Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A few Quick Media Thoughts

Go Away Channel 19/Where is My Invitation?

Last night Channel 19 "Action News" aired a report on the heat/cooling in our building. Don't they have anything better to work on? Aren't there any more poor people to pick on? Shouldn't they be spreading stereotypes about panhandlers? Can't they beat up on the Mayor or the City Council instead of wasting our time with this story? No, they sent the notorious Catherine Bosley out to interview staff in our building about the bizarre letter from our landlord telling us to stop complaining and identifying women as the cause of the problems. While the landlord note was offensive, it did not rise to the level of wasting the precious airtime of a television news channel. We did not comment, because Channel 19 is on our banned list, and why annoy our own landlord?

We made a good decision, because the landlord actually came off looking sympathetic. It is very difficult to make a landlord look good, but Channel 19 did it. Just for a little context...last night while Channel 19 was handling the "naked female wrestling story" and the "toughen up" landlord story, a group of homeless people was surrounded and attacked by 20 young kids in Cleveland. We have had a week of attacks on homeless camps by young people with two people hospitalized. Last night, the camp was surrounded and homeless people were attacked. The two who were attacked are scared and moving today and were absolutely unaware how inappropriate NEOCH's landlord is.

My Invitation Must have Got Lost
I never got my invitation to the Doug Clifton, Editor of the Plain Dealer, retirement party. That is so strange; I don't know what happened? Clifton was on Monday's WCPN Sound of Ideas. There was something new that I had not heard from Clifton before on the show. While trying to defend his tenure at the PD, he talked about that controversy over sitting on the two stories last year out of fear of violating some court order. This was just after the jailing of Judy Miller and the threat to those reporters who got info. about the Scooter Libby release of the CIA identity of Valerie Plame. He made it seem that the source material that he was sitting on was not that reliable along with the legal implications of revealing information under court seal. I have heard and read a lot about this story, but this is the first I heard that the information was shaky.

This brings up new questions with regard to the story. My biggest question is why the hell did he ever even mention this non-story publicly. I believe it set journalism back in the United States. For those who hate the media, they were saying, "I am glad that Justice Department took a tough stand against the media. It is working to shut the media up, because the PD had to back down in Cleveland in revealing secrets." Those who are big free speech advocates (like me) will say, "The media are wimps, and would not stand up to the Big Bad Justice Department." No good could have come from the release of the information that the PD was sitting on two stories especially now that we find out that the story was not solid. I hope that new editor, Ms. Goldberg, will have more backbone to stand up to Larken and the publisher and especially to stand up to state sponsored Censorship. Maybe she can figure out what happened to my invitation as well.


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