February 20th, 2007

VDB Savaged by High-Powered Questioners; Lapses into Shocking Analogy in Apparent Self-Defense; Later Issues “Abject” Apology

by Philip Baruth

Spent a brilliant hour and a half today at the Vermont Leadership Institute in Montpelier, surrounded by the Institute’s current crop of program Associates — the 26 men and women, that is to say, who will be running the state within a decade.

jaws still

Along with VPR’s Bob Kinzel and Sue Allen of the Times-Argus — two of Vermont’s most amiable and clear-headed journalists — VDB was there to field questions on traditional media, new media, and public policy.

Suffice it to say there were no softball questions, not from this crowd.

No, no: these folks know how to put a little pepper on the ball. Enough to make your glove hand sting by the time you limp back to the car through the cruel, unplowed sidewalks of Montpelier.

At one point, in sheer desperation, there seemed nowhere to go except into a long, convoluted analogy involving Stephen Spielberg’s 1975 classic, Jaws.

Our apologies to any VLI associate whose dreams may be disturbed by the shocking reference. But welcome to VDB, such as it is: that sort of thing can and does happen here.