Tonight, the Jackson Free Press’ one-and-only Donna Ladd notified her readers prominently that the Mayor of the City of Jackson had changed a phone number to an unlisted number . . . and then listed the former number! This was published under the guise that one of her reporters couldn’t reach him for a story.

To be generous, it reeks of poor discretion on her part. But taken in context of almost three years of proclaimed journalist-lite jihad against Melton that includes loaded implicit and explicit statements about his sexuality, his marraige, his fatherhood, his sobriety, his sanity, his lawyers, his bodyguards, his sister-in-law, his relationship with Shirlene Anderson (and I could go on, but I am too tired), this starts to look like flat-out unbalanced behavior on her part. Maybe, just maybe, I’d feel a little different if she had referenced the unlisted number and left it at that.

I get that public officials need to be available, but if I had Donna Ladd and her rotating door of wannabe journalists calling my house for the express purpose of using her ad-supported forum to rip me a new one and attack my family and everyone around me, I’d probably unlist my number, too. I think the way real journalists handle that is “Mr. Melton was unavailable for comment.”

Technology is pretty powerful stuff, and you can do a lot with a phone number . . . even an old one. It’s not that that information wouldn’t have been easily available, but when you look at some of the things some of her readers have said in passion about Melton, it’s tough not to think she wasn’t trying to give them some kind of idea or was at the very least throwing raw tofu to her rabid vegan pack.

I wonder what a journalism professor at Columbia would say about venting a schoolgirl jilted rant by publishing something meant only to hurt someone in a very personal way. Somehow, I doubt they’d be impressed.

And she wonders why real journalists won’t associate with her.