Ken Trainor lambastes a critic

Hammers him, in fact

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By Jim Bowman


Wed. Journal's Ken Trainor unloaded the other day on an adversary who does not have 1,000 words of newspaper space at his disposal, piling on. No fair.

The adversary, who was nowhere near a household word before Trainor's column, inched toward that eminence when his name was blazoned in Trainor's headline, "Will the real Ray Simpson show up?"

A hammer was used for the fly on baby's nose: Hammer-wielder Trainor (call him the Hammer) got pissed off at an online comment, and out came the thousand-plus words with their in-our-faces headline. This will teach a reader not to provoke him.

The reader in this case -- you could be next, whoever you are -- is a hothead online but he's also schizoid: At meetings he and Trainor attended for 11 months, he "was soft-spoken, intelligent, and [apparently] a reasonable human being." Doctor Jekyll.

Online, however, he hides behind -- look out -- a "protective thicket of stereotyping, misrepresentation and exaggeration," refusing to "engage in honest dialogue." Mr. Hyde.

He also might simply be "afraid [his] nameless buddies in the online echo chamber [a regular Wed. Journal feature, a sort of peep show featuring right-wing zealots] will rip [him] to shreds" if he does the honest-dialogue thing, which would be "consorting with the enemy."

"But we're not the enemy," wrote Trainor, addressing the offender, "and you know that because you spent 11 months getting to know us." (You just won't admit it, you rat.)

The Hammer, wounded, recalls his own sterling behavior: "We treated you with respect, and I will continue to treat the Ray Simpson who showed up at those meetings with respect." (The good Ray) He finds it "hard to respect" the (bad) online Ray, however." The Hammer tries, God knows, but it's hard.

So: Hang down your head, Ray Simpson, the Hammer is shaming you in his column. You don't have a column, he does. Repent.

"Take some tips," Hammer advises, recommending "one of the few" commenters "who knows how to keep his cool." He even has his own tip to pass on, one he has learned "over 29 years of writing newspaper columns," namely that "right or wrong, the more you exaggerate, the less people will listen and the more they'll lose respect for you." Are you LISTENING, Ray Simpson?

"So if there really is the germ of an honest question in your last post," he winds up (big if), "I just gave you an honest answer," but only because he respects "the Ray Simpson who showed up" at those meetings.

Meanwhile, Ray, for you it's sackcloth and ashes time. It's your only chance.

Email: Twitter: @BlitheSp

Reader Comments

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Comment Policy

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park  

Posted: January 26th, 2014 12:29 PM

It is hard to be a bully when you are on a seesaw. Half the time you are on the top with your opponent in a position to keep you in space as long as he wants. Of course, sooner or later the guy on the bottom lets go of his hold and winds up on top. That's not bullying. It playing a silly game. So call Ken and Ray silly, but don't call them bullies.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: January 23rd, 2014 12:49 AM

@Ray Simpson Ken Trainor demonstrated he doesn't appreciate opposing opinions and when you don't agree with Ken, he uses bullying as his way of getting back. The Wednesday Journal is not what it once was.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: January 22nd, 2014 11:36 PM

@Q Ken had no trouble putting down my suggestion as "PAP" and then got offended when I returned the favor. He is pretty adept at handing out insults and very thin skinned when the favors are returned.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: January 22nd, 2014 5:48 PM

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois, are you the same Ray Simpson, Ken Trainor who tried to belittle and intimidate you in his Wednesday Journal, because if you are, you certainly angered Ken Trainor, and he did his best at bullying you knowing others would read his column. Bullying should not be one of the policies at the Wednesday Journal.

Bill D  

Posted: January 22nd, 2014 4:16 PM

@ Ray: What the hell are you talking about?

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: January 22nd, 2014 4:12 PM

@BillD - It is there! ( We should have stuck to a local focus) Not near as personal and more a rational for my participating. All of the effort to try to change state and national laws seems to me a waste of time . We never addressed the problem of people who do gun violence and don't care about any law, regulation or ordinance. That would have been a better place to start.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: January 22nd, 2014 3:51 PM

Bill D., maybe Ray doesn't want to drop down to Ken's level of name calling, or it could be the Ray Ken respects isn't the same Ray on the posts and if that's so, then Ken should not have assumed it was the same Ken, but leaving what he considers an out by saying he respects the Ray he met.

Bill D  

Posted: January 22nd, 2014 3:31 PM

All Ray Simpson has to do is ask the WJ for equal time in an Op-Ed piece, and I've no doubt he'll get it. Whether or not Simpson is capable of crafting a coherent op-ed piece remains to be seen. But by all means, ask, Ray.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: January 22nd, 2014 10:25 AM

Thank you Jim for pointing out what was going on and engaging Mr. Trainor on equal ground. This entire rights vs control back and forth is less of a discussion than a school yard screaming match. Both side should be careful of their words in this town. If this was done on Facebook someone might be going to jail over electronic harassment. *sarcasm*

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