Open Rants: How It’s Made

by Dexter Harper

If you know me you won’t find it surprising that I’m a fan of The Science Channel. One program that will nearly always cause me to stop and watch is “How It’s Made”. The premise of the show is quite simple. “How It’s Made” takes the viewer though the production stages of products and objects. Many are so common that their existence are taken for granted. One of my favorite episodes involved the making of #2 lead pencils with erasers.

Pencils with erasers are one of mankind’s earliest editing devices. Editing is one of the fundamental principles of democracy. The rise and fall of nations could be traced back to items edited in or edited from their constitutions. It turned out that prohibition was a bad edit of the US constitution and that bad edit eventually led to a re-edit to repeal the earlier edit.

Now that we’ve briefly covered the pros and cons of editing I’ll proceed with my rant.

On this Christmas morning while surfing the net I found myself at the opinion section of the Amarillo Globe News. Alex Ramos’ opinion was about an idea as simple as a #2 lead pencil with an eraser, its title  “A downtown theater?”

How complex of a response would his opinion require?  The first response amounted to nothing more than maybe/maybe not, the second was comedic satire of the present state of City Hall. But the third comment was where the tide began to turn. And this prompted me to throw in my two cents.

Wow, that was quick! I posted and my comments were moderated and approved. In less than 2 minutes my comments were visible for all on to view.

Interested in how the comment thread would unfold, I revisited the Globe News website a few hours later.  And behold someone had responded to my comments.

Touche, someone sliced back at me, eager to return the point on my sword, I penned my next round of comments.  The time is now 6:32 pm Christmas evening and my comments have yet to appear on the Globe News website.  But two other comments submitted after mine were moderated  hours ago and are on the Globe News website for your viewing pleasure.

Did I fall victim to the all powerful edit, you know, it’s that thing I discussed at the beginning of this post.

Below you’ll find the comment stream and the final summation of my rant.

As my Governor said, “Oops”.

Seems I anticipated ahead of posting that my comments would be destined for the cutting room floor, because I screen shot  them before clicking on the ‘Save Comment’ button.

And now the reason you listened to my rant,  below are the comments that I submitted around 9 am that fell victim to the edit.  You be the judge, did I deserve the edit.

And this my friends is “How It’s Made” …
How edits are made to sway and form public opinion.

Oh by the way, I recognize and respect the rights of Amarillo Globe News to moderate and edit according to their policies and agendas.

That’s why exist;  to provide an alternative voice.




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Open Rants


  1. avatar Stew says:

    Interesting…I’m not originally from Amarillo, but it did not take long to realize that the so called “conservative” mindset is infested into the everday life and decision-making that forms civilization here. It is sad really because those who hone the mindset religiously truely believe that the rest of America thinks the way they do. As for the AGN, I believe their censoring is driven by business requirements to stay in business. The market is the majority and the majority has the aforementioned mindset. Call it right…call it wrong…they call it survival.

  2. avatar Valium says:

    I have found that if a post is not of a certain political leaning (right), a lot of things don’t get published. I also have seen some vile comments from supposedly Christian people, but what do you expect from the hub of the consevative wheel?

  3. avatar leigh cravin says:

    Recently I raised the issue of whether the Globe News was censoring certain opinions. I spoke with a staff member who admitted that he didn’t understand why some comments were cut and others were not. I’ve seen some of most vile comments posted and never axed by AGN. So I’m inclined to believe that there is a small gang of folks who are encouraged to spew forth a lot or garbage just to keep the backward mindset around here operating and AGN encourages their posts. There is something amiss with whose comments are posted and/or later removed. As the old folks used to say, “There’s a dead cat on the line somewhere.”

  4. avatar Tony Johnson says:

    Dexter why don’t you try re-posting your comment to them maybe JUST maybe it might gotten overlooked…I doubt seriously but you never know.
    August 4, 2011 I posted a comment about an July 28th article on “Polk shooting lawsuit hits snag” the civil rights Lawsuit that was filed by Jesse Quakenbush of the Trujillo Shooting on Polk st but was dismissed by Judge Mary Lou Robinson
    So many comments that were made supporting her decision and condoning the shooting that I was highly appalled so I responded and luckily it got posted.
    This is what I submitted:

    I can’t believe i read all your comments and you all sound like some racist Republicans.
    So what Trujillo was an ex-felon, that DID NOT give those officers the right to shoot over 40 times on a vehicle that was BARELY moving and the assailants were unarmed.
    You all will support the APD regardless of what they do right or wrong but they clearly over-reacted and as always…they get off SCOTT FREE!
    Now you wanna diss Quackenbush for the discrimination lawsuit against Hispanics even though Judge Robinson dismissed it let’s NOT be blind to the fact that Racism DO EXIST in Amarillo, Tx. It may not be an all open book like in some states but it’s here even in Police uniforms.
    Let me just say to all you prejudice commentators on here since some claim that you have condolences for the Trujillo family…Hmmmm?
    What if THAT was your Son that got shot upon over 40 times and was unarmed in a vehicle that was BARELY moving when the officers could have clearly shot out a tire. How would YOU honestly feel. You would want JUSTICE and I pray and hope the Trujillo family get the justice they deserve from these scary A– police officers who believe in shooting first and then ask questions…Oops but once you’re dead there’s no questions to be asked!