Sunday, January 15, 2006

The PD Gives Us Plenty of Material...

The Big News..
Alex "The Snake" Machaskee is retiring after 406 years or something like that. The man who made sure the PD endorsed Bob "Elmer Fudd" Taft is leaving. The Governor voted worst governor in the United States by Republicans! This is the Governor who is worse than every Republican and every Democrat in the country in a ranking by Republicans who hate Dems. Then he made sure that the PD sat out of the Kerry/Bush contest according to insiders. The most important endorsement that a major newspaper makes every four years, the PD sat out. The most secretive and hostile administration to the press since the early 1970s was nearly endorsed as a President worthy of a second term because of Machaskee. As far as poor people are concerned, we have not had a friend in the publisher of the Plain Dealer.

You can do all the benefits and charity work, but that does not make up for pro-business at the expense of the little guy policy of the paper. After all, maybe if we had universal health care, universal living wage, and housing now for all, we would not need as much charity work. No doubt rich people would not have as many dinners and events to attend, but there would be fewer poor people. I am convinced that we are going to get a conservative Bishop to replace Pilla, and I fear we will get a more conservative publisher of the only daily. Take cover Connie, and you left wing liberal reporters there are storm clouds on the horizon.

Homeless at Airport from Sunday
On Sunday, the Plain Dealer had a story on homeless people in the airport. (I am not sure it is good to link to the PD since after two weeks we have to pay.) Anyway the story combined two Channel 19 stories from last week. This is a humiliation for the PD to follow tabloid news to a story. Usually, if the PD gets swept they make up for it by looking at the big picture. This did not happen with this story. In fact, it really did not forward the story very much. The reporters were not able to verify the possible hate crime that led to the eviction from the Convention Center. The photograph of a person sleeping is never appealing. The story did not go into any details about why homeless people do not like the shelters and choose the sleeping with all those planes. (Those people in North Olmsted hate the planes flying over all the time?) The worst part of the article was, "After the mayor learned of the property damage, which was estimated to cost $15,000, he told police to put homeless people on notice." But which Mayor? The incident took place on December 27 during the Campbell administration, so tell us which Mayor were they referring to? It is unclear. Why is the local response to homelessness either shelter or the streets (airport and convention center)? We need some answers from the PD.

The Human Rights Story also Sunday
The Plain Dealer covered the Truth Commission hearings. Ten paragraphs spared for people pouring out their hearts about living in poverty in the richest country in the world. The Cleveland Homeless talked about the Truth Commission on their blog. This was also not the best in journalism because of the many questions left unanswered. What is the information going to be used for? How many people testified? Was there new information provided by those testifying that readers may not be aware of? Were there other civic leaders present to hear the testimony? Did anyone offer any advice to these people suffering the negative effects of free capitalism? More space for the writer to explain all of these would have been helpful. How about one fewer ad for, and more actual news stories?

Cleveland Receives Homeless Windfall??
In the first week of January, the PD covered a story that we have yet to talk about, because it is so confusing. It detailed the large amount of cash the City was getting to address homelessness. This is the exact opposite of the story that appeared in the latest Homeless Grapevine (Color Issue 74). So, the Grapevine said we lost $1 million from last year and the Plain Dealer said we gained $1 million from last year. Typo? Drunk reporter? Visually impaired reporter? No, this is actually a case of spin from the federal government. Plain Dealer fell for it. The Grapevine did not.

See, the problem is that two years ago the Feds decided to add all the funds from housing renewals into the pool of homeless dollars. This makes it look like there was this huge increase in funds, but it is not a real increase. The renewal of these housing vouchers are for individuals who have not been homeless for five years, and do not meet any definition of homelessness. So the reality is that real homeless dollars decreased by $1 million, and the feds padded the budget to deflect criticism. The basis of all magic is diversion, and the current administration are full of master magicians. The problem is that in the next year and four months, Cleveland is going to be short by as much as $1 million to keep current projects operating. There is going to be a crisis that could result in the closing of one shelter in Cleveland. How are we going to explain this to the Plain Dealer? "I know you reported that we got additional dollars last year, but now we are in crisis?"

Well, rest assured that the Grapevine got it right and the PD got it wrong. The Grapevine will not let you down in the future. We may be fascinated by Monty Python, but that does not make us wrong.



Blogger Kevin E. Cleary said...

"The worst part of the article was, 'After the mayor learned of the property damage, which was estimated to cost $15,000, he told police to put homeless people on notice.' But which Mayor? The incident took place on December 27 during the Campbell administration, so tell us which Mayor were they referring to? It is unclear."

I didn't see the story in the PD (won't pay for it), but it seems that if they used the pronoun "he" in the quote you cited they were referring to Mayor Jackson. But, since Jackson wasn't yet inaugurated on December 27, that doesn't make any sense. Did the PD get their facts wrong? -kev

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Blue Cross of California said...

Universal health care would make a great aspect to our health care system as we are in a major health care crisis.

2:30 PM  

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