How locusts rocked me to sleep Election Eve 

COURTESY OF  SHACHI SITARAM VIA FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Courtesy of Shachi Sitaram via Flickr Creative Commons


All day a doomed feeling dogged the news editor. She felt nefarious forces mounting an attack on Hoosier decorum and sensibility.

Her misery increased as she mulled the fact that she had not confronted the threat face to face. She lamented that one of her predecessors has chided the entire Circle City press corps for its total lack of backgrounding effort when the threat began its metastasis. *

As brief but intense rainstorm shifted the afternoon to evening, she ran across an old Indiana artist and gardener, Thomas Aden Pfeiffer.

She asked if he planned to visit the polls in the morning. He said that he probably would; there appeared to be important business to take care of. He sensed her dismay about the situation and offered a beautiful thought before heading out the door.

He recalled a summer heavy with locusts, how he drove up Fall Creek toward Geist Reservoir and pulled over when he got to a place where the insects were buzzing about by the million - each on its own individual mission.

Some whizzed by one way making their own sounds, he said, indicating a declining tone, while others zipped the other way whistling a different tone.

But, overall, a general hum came together above the multiple interests, ebbing and flowing on a larger, rhythmic scheme.

Mr. Pfeiffer concluded:

"Common sense in the common people is superior to expertise on various issues. There has to be that commonality. If there's no commonality, then there's problems."

As she prepared to close her eyes on election eve, she prayed for that commonality to shine. She felt in her gut it must have been responsible for everything that ever made Indiana great.

- - -

* We beg Brian Howey's indulgence as we employ an extended except from the April 26 edition of the Howey Politics Indiana :

"There had been speculation that the Statehouse press corps - once the Indiana General Assembly had concluded in mid-March - would fully probe Mourdock's background on issues related to his personal finances, investment of public funds in junk bonds as treasurer, potential skirting of "pay-to-play" laws involving Club for Growth bundling, and on issues such as the alleged GOP database encroachment.

The Star skimmed across Mourdock's tenure at Buck Creek Coal, which included a number of safety violations, unfair labor practices and its bankruptcy ...

Howey Politics Indiana had covered Mourdock's meeting attendance issue, which became fodder for Lugar TV ads. FactCheck.Org, a national watchdog group funded by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, validated HPI's reporting on the fact that Mourdock had skipped 66% of the meetings of his various boards ...

But what is telling is that virtually no other news media source covered that story; rather focusing on the Lugar residency controversy and some coverage of the GOP database story - but not much else. Not only have Hoosiers witnessed a rancorous first-time challenge to a Senate incumbent in the TV age, but also the fact that not a single TV station or major newspaper could afford to poll. The fact that the role has fallen on this newsletter is a fascinating telltale on the decline of many aspects of media function, coming in tandem with the fallout of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision and the engulfing tidal wave of outside money that will likely decide this race."

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Rebecca Townsend

Rebecca Townsend

Bio:
Rebecca Townsend served as NUVO news editor from May 2011 to August 2014. During a 20-plus year career, her bylines have appeared in publications ranging from Indiana AgriNews to the Wall Street Journal. Her undergraduate degree is in sociology and anthropology from Earlham College, and her master's is in journalism... more

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