Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Irresponsible Journalism

Almost Made it Through Sweeps!!

Sweeps week ends this week, and we almost made it without a blatant attack by the local media on homeless people. Leave it to Channel 19 to stick it to homeless people for ratings. With the recent attacks on homeless people and the insurance scam resulting in the murder of two in LA over the last month, one would think homeless people would deserve a break. Jimmy Olsen and the crew at Channel 19 are just embarrassing to the profession. Can't the real journalists in the city take action and condemn these guys? I mean if a psychiatrist is constantly acting like a fool in public the licensing board would suspend then prevent the psychiatrist from ever practicing.

Jimmy Olsen was at it again with homeless people sleeping at the airport. He even told one guy to clean up and said that this guy sleeping at the airport smelled. Is this really necessary? What kind of crazy journalism is this? The Mayor was great: saying things are happening, and just because no one told Channel 19 does not mean nothing is happening. The worst part of these stories is the interview with the terrified pedestrian-- "Man on the street" stuff. A woman was afraid to actually sit down on a bench because of the number of homeless people at the airport. I kid you not. The airport has to be the most stressful place on the planet. We have terrorists, problems with the airplane, fear of being forced to sit in the middle seat between a drooler and an insurance salesperson, and now the fear of sitting on a bench after a homeless person, all taking place at the airport. They have no shame.

What would Mayor Olsen have the real Mayor do arrest homeless people for purely innocent behavior? If the police arrested these airport sleepers, then the Coalition would sue. The City would be in court for a couple of years and then discussions of real solutions would be impossible with all the lawyers in the way. The other news readers and reporters need to separate themselves from these jokers at Channel 19. Jimmy Olsen gives the entire profession a bad name.


Saturday, May 06, 2006

Successful Annual Event

Awards, Gifts, A Look Back and a Look Forward

The big news from last night's NEOCH Annual Meeting that was well worth the price of admission was the reaction of Kevin Cleary winning the gift certificate for some free automobile gas. The Coalition gave out the awards for Volunteers of the Year to two attorneys who volunteer with the Cleveland Homeless Legal Assistance Program--Michael Shapero and Michael Farrell. Marcia Bufford was named advocate of the year because of her six years on the board and her previous work as a VISTA with NEOCH. Tom Beres was named Journalist of the Year by the Coalition for his consistently fair treatment of homeless people over the years.

Beres gave an acceptance speech about how grateful he was to receive this award. He talked about the current state of the media. He said that he always tries to treat people with respect including those down on their luck. Beres talked about one of the previous blog entries posted on this web diary. He talked a great deal about his attempt maintain ethical standards in his reporting. He also mentioned his most recent story about homelessness when he caught up with the Mayor while he toured the local shelters. Renita Jablonsky, a great reporter in her own right, acted as host for the evening. She did a great job with keeping the event flowing, and introduced Tom Beres.

Phyllis Cleveland said a few words as the new Council person from Ward 5 even though she was not feeling well. She felt that this was an important event, and came out while trying to recover from a bug. The crowd and Board were very appreciative of the kind words by freshman Councilwoman Cleveland. We got to catch up with old friends during the wine tasting.

The Coalition presented their Annual Report including highlights from last year and a brief look at the future. This will be available on the website in the very near future. Overall, it was a great event. The 50/50 raffle was successful especially when the Rasey's donated their winnings back to the Coalition. Teri' Horne, Denise Cooper, Johanna Keenan, and Meg Wilson did a tremendous amount of work to put the meeting together. Good music, good food, and good company--wish you were there.