The Ghost of Tom Jones
Tom Jones was the type who desired to blend in. Tom was an engineering professor and editorial writer for a large newspaper. Most of Tom’s writings took subject matter and boiled it down to the most logical conclusions. Because the logical answer is not always pretty, he was routinely railed against from the editorial board of a neighboring publication.
The rumor was that Tom Jones and main editor from the competition news organization had dated in college. The two met their freshman year and after a passionate and fiery 6 month relationship, ended things on extremely bitter terms. Tom Jones being ever the professional, never responded to the senior editor directly, even after being personally called out by her as a “bigoted misogynist” in the competition’s editorial page.
Regardless of the facts, a media company inevitably reaches some impressionable minds.
Here is the thing about quiet people. The reserved individuals, who keep emotions close to the vest and most people at arm’s length, tend to command attention when they finally speak up. Tom Jones was no exception.
In his last editorial before his death, Tom Jones made a logical and perfectly explained case of multiple editorial indiscretions on the part of the competing newspaper. Each point was backed up with an example of the organization’s attempt to use cherry-picked bits of real life stories, combine them with innuendo and outright falsehoods to advance an agenda of their choosing. Tom Jones sited examples of his own words verbatim, then followed with a detailed description of how the competing newspaper would use the words in a different context to make them sound racist.
His closing paragraph read, “I believe there are things about society that can improve. People can always improve unless they refuse to do so. I do not believe we live in a country consisting of a deep-running bigotry or hatred, despite what many are told. When looking for the solution to a problem it is important to find the source of said problem. I have been targeted as a small-minded bigot. This acusation cultivates anger from those who know and love me and see its absurdity, as well as from people who believe this slander and are forced to interact with me. Where is this bigotry’s source? The source of this bigotry is in my competition’s publication, who takes sentences and points I have written and actively thinks of bigoted ways to present it to their audience. I believe this is a nation-wide problem that can only be cured once the publications exacerbating these prejudices are exposed and marginalized.”
Tom Jones was found dead in his home on the day after his newspaper published the editorial. Many believed this to be an effort to silence Tom Jones which gave his last editorial attention and credibility. Tom Jones’ paper continued on as the publication of choice and the competition withered from tabloid status to belly-up within 5 years. No-one at the competing paper was ever charged, but the ghost of Tom Jones was universally believed to have caused its demise.