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No, we can't.Posted Monday, August 27, 2007, at 3:04 PM
Just need to get this out there.
No, we can't leave your name out of the paper if you get busted.
I can't tell you how many times we get this request. It has to be the most popular question asked of us... and usually in desperate tones.
And it's just not here. I'll bet that each paper in every state in the country must field this request several times a week.
This comes up because I got a call Sunday night from a close friend who was asking the dreaded question on behalf of an acquaintance of his. This acquaintance of my friend happened to remember that "hey, he knows that newspaper guy."
The conversation went something like this:
"Hey, [person in question] got popped on driving on revoked last night and wants to know if you can keep it out of the paper."
"Dude ... you know the answer to that. No!"
"I know, I know ... but he won't leave me alone about it. He's worried about losing his job."
"Why is he asking me? We went through this the last time with the first DUI..."
"...and I haven't worked for that paper for over five years. I told him that then. Even if I did work there, I couldn't do it anyways."
"That's what I said ... but he won't quit bugging me about it. He's worried sick."
"Well, maybe he should have thought of that before he got behind the wheel."
Five years ago, I was confronted with the same thing at another paper. Except this guy had just been let out of jail after getting a DUI and he made a bee-line to the paper. He was literally in tears, begging me to leave it out of the police blotter.
"This will ruin my business. I will have to let my people go." He tried every ploy in the book to get us to drop it and then blamed me personally for anything else that was to befall him and his workers due to his own actions.
So, no we can't leave your name out. Before you get in the car, or do whatever it is you feel like doing, think about the consequences. Think hard.
And remember that there's a reason they call them public records.
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Brian Mosely is a staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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