by Danny Cross
20 days ago
at 10:19 AM | Permalink
Editor says Findlay Market pee story was an “abberation” and won’t happen again
The Cincinnati Enquirer news department has seen
some hard times this week, taking down stories about rich people
getting arrested and now admitting that it was a bad idea to publish a
trashy collection of mug shots and arrest reports about people who are
likely mentally unstable or addicted to drugs.
CityBeat reported yesterday that The Enquirer
took down a story about police arresting Robert S. Castellini, son of
Reds owner Bob Castellini, and his wife Sunday night for allegedly fighting in front of their children. Enquirer Editor Carolyn Washburn explained in an email to CityBeat
that the story wasn’t pulled because any super-powerful local business
leaders whose team is hosting the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star
Game complained. She says neither the Castellinis nor anyone else
contacted The Enquirer about the story. Someone
in the news department apparently used flawed news judgment and then
someone else posted the story online before it had been properly vetted
by editors. Nothing sinister — just general, run-of-the-mill incompetence.
"An editor determined — and I agreed — that it did not meet our news standards for publication," Washburn wrote to CityBeat
in an email Wednesday evening. "The Mr. Castellini in question is not a
public figure, has nothing to do with the Reds, etc. We don't report
every domestic charge in the community. But while that was being
discussed, someone posted it. We quickly took it down but not before it
began to get traction."
CityBeat asked Washburn how the alleged crimes The Enquirer
published in Monday's "arrest roundup" meet the paper’s news standards
for publication based on these general guidelines. The story, titled
“Arrest roundup: Woman pees on Findlay Market,” was published just an
hour after “Reds' owners' son, daughter-in-law arrested.” The pee story detailed arrests involving a guy spitting on people at a bus stop, a dude
masturbating on the steps of a church, a woman caught with drug
paraphernalia after stealing Fig Newtons from a UDF and another lady
allegedly urinating on Findlay Market while “acting bizarre.”The story on Castellini was deleted, but the arrest roundup lives on.
Washburn says the arrest roundup was just another news-gathering fuckup.
“That was an aberration and not something we'll be doing more of,” she wrote in an email to CityBeat this morning. “That's not the kind of coverage we want to do.”
If true that The Enquirer’s news department plans
to back off dramatic stories about poor people going to jail, perhaps
focusing more on the causes of poverty than the effects, it would be a
good day for the tens of thousands of impoverished, mentally ill and
drug-addicted Cincinnatians continually underserved by city budgets that
underfund human services.
In the meantime, someone is still covering the Enquirer pee beat with gusto, although this one seems fairly deserved — Art Modell definitely screwed Cleveland over back in the day.
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Fox’s WXIX 19 had a bizarre
“investigative” report which not only rehashed an earlier story at
unseemly length but also repeated itself during the rehash. City
departmental managers are supposed to live in the city, according to
Cincinnati City Council. Some apparently don’t. Good story.
0 Comments · Monday, April 14, 2014
The Enquirer recently took down a story by a “contributor” who works
for the organization her story promoted.
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 12, 2014
An Enquirer cover story described a
local school program that could have fallen under the old-fashioned
rubrics of “shop” or “manual arts.”
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Abandoning its historic and
hardline anti-abortion stance, The Enquirer inadvertently
demonstrated the case for evolution last Tuesday.
0 Comments · Tuesday, December 31, 2013
CBS’ 60 Minutes
broadcast an uncritical presentation of National Security Agency’s
justifications for its constitutionally suspect surveillance of Americans.
by Danny Cross
The Cincinnati Enquirer abruptly changed its tone about the
streetcar project yesterday, writing in an editorial that the city should continue the project and leaving the newspaper on the opposite side of
Mayor-elect John Cranley on the two main issues of the campaign it endorsed just weeks ago.
Fourteen months after publishing an editorial against the
streetcar project, the three-member Enquirer editorial board yesterday spelled
out why it now supports completing the project, suggesting that a main part of
its opposition — and to Roxanne Qualls as mayor — was the
current administration’s inability to “argue effectively for the project” that
Cranley and other conservatives used to take office during an election that saw
extremely low voter turnout.
CityBeat’s German Lopez noted on Twitter the irony of The
Enquirer now supporting both the streetcar and parking plan while the candidate
it endorsed attempts to unravel both — Cranley already stopped the parking
plan. The comment drew a response from Enquirer Editor Carolyn Washburn, who is
on the newspaper’s editorial board along with Publisher Margaret Buchanan and
Editorial Page Editor David Holthaus.
The editorial includes the following paragraph: “In endorsing Cranley, we said
he would ‘have to rein in his dictatorial tendencies and discipline himself to
be diplomatic, respectful and collaborative.’ What we’ve seen so far is a
matter for concern. Hurling insults at professionals like streetcar project manager
John Deatrick isn’t what we need. Deatrick enjoys a good reputation as someone
who has managed The Banks project and the rebuild of Fort Washington Way. He
needs to stay on the streetcar project.”
editorial was published the same day City Council put completing the project
into law and Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld announced his decision to support the
project’s completion, which Lopez pointed out leaves Council short of the six
votes required for an emergency clause that would immediately halt the project without leaving it open to referendum.
Without the emergency clause, streetcar supporters could gather the required signatures to put a 5-4 cancellation
vote to referendum, which would force the city to continue working on the
project until voters decide on it in November.
Mayor-elect Cranley will
hold a vote to stop the project on Monday. With Sittenfeld set to vote against halting the project, Cranley will need either newly elected David Mann
or Kevin Flynn to vote in favor of stopping it. Both are on the record as
being against the project but have left room to consider the financial realities
before making their final decisions. Cranley
announced this morning that he will name the new city manager at 2 p.m. today.
Cranley removed former city manager Milton Dohoney last week.
A story by The Enquirer’s
Mark Curnutte yesterday detailed life expectancy disparities among Cincinnati’s
poor neighborhoods, finding a 20 year difference at times between citizens of
predominantly black or urban Appalachian neighborhoods and people of wealthy white neighborhoods like Mount Lookout, Columbia
Tusculum and Hyde Park. The Cincinnati
Health Department will release more statistics Tuesday and a community
discussion on the issue is set for Jan. 10.
Pope Francis yesterday criticized the world’s growing wealth
disparity, mentioning things like “idolatry
of money” and “a new tyranny” in a 50,000-word statement that sharply
criticized trickle-down economics.
The Pope via The Washington Post:
"Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which
assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably
succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This
opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and
naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized
workings of the prevailing economic system. … Meanwhile, the excluded are still
OTR restaurant Kaze will begin offering lunch hours starting
on Black Friday.
Away from home and tired of “Friends-giving” gatherings?
Here’s a bunch of restaurants serving good stuff on Thanksgiving day. Skip Black Friday craziness and use CityBeat’s Gift Guide to
shop local this holiday season. There
are also plenty of local retailers you can hit up online if you don't wait until the last minute!
If you’re traveling to some stuck-up East Coast city for
Thanksgiving, charge the iPad or whatever because there are going to be some
And high winds might cause the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day
Parade to take all the air out of the Snoopy balloons so no one flies up into
the air like in movies.
The NSA reportedly considered revealing the “porn-browsing
history” of certain people considered to have ties to terrorist activity in
order to discredit them.
Great, now America’s durable goods orders are down. Thanks a
lot, government shutdown!
At least the country’s jobless claims are back to
pre-recession levels. Thanks, Obama?
The University of Cincinnati Bearcats beat UMass Lowell in basketball last
night and senior forward Justin Jackson jammed one in the hoop hard.
0 Comments · Monday, November 18, 2013
With all of the talk
about “doing more with less,” it’s time to seriously, thoughtfully resurrect
and reconsider the dreaded M Word. It’s not MuthaFuckah.
0 Comments · Monday, November 18, 2013
from every news medium I read or hear, Cairo and much of Egypt outside the
capital are suffering a nasty hangover from a soured “Arab Spring.”
by Danny Cross
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
WCPO: Federal official: Cincinnati will forfeit $40M in
grants if streetcar project is canceled
WLWT: Standing-room-only crowd attends Cincinnati streetcar
Cincinnati Business Courier: Feds: If you kill the streetcar, we want our money back
CityBeat: Streetcar supporters pack Mercantile Library, Fountain
SquareCityBeat: Streetcar cancellation would cost Cincinnati federal fundsCONSERVATIVE 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.