Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Political Education of Bryan Freebie

This post is shamelessly stolen from Ashvegas. Click over and give Ash your generous love. If you're not reading Ashvegas every day (or at least every day it's updated), you're missing out on the sharpest, snarkiest local reporting of local reporting on the mountain wide internets.

Ashvegas City Council has been steaming right along since last November's elections.

We've heard a lot out of Councilman Carl Mumpower, who has taken former Councilman Brian Peterson's position as the resident rabblerouser and camera hog. We've heard a lot out of Mayor Terry Bellamy, who's never met a press conference she didn't like.

And now we're starting to hear more out of Councilman Bryan Freeborn, aka Freebie, who is beginning to cement a reputation as a petulant whiner.

Former Mayor Leni Sitnick took Freebie to task in a Citizen-Times letter to the editor a few weeks back for making unpolite remarks. Freebie got heated up again during this week's Ashvegas City Council meeting. Freebie had been working on some committee appointments and got his panties in a wad when other council members disagreed with him. Here's some of what gadfly Walter Plaue had to say about it all in the pages of the Mountain Guardian.

"To which Mr Freeborn became "unglued" and did a reasonably good imitation of Howard Dean's "Scream Speech" and again, leaning in toward the Mayors' face, insisted that he had to have the results of the vote "tomorrow". Showing considerable patience, the Mayor decided it was time for a Recess, to "cool things off". As soon as she banged the gavel for Recess, Mr. Freeborn rushed off the dais, through the exit door behind the dais, and slammed it behind him. A grosser display of petulance and immaturity I have never seen in that Chamber. When the council reconvened, the Mayor, in a calm and controlled voice stated - for everybody to hear - that she could count to four and thus had no choice but to allow the "midnight hour" motion to be made and passed."

You can watch a video clip of the Freebie-Bellamy exchange here. Plaue's description of a "scream" is a bit much in characterizing Freeborn's attitude. But Freeborn clearly was acting like a baby over some stupid committee appointments. Freeborn needs to grow up and learn how to work in a group, a group full of politicians. You're not some freewheeling hippie who can get up a group, paint a city street in protest and have fun, Freebie. You're one of seven people who all have a vote. Learn to deal with it, and deal with dignity.


1000 black lines said...

Credit the photographer please.

And yes, I share your disappointment in Freebie's performance.

syntax said...

yeesh. what a tool.

hopefully some of the more reasonable members of city council will take him out to the woodshed and learn him a thing or two about decorum.

Screwy Hoolie said...


I don't know who the photographer is. So, for fun, let's say it was Ansel Adams.

Tim Peck said...

Here's a better video. The sound is better and it plays until Freeborn slams the chamber door.

1000 black lines said...


The photo was cross posted from 1000 Black Lines to BlogAsheville regarding the Political Pub Party at the Westville Pub. I would like to recommend that all BlogAsheville contributors consider crediting their pajama media photos in the future. This will lend authenticity and credibility to BlogAsheville and its contributing writers.

I know AshVegas contributes a lot of original photos. Uptown Ruler seems to consistently credit Tom Williams' photos. BTW, did you photograph Scenes from Rally? Great raw images of the rally. This is all great local pajama media journalism that needs its proper recognition.

Screwy Hoolie said...


Oh. I wasn't aware. Looks like you've done the crediting bit.

The photos I took at the rally are open source. I desire no credit for them in any way, shape or form. They are news photos, not art. Therefore, they are simply a record of events. I am not their proprietor, merely their avenue.

I think you intend the term 'pajama media' in the best possible way, but to suggest that somehow adhering to a set of uncodified social rules might make me more credible or authentic doesn't sit well. I am credible. I am authentic. Others may disagree. That's o.k. too.

Will you tell me what you mean when you say 'pajama media'? On one hand I think you're simply referring to blogging, but you may have quite a complicated conception with which I'm unfamiliar.

I'll try to give credit where credit is due. I think that people generally like that. But the suggestion that doing so somehow increases my authenticity or credibility is a subjective measure that I reject out of hand.

This is a good conversation to have. The burgeoning blogosphere continues to resist efforts to create a code of conduct. I have rules that I follow - linking to my factual sources is an example - but my rules are mine, and I don't expect others to do the same things. When I come across bloggers who don't cite their sources, I don't feel they're less credible or less authentic, they're simply in need of corroboration to meet my standards. The profoundly subjective mores developing in blogistan are fun to talk about, but I don't anticipate ever signing on to a uniform code of blogging behavior.

What do you think?

1000 black lines said...

Yes, Screwy, I mean pajama media in a positive way. And yes, I think this is a good conversation too. What is happening here at BlogAsheville is pajama media journalism. But not simply blogging. Anyone can blog about their cat or their Star Wars collectibles. For example, I-3 Caramba, Drinking Liberally alerts and this Freebie post are grassroots journalism and opinion.

Forgive me for being a bit concerned with crediting photos. I think it might be a personal reaction to a job I'm working on regarding copyright legal matters. However, that aside, I think it speaks volumes about BlogAsheville writers that they are in the community with digi cameras in hand witnessing the activities and events in and around Asheville. Truly BlogAsheville writers have a sense of pride and devotion to chronicling the Asheville experience. The danger is to swipe images from the web, offer them in a post yet never get involved in the community.

I agree with you that a codified set of rules for blogging would destroy the nature of blogging. Most of the BlogAsheville writers have a very professional approach to their work and that raises the bar to a higher standard. Local journalists from the old media (i.e. AC-T and MtnXpress) seek BlogAsheville contributors to interview because they know BlogAsheville writers are educated and ready to communicate their concern for all things related to Asheville.

Like yourself, I couldn't imagine signing a blog code of conduct. But as I contribute to other blog groups there is a collective sense of decorum that is evident.