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YOU HAVE DRIVEN THEM TO MADNESS

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THE STATE OF TENNESSEE MAY NEED YEARS OF THERAPY AND NOT EVEN KNOW IT

Jared Wickerham

The Fourth Estate's mandate is simple: to serve as the last voice of reason when all else has gone mad, and serve the public interest even when the public does not want to hear it. It should also include slideshows whenever possible, and only report on beautiful murder victims, and never the homely ones, but the first part is like, really important to remember when building all those slideshows of smokeshow murder victims.

The last thing the press should do is encourage the breakdown of basic public order. To aggravate an already aggrieved populace, to not just allow madness to persist, but indeed to encourage it? This is the opposite of journalism, the embrace of demagoguery, the embrace of the riding crop to steer the chariot of state into the gutter. Psychological arson has never been the duty of the press. It is the territory of aspiring war criminals, scoundrels, and the future damned.

We would like to say this is a thing of the past. Unfortunately, vigilance and the resolved struggle to see what is in front of one's eyes forbids us from saying this. For shame, John Adams:

If the Vols' coaching search turns desperate — and they're not above Kiffining somebody — Graham could be their guy.

Free speech, like all freedoms, has responsibilities attendant to said freedom. At this point, Mr. Adams' openly suggesting Todd Graham for the Tennessee job is screaming "fire!" in a crowded movie theater, and driving a fanbase deranged by the pain of Tennessee football to new territory on the desperate lunatic fringe.

In conclusion:

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Keep it up, John. You're doing freedom's work one column at a time.