Recall the scene from the comedy film: PCU. Fraternity member "Pigman" is writing his senior thesis on the "Caine-Hackman Theory," his theory that at any given time, one can find on television a movie starring Michael Caine or Gene Hackman. He finds his closing argument when he stumbles across a film starring both Caine and Hackman together.
Now, it is no secret that blogger Paul Ogden holds the local Republican Party in low regard. So when Marion County GOP Chairman Tom John was tangentially mentioned in a post on the Indiana Barrister blog, Paul Ogden saw fit to write a blog post lambasting John, Mayor Ballard, and the local GOP. And with Mayor Ballard mentioned...you guessed it. Ogden found opportunity to discuss Barnes and Thronburg.
Now Barnes and Thornburg, a Republican law firm, was featured in an Indianapolis Star story in December on how several of its lawyers were given ppointments by the Ballard Administration. One of those appointments, Bob Grand, is Chairman of the body which oversees Indianapolis's sports arenas, whose operating deficits garnered a recent front page story. Two big stories in two months, publicity that can be considered negative, or at best mixed.
But while the main stream media has seen one hard news story and one feature story in the past few months, Paul Ogden has given a more frequent focus on the firm, for reasons we have discussed when this blog debuted. How frequent? Below is a breakdown and percentage of how many of Ogden's blog posts each month is devoted to Barnes and Thornburg, its lawyers and alumni, or how Mayor Ballard is "getting bad advice from his advisors" or should fire them:
August: 3 out 17 posts (18%)
September: 5 out of 36 posts (14%)
October: 4 out of 45 posts (9%)
November: 5 out of 46 posts (11%)
December: 13 out of 44 posts (30%)
January: 16 out of 48 posts (33%)
So in the past two months, Paul Ogden has devoted roughly a third of his blog to his distrust of Barnes and Thornburg, more than twice as much as November and before. What happened since November to cause the increase? The two news stories referenced did occur in that time, but Ogden devoted just two posts to each occurrence. More notably, up until November there were local, state, and federal elections taking place. It seems in the political news vacuum since those elections ended, Paul Ogden has chosen to devote his spare writings against Greg Ballard and the law firm of Barnes and Thornburg
Opinion is a key part to the blogosphere: putting out facts and helping your readers draw conclusions. But there is adifference between helping your readers draw conclusions from facts and drawing the same conclusion every time. And devoting a third of your blog posts to such a boutique political issue may be a psychologically unhealthy obsession, just as the Pigman's obsession was unhealthy in PCU.
Why does Paul Ogden want to frequently bemoan Barnes and Thornburg? Why does Paul Ogden want a public divorce of Mayor Ballard and Barnes & Thornburg? Why does Paul Ogden insist he is doing this to benefit the GOP? The answers are not as benign as Ogden says. Since Ogden's readers are convinced that Ogden is a taxpayer advocate who can save the GOP, these are questions that must be answered. These are questions that we will spend the coming days letting you know what our examination reveals.