It was nothing new for veterans of MSSU Board meetings to hear a lawyer go off on a tangent and begin raving when things don't go his way, but this was the first time in recent memory that it was not done by someone with double initials.
The transcript of Ewing's soliloquy is printed below:
"My work presently as county prosecutor is driven by facts, by data and by evidence. So too will my work on this board be driven by facts, data and evidence and it has to be so because good decisions can only be made with accurate information.
I have a couple of things that I’d just like to comment on that have caused me a little bit of concern that appeared in the 26 of February edition of The Chart newspaper. On the front page below the fold…the executive editor noted my appointment to the board and then the last sentence of the article reads, “Board Chairman Rod Anderson, when notified of the appointment Tuesday by The Chart, said ‘no comment’ and hung up.”
Well, of course, my first thought is, “Okay, I don’t know Rod, is this a comment on my future status on the board?” But I called Rod and I visited with him and I understand now the circumstances that are being addressed possibly and a grievance directed at recent conduct between the press and the chairman and so I was pleased to know your ‘no comment’ was not a reflection of your opinion on me, definitely.
Now, that said, I was disappointed to learn of at least the appearance of a lack of civility on the part of certain members of the press when dealing with the board and it’s my hope that this will not be the case going forward when I’m on the board and we can talk civilly and communicate openly.
Now, on your opinion page of The Chart, several comments were printed regarding my appointment to the board and one of the comments suggests- maybe someone who had a vested interest in the university and actually cares about what is going on there- would have been a more appropriate pick. I’d be interested in seeing if Ewing actually submitted an application for the position or if it’s done off the buddy system. And it’s signed “MSSU Alumni.”
First, let me say I’d be very interested in know who you are. Unfortunately your identity is hidden by a “nom de plume" or a username. And I’d like to have the opportunity to know the facts on which you had offered such an opinion and to test any assumptions you have made based on those facts and then I can also have the opportunity to assess and test your motivations for making that kind of statement because I don’t know who you are.
My point is this to The Chart and to people in general. You have a right to free speech and to say anything you want. But put your name on it and be prepared to defend it. The Globe doesn’t publish letters to the editor without a signature, The Chart recites a similar letter to the editors policy, but apparently it didn’t apply or didn’t apply in this case to the publication of online posts so I would encourage The Chart to print real identities of those whose opinions it chooses to post.
Yes, I did submit an application for this position last year. I’ve been interested in an opportunity to serve on this board since Jane Wyman served on this board. I’ve known Jane for a couple of years and discussed the possibility clear back in the mid-90’s about starting on this.
And I’d also point out that this particular opinion was written in the first person and appeared to be singular. And if you are an individual you are an alumnus, not an alumni.
Now, at the end my comments, Mr. Ben Hinkle had a post and kudos to you Ben for putting your name on your post. It is incorrect where it states that the “composition of this board is governed by 174.060 in Missouri by statutes.” That’s not accurate. The board’s composition is governed by Missouri by statutes 174.450 and 174.453.
I don’t raise this point to be critical of Ben’s legal research, but the point to be made here is, to The Chart and others: check your facts, check your facts and check your facts. And when you are certain you have it right, check your facts again. If you print it, whether one of your staff wrote it or it appears in a letter to the editor or an online post, you are responsible as journalists for assuring that the facts stated there are accurate. And so I challenge you to challenge those inaccurate facts that are presented to you for publication. Check your facts. "
And now a message for Lynn Ewing- Grow up!