Shut Up, Already

Gawking at your illogic: I am not the least bit interested in arguing for Pearl Jam ("Shut Up, Jeremy!" October 12). Music is subjective, and while I'd prefer my reviews peppered with less personal bias, your opinion is your opinion, and it can never be wrong. However, that doesn't excuse inaccurate and plain lazy reporting on your part. When integrity is sacrificed in the pursuit of criticism, it renders your opinions and thoughts beyond worthless.

Dislike Pearl Jam for a reason, have a purpose. Don't slam a round peg into a square hole in your pursuit to be above it all. The following are just a few examples of the errors and outright lies you presented in your review of the Pearl Jam European bootlegs:

Eddie Vedder does not set prices at Borders. Pearl Jam's official Web site is selling each of the European bootlegs for $10.98. You'd know better than I the cost of production on a typical CD, but considering most three-song singles cost $2.99 and up, it's hard to draw any "greedy" conclusions about a band selling each concert disc at $5.50 a pop.

Eddie Vedder did not invent concert banter. Any fan, of any band, will greet personal statements from the stage during a concert as the gospel. Eddie Vedder is not the first lead singer to use the platform as a venue for his opinion and self-expression, and Pearl Jam fans are not the first to fall under the spell. Why hold it against either?

American Pearl Jam fans are not idiots. Trying to paint American fans as ignorant, radio-mad whores is not only maddeningly self-serving but petty. Do you honestly believe you have a deeper and greater appreciation for the complete Pearl Jam catalog? Why? Because you're rock critics? Because you're better than any of us?

Arrogance has nothing to do with not making videos. PJ released a video in 1998, which blows your theory out of the water. But to condemn PJ, or more specifically, Eddie, for their greed and then include as an example their no-video policy...am I the only one gawking at your fall-down-around-your-ankles lack of logic?

Again, dislike who you want, but work harder on the why. Inventing myths to justify your bias, and then serving them to the public is shoddy journalism at best, immature at worst. This may explain why both of you are destined to remain "writers" for free and disrespected rags like the Dallas Observer.

Ric Sweeney
Via e-mail

Character Killer

Another injustice: I take extreme exception to the article you published titled "Sassy Knoll" (October 19).

Ostensibly, the purpose of the article was to, in some slight measure, correct a recent chapter in the history of injustice relating to the assassination of President Kennedy created by a legal system that has repeatedly failed me. Instead of righting a series of wrongs, the article just added another log of injustice to the pyre.

More than a year ago, a former employee stole an irreplaceable photograph of the Kennedy assassination from me. This photo collection/archive was not a hobby, although the Dallas authorities are treating it as such. It represented the photographic evidence in the Kennedy case. Every governmental investigation into the Kennedy case has come to me for photographic evidence to enhance its work. The archive was to be co-deeded to the National Archives and the Dallas Sixth Floor Museum. Now it is gone.

The reason for this horrible state of affairs is that the investigators within the Dallas Police Department have dropped the ball every step of the way. To protect their collective tails, they pretended that this was a civil matter instead of a criminal one. They forced me to file a civil action where it was inappropriate. They have protected the known guilty parties for more than a year, and their inaction and incompetence have cost me tens of thousands of dollars in lost income and legal costs. It has also forced me into bankruptcy. Am I angry? Hell yes!

There are more than a half-dozen eyewitnesses who saw this former employee of mine, Jackie Diane Allen, with the slides and other items that she stole. For some unknown reason, she and her attorney actually presented some of the stolen slides at the trial. I fired Allen for theft. Instead of recovering and protecting this historic treasure, the Dallas authorities repeatedly look the other way. Instead of throwing the monster in jail until she returns the archive, they choose to harass me in Dealey Plaza, and, on practically a weekly basis, attempt to silence my freedom of speech and take away the only source of income that I have to pursue and continue my 36-year investigation into the case.

Instead of revealing the truth about what happened in this matter, your article was nothing more than a snide and cruel attack on me. I trusted the Dallas Observer to let its readership become enlightened about this series of miscarriages of justice. Instead, you belittled me and my more than three and a half decades of work on the Kennedy case. I am disappointed with the Observer for the first time.

Robert Groden

Editor's note: Please see the "Clarification" below.


In the October 19 article Sassy Knoll, the Dallas Observer relied on a videotape of a 1998 fight between two JFK conspiracy buffs that was provided by one of the participants in the altercation, Diane Allen. After publication, the Observer found that the videotape had been significantly edited, omitting footage of Ms. Allens kicking Robert Groden, the other person involved in the fight. The unedited videotape does not make clear who started the fight, but it should be noted that Ms. Allen, not Mr. Groden, was arrested in the incident. Neither of the individuals was charged with a crime.


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