2002-08-10 / Columnists

From the G-Man

By Gary G. Toms
This Brother Doesn’t
Play Favorites

Hey people! It’s not easy doing triple duty here at the paper. My role as an editor, investigative journalist, and columnist gives me the opportunity to cover many stories and topics that affect the Rockaway community. Sometimes, I even have to play the role of photographer, as certain events that I cover require pictures being taken. No, it’s not easy being "G", and the one thing that really makes things hard is when people approach me, with reckless abandon, and try to tell me how to do my job. This column is dedicated to them.

I was recently at an NAACP event that was geared toward helping the youth of the community. I was very happy to attend because I was able to see first hand that there are many great kids from the Far Rockaway community who do care about the area and their future. As I have customarily done in the past, I went around and took photos of what I lovingly refer to as "The Usual Suspects." These are the folks that you can always count on to show up and support community events. They may be NYPD Community Affairs reps (like Detective Willie Olmeda from the 101 Precinct), elected officials (like Assemblywoman Michele Titus), Community Board reps (like Jonathan "The Gasman" Gaska) and organization leaders (like Fern Zagor of PRYSE). I think you get the idea. Anyway, I just snap away and try to get as many "quality" shots as possible. Now, I may shoot anywhere from 30 to 40 photos, but in reality, only 6 to 10 of them will make it into the paper. That’s how it is with most newspapers. So, for those who may have had their suspicions, there is no "diss" factor involved here.

The one thing that is inevitable is that someone will always step to me and say, "Why don’t you take a picture of me?" "Why don’t you take a picture of that politician?" "Why don’t you take a picture of my dog’s butt?" "Why don’t you zoom in on this boil on the back of my neck?" These are the people that should be tied to the back of a racecar and dragged around Daytona Speedway until they barf! Like hemorrhoids, they are a pain in the @#$! Give me a freakin’ break!

As bad as these types are, there are those who far exceed this level of "pain-in-the-buttdom" The people who say, "You won’t take that person’s photo because you don’t like them!" or "You and your paper tend to play favorites, and that’s why you only put certain people’s photos in The Wave," really set me off! This has happened far too many times than I care to mention, particularly at events focusing on the youth of the community, and I am getting sick of it.

If the focus of any given event is on the children and teens of the community, why do some adults see fit to approach me as if it’s all about them or the person or organization they claim to represent? I get so upset because the events become politicized, and the focus is shifted from the kids to a bunch of self-serving, egotistical booty scratchers who have nothing better to do than complain when they don’t get their way. Yeah, I said it, and if you find yourself getting upset over the statement I just made, then guess what? Consider yourself a self-serving, egotistical booty scratcher! What a bunch of babies! Waah! Waah! You all make me want to shove a jar of Gerber baby food down your silly, little throats. Don’t expect me to burp you afterwards either!

As for that allegation that I "play favorites", which has been thrown at me before, let me make one thing abundantly clear. I don’t care how many times Congressman Meeks, State Senator Malcolm Smith, Jonathan Gaska, Assemblywoman Titus, Councilman Joe Addabbo, Ed Williams, Rey Clarke, or anybody else appears in this paper; if they are caught doing something they have no business doing, as we used to say growing up in North Carolina, "I’m gonna tell it!"

I’m cool with many people and organizations in Rockaway, but make no mistake about it…. I’m gonna tell it if I have to. I warn anybody I come into contact with, be they politicians or whomever, we can have a great relationship, but if your house is dirty, you’d better clean it up before I get there!

Oh, I will go and tell it! I like Assemblywoman Titus, but if she were taking state funding and sticking it in the G-strings of male erotic dancers in effort to get her freak on, when she’s supposed to be in Albany…I’m gonna tell it. If Community Board 14 District Manager Jonathan Gaska was seen wearing high heels, fishnet stockings and a mini skirt at a Manhattan dance club…I’m gonna tell it. Well, first I’d bust a gut laughing, and then I’d tell it. If Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer was caught in back of the Wave building chugging a six pack of Budweisers, when she’s supposed to be doing a photo-op with the head of Alcoholics Anonymous…I’m gonna tell it. If State Senator Malcolm Smith locked his office door every Tuesday at one in the afternoon to watch Vanessa Del Rio films, and what healthy male wouldn’t…I’m gonna tell it. If Congressman Anthony Weiner was re-routing money from the state into his personal account, and frequently jetting off to Las Vegas to blow $10,000 a hand on poker games (while hanging out with Wayne Newton)…I’m gonna tell it.

I don’t think I need to go any further with my examples. The G-man does not play favorites. I never have and never will. My only loyalty and allegiance is to The Creator, and anyone who disputes that should come see me. Remember, I’m a real nice guy, but if you push me or do something to break the community’s trust…. I’m gonna tell it.

I have a special message for Reverend Evan D. Gray of the Macedonia Baptist Church. I was present for your sermon entitled "No More Drama." Well, Rev, I have an idea for your next one. How about… "No More Pork Chops!" Feel better dude.

See you next week!

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