It's our understanding that Mr. Marshall is a cheeky fellow. The New Wentzvillian has never engaged him personally, but we do know that he continually shares a LOT of OPINIONS about political on goings and players in, well, Wentzville. He does this in his personal blog.
What's funny about Larry's blog is that it is so blatantly devoid of any real journalistic pursuit that the New Wentzvillian's take (we have a couple lawyers that work for us) is that Marshall will never have to worry about being sued. Here is how the court room testimony might play out in a law suit against Larry for defamation or malicious and wanton disregard for the truth (after he was properly prepped by his attorneys):
Judge: "Mr. Marshall, Do you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?"
Marshall: "Umm, Yes." (New Wentzvillian comedic commentary on Larry's ACTUAL internal thoughts -- umm, it's been a long time since I contemplated the truth, at least while typing anyway)
FAST FORWARD TO THE GOOD STUFF
Plaintiff's Lawyer: "So you've stated that you run a blog about Wentzville politics; would you say it is more like a news paper or the Enquirer?"
Marshall: "It's definitely not a newspaper."
Plaintiff's Lawyer: "So, then, the Enquirer?"
Marshall: "No, it's my own personal blog where I share my opinions."
Plaintiff's Lawyer: "Opinions, Ok; so, you don't think anyone could have understood your musings to be based in fact?"
Marshall: "If they did, that is their fault, just read it; you can tell it's just opinions, but I guess there are some facts about, like, well, the fact that the city council met on a given night and such."
Plaintiff's Lawyer: "So, when you write in your 'blog' that Wentzville's Mayor is backing certain candidates and running vote-siphoning candidates; well, is that fact, fiction, or, as you said -- your opinion?"
Marshall: "Everyone in town knows that's true."
Plaintiff's Lawyer: "So then that's a verifiable fact, right? So, you have the source here with you as an additional witness today to buttress your claims or some other type of sworn affidavit or paperwork? Surely you have SOMETHING, since EVERYONE in town knows!!"
Marshall: "It's common knowledge, I don't need a source for a blog; that's why they call it a blog."
Plaintiff's lawyer: "So, you would have the court believe that you shouldn't be held accountable for anything in your blog because, NO ONE SHOULD, well, believe anything in it, right? It's really just your opinion and your opinion only? Am I understanding you correctly?"
END YOUR (the reader) MENTAL IMAGE OF THE COURT ROOM NOW
So, as you no doubt can deduce; we here at the New Wentzvillian do not give a lot of weight to ANYTHING that is written by Mr. Marshall. Perhaps, you, reading this right now, feel the same way about the authors of this piece. That's for you to decide, but the New Wentzvillian felt that it owed some level of responsibility to its namesake -- the City of Wentzville -- and should try to shed some light on the difference between an opinion in a blog and a real story that is based on some sort of verifiable facts and/or reality.
Court actions against journalists do occur -- look it up they are often referred to as S.L.A.P. suits -- and every "journalist" should have his/her own version of a little judge or lawyer in the back of their mind every time they decide to write something about another business or human being that the piece could affect. To be sure, most degreed journalists are forced at some point to watch a little movie with Sally Fields and Paul Newman by the name of "Absence of Malice." That's our first real elementary-school type lesson that an author of a piece should not make stuff up.
Unless, however, as we believe must be the case with Mr. Marshall's blog, the author knows that nothing s/he is writing is ever to be taken as fact or any kind of representation of reality. So, you are safe Mr. Marshall.