EDITOR’S NOTE

Does ‘gadfly’ qualify as name calling?

Some weeks back, the Spirit of Jefferson referred to last month’s sheriff candidate David Tabb as a gadfly; a comment for which we received no small amount of criticism, not the least of which came from Tabb himself, who, while taking the “name-calling” in stride, noted that it’s hard to live up to his reputation as a gadfly if the local media fails to report the antics that have earned him such a description in the first place. He made a good point.

A perennial presence at Jefferson County Commission meetings, Tabb’s persistent critiques of commissioners resulted last year in a timer being placed at meetings to limit the amount of time the public can speak to the panel. Tabb calls the timer the “Tabb timer.”

More notable, Tabb filed an appeal in Jefferson County Circuit Court in 2010 of an assessment of his company’s property which was dismissed after he failed to heed requests to hire an attorney. Tabb, who argued that West Virginia allowed him to represent his company in this setting, appealed that to the state Supreme Court, which also dismissed the case.

A gadfly, as I explained to a number of readers, is someone who buzzes about incessantly drawing attention to himself or to the topic he wants to discuss.

The dictionary calls a gadfly an “annoying person; one who provokes others into action by criticism.” The philosopher Socrates once likened himself to a gadfly. Then the Athenians put him to death.

Ever genteel, Tabb has called each week asking when I was going to write an editor’s note explaining to readers why the Spirit referred to him in such a way. Every single week.

I rest my case.

 

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