When I read John McCann's story in yesterday's Herald-Sun, I would have known just whom the courts and crime reporter was interviewing by the words and turns of phrase the subject used.
"[P]otential for an ethnic war" between black and Latino gangs. "[A]bout 70% of the black community has retrogressed in Durham." "[A]ttributable to the thug culture." That people who claim to care about the problem are only looking to "grab for federal grant money" to build unachievable visions.
Perhaps you think McCann gotten an all-access pass to the commenters at WRAL? Maybe "whatelseisnew" or "underPSI" or one of those other social commentators has managed to find his way to claw at a phone long enough to initiate a dialing sequence? Or perhaps a representative of one of these Tea Party movements?
Ah, you'd think, but no. Had I not seen the interviewee name, I'd still have known it was Major Paul Martin, a senior officer in the Durham County Sheriff's Office and frequent, er, commentator on social issues.
Brand-new Wake County school superintendent Anthony Tata may be an occasional Fox News contributor and I'm-With-Grizzly-Mama fan, but I suspect if Martin were seeking sideline work, it might be more of the WorldNetDaily or NewsMax variety.
After reading the missile, er, missive yesterday, first place I went was to my email archives to pull up a Partners Against Crime - District 2 email blast that Major Martin had sent out to the listserv a couple of years back, which painted a similar dire picture of papaless criminals whose childhoords were warped by crack cocaine, with drug industry sympathizers holding see-kret political power around town and happy to let the mayhem continue. Oh, and that non-disabled, non-elderly persons getting social services money must get routine drug tests -- and mamas should have to identify the papas of their babies.
Come to think of this, this does sound like something that might fit one of Tata's novels.
Anyhow, apparently the PAC2 email was among the first things the Herald-Sun's Ray Gronberg thought of, too.