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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Marvin Lake, Public Editor. Excuse Me If I Laugh Right In His Face.

Some decades ago newspapers – recognizing how insular newspaper writers and editors are and how non-diverse their politics and ideas - installed an “ombudsman” whose job it was to represent the reading public. They were someone responsible for investigating and resolving readers’ complaints.

The title has been changed in the case of the Virginian Pilot to “Public Editor” and Marvin Lake is it. It never fails to amuse me that his weekly column is devoted to trivia so minute that you would have to use the most powerful microscope in the universe to find the gnat on whose ass you would find the nit that Marvin choose to write about as if this were the major complaint by readers against the VP.

HERE is the start of today’s article. I swear that I am not making this up.

SOMETIMES THERE'S a great little story behind a published error. That's certainly the case for a correction about Hunter Thomas.

Thomas won best director honors for "The April Fool" at the recent local edition of the 48 Hour Film Project competition in Virginia Beach. A comedy, the film - entries had to be produced in 48 hours and couldn't be longer than seven minutes - was about a guy who's the victim of April Fool's jokes for years until he fights back.

Entertainment writer Mal Vincent noted Thomas' award in a June 28 column ("Local movie makers beat the rush, tackle a tough film assignment"). Only he identified the filmmaker as "Heather Thomas." That's the name Vincent was given.

Ha, Ha! Hilarious. This must have set the phone at the VP ringing and filled the letters to the editor box. Poor Marvin. Next week, as in weeks past, he will focus like a laser beam on errors or omissions on the crosswords.

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