It's Over in Riverhead

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's Over in Riverhead

The headline on 27East late today read:

Oddone Guilty of First-Degree Manslaughter

...which verdict had been agonized over for nine days following a seven week trial.

It was clear from the jump that the prosecu­tion had over-reached in charging "Intentional Murder;" that was ambitious and, withstanding the near-hysterical exclamations of some who identified beyond the point of reason with the victim, ultimately silly.

(Yes, OtBB was on the record with that opinion almost two weeks ago.)

But more than the hard-wrought verdict, for me the more interesting story was the monu­mental threads of comments that each new report on 27East generated... one went over 375 at last count.

(I confess I lurked and looked... like pass­ing a bad accident, it was impossible to tear one's eyes away.)

Those who advertise on the site got their money's worth in exposure this month... in sheer volume of reports and attached com­ments, the Oddone trial easily out-stripped the Kabot DWI material.

The back-and-forth between the Hang'em High crew and the Oddone apologists became so intense and bitter at times that the big donut himself, Executive Editor Joe Shaw, became an active participant in trying to moderate the more vociferous and obstreperous partisans!

It also showed how far a once loosely-knit group of small town weekly newspapers have come in this age of the Internet... and thank you, Al Gore!... with The Press' almost real-time coverage of the court room events.

Kudos to reporter Michael Wright for hanging in there.

For Mr. Shaw and Web Editor Brendan O'Reilly, you did well, and I'm sure that you'd both like to disable future comments, head home and take long hot showers.


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