November 15th, 2013 By Danny Cross | News | Posted In: Government, Media, Media Criticism, Streetcar

How The Enquirer Got Today’s Anti-Streetcar Story

Someone divided $1.5 million by 30

Most Cincinnatians don’t view The Cincinnati Enquirer as a beacon of journalistic innovation, but today’s homepage headline pointing out that streetcar construction is costing the city an average of $50,000 a day was a reminder of how interested our Sole Surviving Daily is in drumming up negativity about the project.

Hundreds of streetcar supporters packed the Mercantile Library last night outlining the several different ways they plan to campaign to save the project — including various forms of litigation The Enquirer typically enjoys playing up as potentially costly to taxpayers — a story similar in concept to the anti-streetcar protests The Enquirer gave attention to leading up to the election.  

The Enquirer’s cursory wrap-up of the event was removed from the cincinnati.com homepage this morning, and it's currently not even listed on the site's News page even though it was published more recently than several stories that are. Left behind on the homepage is a real joke of analysis: the fact that the $1.5 million monthly construction cost divided by 30 days in a month amounts to $50,000 per day, assuming workers put in the same amount of time every day in a month and the city gets billed that way, which it doesn’t. 

The $1.5 million figure has been known for weeks, but $50,000 per day sounds dramatic enough that concerned taxpayers everywhere can repeat it to other ill-informed people at the water cooler. If these math whizzes wanted to really piss people off they would have broken it all the way down to $34.70 per minute, 24 hours a day.

Man, fuck that streetcar!

At least the story’s third paragraph offered a piece of recent news: Halting construction will still cost the city $500,000 per month because it will be on the hook for workers who can’t be transferred and costs of rental equipment that will just sit there. (For Enquirer-esque context: It will still cost $16,667 per day or $11.57 a minute to temporarily halt the project.)

Also, the note in the headline (“Streetcar, which Cranley plans to cancel, still costing $50K a day”) reminding everyone that Cranley plans to cancel the project that is currently costing money seems unnecessary considering THE ONLY THING ANYONE HAS HEARD ABOUT SINCE THE ELECTION IS THAT CRANLEY PLANS TO STOP THE STREETCAR. It does nicely nudge readers toward the interactive forum they can click on and publicly lament how people who don’t pay taxes have too much control over our city.

(Additional professional advice: Consider changing the subhed from, “It'll be costly to stop, and costly to go on, but work continues until Cranley and new council officially stop it” to something that doesn’t sound like you have no idea what the fuck is going on.)

For context, the following are the streetcar stories currently presented on the website homepages of local media that have more talent/integrity than The Enquirer:

WVXU: Streetcar supporters will remain active to keep project going

WCPO: Federal official: Cincinnati will forfeit $40M in grants if streetcar project is canceled

WLWT: Standing-room-only crowd attends Cincinnati streetcar meeting

Cincinnati Business Courier: Feds: If you kill the streetcar, we want our money back

CityBeat: Streetcar supporters pack Mercantile Library, Fountain Square

CityBeat: Streetcar cancellation would cost Cincinnati federal funds

CONSERVATIVE MEDIA BONUS: 700WLW even has a relevant piece of streetcar news, although you have to scroll past a video of Russian kids wrestling a bear and an article suggesting that Obamacare is the president’s Katrina (whatever that means): Feds: Use money for streetcar or pay it back.

11.15.2013 at 03:16 Reply

Please fix the damn typo... "subhed"? "(Additional professional advice: Consider changing the subhed from, “It'll be costly to stop, and costly to go on, but work continues until Cranley and new council officially stop it” to something that doesn’t sound like you have no idea what the fuck is going on.)" . And what's up with the profanity? Is that supposed to be cool?


11.15.2013 at 03:37

hey debi, just FYI — "subhed" is a real thing and a word journalists use every day. also, everybody knows cursing is cool.


11.15.2013 at 03:50

"Subhed" is a coloquial commonly used by journos to abbrev subheading which, honestly, sounds boring, like the Enquirer... which is boring. Oh and yeah, profanity is cool: it makes a point, its how people actually talk, it also feels really good to say the word, fuck. Read a book sometime that isn't the Roberts Rules of Order or whatever you proscriptive lexicography heads are into these days. Downton Abbey is pretty good, I guess. Also, if we're going to play the grammar police game, more offensive than the abbreviation, "subhed," or even the word "fuck," linguistically speaking, is beginning a sentence with the word, "also." So again, fail. Trolled. Rolled. Sassy. 


11.15.2013 at 03:57

yo enquirer be some fuckheads yo


11.15.2013 at 03:42 Reply

debi! Welcome to Cincinnati. You're obviously not too familiar with newspapers or the news industry. Subhed is short for sub-headline, it's the slightly smaller headline for the story, located below, or subsequent (sub) to, the headline. Context clues, which you learned about in your fifth grade "Be A Better Reader" book, should have pointed to that.


And yes, CityBeat is an alt-weekly (prohint: short for "alternative weekly") so no need to clutch your pearls if you hear language that might not besmirch your ears at Sunday services.


11.15.2013 at 03:48 Reply

I concur, cursing's the coolest. Thanks for playing, Debi.



11.18.2013 at 05:46 Reply

The "girls" at the "Enquier" area ass kissing.