to be the editor of its open-wheel racing magazine) have no business pawning themselves off as journalists until they earn proper degrees!

What makes them think that just because they havenít missed a Champ Car event since the first racing website got the nod to cover events that they can cheer out loud for a former Champ Car driver -- in the media center, no less -- just because one of ďtheir ownĒ was lucky enough to win a unified series race.  Why that Rahal kid isnít even old enough to have driven a Champ Car at St. Pete when it was still one of those ridiculous festivals of speed before Kevin Kalkhoven, thankfully, wised up. 

Please excuse me for publishing this letter here.  It was impossible to respond to your Internet piece but I guess thatís because your employer doesnít want to insult your intelligence and journalistic credentials by stooping to cheap blog tricks. 

Looking forward to the change that will make Us all Us instead of Us and those that get bitter, cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who arenít like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations, as Tony Kanaan implied.

Keep on telling it like it is.



© Copyright Ed Donath

April 13, 2008

All rights reserved.