A blurb’s just a blurb | VailDaily.com

A blurb’s just a blurb

Don Rogers

Some anti-Vail conference center folks are atwitter because a Page One blurb Saturday for a commentary inside was a sentence-long reason to build the center.The column inside, atop the lead Opinion page, sums up the pro and con arguments and has a sort of let’s-all-pull-together message for after the election.This blurb apparently is the make or break for the people who oppose the center, the way a few are carrying on. That and placing the blurb is part of a long, deep conspiracy to not only seat Harriet Miers on the Supreme Court but to deviously promote the conference center.Sometimes – well, all the time – a blurb is just a blurb. If you really read the one sentence of a commentary on Page One and truly believe that’s the entire point, well, shame on you. Here’s some news for you: The blurb on Page One never sums up the position from the commentary inside. It’s just a sentence or a quote, with a reference to the page where you can turn to read the whole piece.Somehow, I don’t think reading a one-sentence teaser to inside is going to settle anyone’s vote about the conference center one way or the other. But it’s fun to holler “Foul!” bitterly and make out like this is a big, big, crushing blow to the opposition.I do have a small bone to pick with the copy editor who plucked that line, though. It just wasn’t among the more interesting sentences to pull from the commentary page to help move a curious reader to the full column.The blurb offers nothing novel, the author’s name is unlikely to sway a vote, and my point is that he had much pithier lines we coulda, shoulda used. Sure, I’m Monday morning quarterbacking here.The sin we committed was pulling the sentence without recognizing that the author, Paul Rondeau, was not siding with the pro-conference center crowd. His position was noncommittal. Namby pamby, if we want to be blunt.But then, the commentary blurb on Page One almost never reflects the nub of an author’s argument. That’s not its purpose. Well, other than the “Fire Don Rogers immediately” Tipslines that occasionally are called in. The desk is good about getting those blurbs front and center. The howling from Saturday’s blurb drowned out the debatable offense. But that’s politics and it also suggests the fear that some among the opposition feel over the center’s prospects for passage.It will be a close vote. But a blurb that’s just a blurb is not going to make a whit of difference. Unless perhaps the reader did what was intended and strayed to the commentary page to read Paul’s actually quite good commentary. Managing Editor Don Rogers can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 600, or editor@vaildaily.comVail, Colorado

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