How to Not Repent
I watched a video that was both entertaining and sad at the same time. Here is the introduction to the exposé:
Some people simply have no capacity to be graceful in defeat. This story might involve the poster child for that problem.
Bob Ripley, Publisher and Managing Editor of the Oregon Times Observer, a small local paper located in Oregon, Missouri, had a bit of a problem. On the one hand, there was a fairly serious local story his paper should cover involving an audit that found “serious shortcomings” in the local Sheriff’s Department due to its poor accounting. On the other hand, Ripley’s paper had already been scooped by conservative blogger Duane Lester, who had already done a comprehensive and devastating write-up of the audit’s findings.
Of course, Ripley could have assigned a reporter to write their own version of what happened, possibly with a nod to Lester’s blog post. Or he could have asked Lester for permission to reprint the blog post. He could have possibly even used some of Lester’s sources after verifying them himself.
Ripley did none of these things. Instead, he simply took Lester’s entire blog post, reformatted it so it would work as a newspaper article, added a paragraph of editorializing at the end, made a minor cosmetic change to the headline, and then ran it as a front page story without even copy editing it. In other words, Ripley stole Lester’s work, typos and all, and passed it off as his own.
If you watch the video, and you should, you will see a man who is “forty years older” than the one who confronts him acts churlish (this is my new word I am trying to integrate into my vocabulary). A simple apology and a quick check and things are all fixed. Go the extra mile and print an apology in the paper and you have won a lot of respect over a disrespectful act. But this is where human pride comes in and causes problems.
It is an age-old problem that goes back to the Garden. When confronted about their sin Adam quickly blames his wife, and more importantly God (who had given him his wife) for the problem. Then Eve kicks it over to the Serpent. And since that time, in a world that is under the dominion of sin, people don’t repent well.
Warning: Slight offensive language alert.