Newspapers frequently hear complaints from groups that they aren't being treated fairly, and some of them won't give up the complaint even if you go through back copies with them and prove them dead wrong. The one we've probably dealt with the most here is from southside residents, who say we put their part of town in headlines about crimes much more often than we do other parts of town. If Johnny gets nabbed for drugs in the Glenbrook parking lot, then we'll just slap a generic "Police make drug arrest" headline on the story and forget about it. But if Johnny gets pinched in the Southgate parking lot, well, then, our innate prejudice against the south side just naturally kicks in and we are determined to write a headline like "Another crazed druggie barely avoids police shootout on the scary south side." A former editor once sat down with somebody and proved, by going through old stories with a search engine, that we did no such thing and was told, I swear, "You're just making that up. Those aren't the real stories that were in the paper."
Sports departments get their share, too. Area sports teams are always complaining that we ignore their victories while writing glowing accounts of city teams' losses. Band parents are notorious for pleading the plight of their progeny, who must toot and bang and march in total obscurity while the basketball teams get all the glory. But the biggest pains, it seems to me as an outside observer, are Purdue fans, who are forever claiming that our sports department is IU-centric, and they are forever sending us lengthy accounts of Purdue events that we completely ignored.
Well, never let it be said that Opening Arguments slights anybody. I came across two Purdue stories I thought I would share with you. The first is from northwest Indiana and involves the old gun-in-a-hollowed-out-book gag:
Jeffrey Grupp, an instructor from Purdue University-North Central, who teaches classes at Westville Correctional, was entering the facility shortly after noon. He was also bringing in a milk crate filled with books.
When staff ran the crate through the X-ray machine, they noticed an outline that did not appear normal. Upon further inspection, a gun was found inside a hollowed out book, a Westville Correctional official said.
Grupp said he is a gun enthusiast who carries the weapon in a book because he has to keep it concealed, and he just forgot he had it that day because he was very stressed out. He teaches, by the way, ethics and religions of the East. "Is that a gun in your book, Grasshopper, or are you just happy to see me?"
The other story comes from the main campus:
Purdue University announced Wednesday it had ended a weeklong investigation into allegations of cheating in an engineering class.
Ten students enrolled in the ECE 270 sophomore-level course have been cited for academic dishonesty, according to Steve Akers, the university's executive associate dean of students.
It is entirely possible that Indiana University professors have been caught with guns in the wrong places, and there is no doubt that an IU student has cheated occasionally. But IU will just have to wait its turn -- the spotlight today belongs to Purdue.
No whining, please -- I'm a Ball Stater and don't really care about your petty rivalries. And I went to BSU on the GI Bill, which I earned partly by a tour of Vietnam, so I don't want to hear ANY nonsense about what little respect your silly school gets. It doesn't MATTER, OK?