Maybe Ben Holder should be given a medal.(or a cookie?)
He has stopped the sale of a nifty little glass encased rose that had been converted into and item of drug paraphenalia by the boys in the hood.
He did this by with a lot of leg work and talking the city council into passing an ordinance to ban the sale of the little glass tubes dubbed "crack stems".
So it was natural that he rode along on the "Crack Stem" Checkup today as Vice, ABC and ALE agents checked to see if Greensboro convenience stores were in compliance with the new ordinance.
Of course Ben was going to be there he is a journalist, I think. He mentioned something about writing for the Carolina Peacemaker, a weekly paper that cater to the African American Community, that boast 25,000 readers.
According to this article that he wrote in 2003 the paper was instrumental in helping the GPD charge and convict local store owners for selling the crack pipe kit.
And then there's his blog.
After it was all said and done today, Ben was able to quickly post a variety of blog entries about the findings of the days "Crack Stem" escapades.
He even mentions us in one of his blog posts....
This is the script from the Triad Blogs aggregator posted at 7:21 pm.
Fox 8 Was On The Scene.
Fox 8 tried to keep up with the Troublemaker today. Their lead story tonite will be this inspection. Even though the Troublemaker was a huge part of the story, they will not be mentioning anything about the Troublemaker.
Of course in a 2 minute TV news story there is no time for historical background on most general stories and this one didn't warrant any documentarian detail. Simply letting the viewers know how the "crack stem" ordinance is fairing was sufficient.
But around midnite the post had changed, disappeared as a matter of fact, retitled "Only on Fox 8 News?"
The operation was titled "Operation Ben." After giving a brief history of the effort to stop crack pipe sales, Greensboro Police Detective M.L. Montalvo told the Fox 8 T.V. crew invited on the inspection that, "We are going wherever Ben tells us." The crew heard my name all day. They watched me give Montalvo receipts from recent crack pipe purchases. They heard about how I brought crack pipes to Council Member Tom Phillips. However, they presented their story as "Only On Fox." Well, I am certainly not as big or as powerful. I do not have a crew. I do not have a sexy weather girl. Fox is bigger and better. But, they were not first. The Troublemaker had this story before 9pm. Fox 8 had it at 10pm.
In fact this IS Only On Fox, that designation usually referring to the story's status in reference to other TV News outlets. But in a larger sense this may well be the FIRST AND ONLY time that 200,000 or so of Greensboro's other residents and a million surrounding citizens have heard about the "Crack Stem" debacle.
Sorry Ben. You know as well as I do that news is a business, a competition and news outlets arent' typically going to give credit to other news outlets unless there is a news partnership in place.
And just like my work as a photojournalist, behind the lens, you don't always get the credit that may be due.
So to you Ben, Good Job.