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.
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 11, 2013
THURSDAY SEPT. 5: For being a really old daily newspaper, The Cincinnati Enquirer
is not known for being great at many things (although its recent plan
to do a better job covering Northern Kentucky by having zero reporters
stationed there is a pretty good idea and should pay off in the long
by Danny Cross
Posted In: baseball
at 09:03 AM | Permalink
Earns SportsCenter coverage for repeatedly calling Enquirer reporter "fat motherfucker"
Reds second baseman
Brandon Phillips is typically all smiles when the cameras are on him, but before
last night’s game against the Cardinals — and just outside the frame of a video
recorded by a St. Louis-area radio station — Phillips let the expletives fly
during a tirade against Enquirer
reporter C. Trent Rosecrans, who dared to accurately report Phillips’ shitty
on-base percentage in response to Phillips asking to bat higher in the lineup. The incident earned a
minute-long segment on SportsCenter and responses from multiple national
baseball writers.Phillips was moved to the second spot in the batting order for that night's
game — he has batted fourth most of the year and ranks third in the National
League in RBI. In a tweet, Rosecrans pointed out that Phillips' .310 on-base
percentage is lower than the .320 of the guy he replaced in the
two-spot in the team's lineup.Phillips
reportedly went off on Rosecrans in the clubhouse and then continued the tirade
during the media session with Baker. Phillips, who is off camera in the video, interrupts
the interview with Baker, calling out “fat motherfucker on the end” and saying to
Baker: “Tell him you’ll have me bat eighth if you’re worried about my on-base
percentage. Fat motherfucker, make him happy.”Phillips
says to Rosecrans, “I’m tired of you talking that negative bullshit about my
team, dog. I found out your Twitter name motherfucker, that’s a wrap.”Rosecrans responds, “Wow, took you how many years?”Dusty
Baker laughed and then said, “I ain’t in this; it’s between you and him.”Rosecrans
says, “It’s between him and him.”The Enquirer
a blog in response to the incident before the game was over. Enquirer sports editor Angel Rodriguez
wrote, “While we are disappointed in Phillips' reaction, we understand it is a
pennant race and emotions are high during a crucial series with a heated rival.
This isn't the first time a player has lost his temper in response to a
reporter's questions and it won't be the last. It is part of covering the team
response to an outpouring of support on Facebook, Rosecrans wrote that this
kind of thing isn’t really new to the world of sports coverage but thanked
people for the support.Rosecrans
was the Reds beat writer for the Cincinnati Post and has reported for local
radio stations and websites, in addition to spending most of 2012 writing a
weekly sports column for CityBeat. He
is a 10-year member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.The full video can be seen below:
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 3, 2013
SATURDAY JUNE 29: We at WWE! are suckers for a great
gimmick — when Papa John’s offers unlimited toppings on medium pizzas we
pick up the phone and dial 347-1111 with a quickness.
Daily refuses to cover "illegal" ordination, but Gannett weekly covers it
2 Comments · Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Thirty-nine years ago, Enquirer editors agreed to cover a global story that still reverberates through some of Christianity’s oldest denominations: the acrimonious debate over whether women may be priests.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Language abuse — as opposed to abusive language — is as old as language itself.
After 50-plus years of reporting and
editing, I should be used to it, but I’m increasingly irritated by its
deliberate, partisan misuse.
by Ben L. Kaufman
Media musings from Cincinnati and beyond
• The Enquirer’s MasonBuzz.com
wasn’t honest with readers about the source of its story promoting
“National Heimlich Maneuver Day.” It was posted by a reporter but
carried the byline of Melinda Zemper. She’s not a reporter and she
wasn’t identified as a “contributor.” Zemper is public relations
professional whose clients include Heimlich interests. She was helpful
when I sought out Phil Heimlich for a story recently. That’s her job. So
is providing copy ready for publication. With so few reporters and
editors, news media are evermore open to such PR material as “news.”
Traditional journalism ethics requires that we be told the writer’s
underlying interest in the story if it’s not by a reporter or
contributor. MasonBuzz.com failed that test.
Guardian scored its first of two coups when it reported the Obama
administration is collecting our cell phone records in the name of
national security. The Washington Post followed with its story about
spying through Internet sites such as Google. Both relied on the same
source, one of thousands of private contractor employees with top
• The Guardian’s second coup was its interview with the American who revealed that NSA cell phone tracking: Edward Snowden, 29. The Guardian called him a “former technical assistant for the CIA
and current employee of the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.
Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last
four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz
Allen and Dell.”
paper said it named Snowden and published his online video statement at
his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret
documents to the public, the paper said, Snowden eschewed the protection
"I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong," he told the Guardian, although he
wants to avoid the media spotlight. "I don't want public attention
because I don't want the story to be about me. I want it to be about
what the US government is doing." That won’t be easy, he conceded. "I know the media likes to personalise political debates, and I know the government will demonise me."
he told the Guardian, "I really want the focus to be on these documents
and the debate which I hope this will trigger among citizens around the
globe about what kind of world we want to live in ... My sole motive
is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that
which is done against them."
• Whistleblower Snowden
is the civilian version of Army Private Bradley Manning, who gave
military and diplomatic cables to Wikileaks. Both were low-level
intelligence specialists with high-level security clearance. Both claim
to have acted according to conscience, hoping to save rather than harm
our nation. There is a difference, however, that I haven’t seen or heard
in facile news media comparisons of Snowden to Manning or Daniel
Ellsberg, an academic defense analyst who revealed the Pentagon Papers.
Manning’s military and diplomatic cables and Ellsberg’s study of the
Vietnam war were in the broadest sense histories. Snowden’s revelations
involve current and future data collection and analysis.
Jones magazine/online also scored two scoops in recent days. It says
the Justice Department wants to hide an 86-page opinion by the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court that says the government
violated the spirit of federal surveillance laws and engaged in
unconstitutional spying. Mother Jones’ bureau chief in Washington, David
Corn, says the secrecy effort is a response to a Freedom of Information
suit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
its second coup, Mother Jones says the FBI raided the Winchester, Ky.,
home of corporate cybersecurity consultant Deric Lostutter. As hacker
KYAnonymous, he was instrumental in making the Steubenville rape case a
national story. Mother Jones says Lostutter “obtained and published
tweets and Instagram photos in which other team members had joked about
the incident and belittled the victim. He now admits to being the man
behind the mask in a video posted by another hacker on the team's fan page, RollRedRoll.com,
where he threatened action against the players unless they apologized
to the girl ... According to the FBI's search warrant, agents were
seeking evidence related to the hacking of RollRedRoll.com ... If convicted of hacking-related crimes, Lostutter could face up
to 10 years behind bars — far more than the one- and two-year sentences
doled out to the Steubenville rapists.”
news media embrace an uncritical “boost, don’t knock” approach to local
festivals. Even so, they ignored a great photo op at the opening of
Summer Fair. Hundreds of people stood in line in the Coney Island
parking lot while two people — at one table — took admission money. Some
people waited more than 30 minutes to get in. Parking was free, so no
one knows how many potential customers took one look and drove away.
recent Enquirer cover story confirms what a lot of people have known for
years: Go elsewhere for sophisticated cancer care. What’s news is the
admission in a proposed UC major investment to bring advanced cancer
Enquirer cover story made my prehensile toes curl with joy. The
Creation Museum is evolving to allow us to return to tree tops ...
via zip lines.
still unhappy about NPR’s decision to kill Talk of the Nation carried
here 2-4 p.m. Monday-Thursday. It was the nation’s best long-format
public radio interview program, sort of a New Yorker of the air.
July 1, WVXU plans to fill the newly vacant 2-3 p.m. gap with an
expanded Cincinnati Edition using current staff as hosts. I hope it
retains long-format interviews.
its limited resources newly devoted to the expanded Monday-Thursday
Cincinnati Edition, WVXU is ending Maryanne Zeleznik’s Thursday morning
long-format Impact Cincinnati interview show and the staff’s Saturday
and Sunday one-hour weekend Cincinnati Edition. There were good regular
segments and I hope they’ll be woven into the new format.
To fill 3-4 p.m. Monday-Thursday, WVXU is bringing in The Takeaway. WVXU says it’s
is a co-production of WNYC Radio and Public Radio International, in
collaboration with New York Times Radio and WGBH Boston. The Takeaway carries the tagline, “Welcome to the American Conversation.” We’ll see. Talk of the Nation set a very high standard.
Enquirer Forum calls on Ohio to expand Medicaid despite a shortage of
physicians and others to cope. In part, the paper notes, few med school
grads choose primary care. Reasons aren’t that complicated. Relatively
low salaries paid to primary care physicians mean docs will spend a good
portion of their adult lives repaying loans that often began as
undergrads and compounded while adding med school loans. Another reason
is that Medicaid pays even less than Medicare for office visits and
treatments. That’s helps explain why primary care docs aren’t better
paid and some practices limit their Medicaid and Medicare patients.
Enquirer should dig still deeper into related issues. Why should
taxpayers provide health insurance (Medicaid or unpaid emergency care)
to badly paid workers whose major employers provide little or no health
care insurance? Why do we as a nation offer such niggardly support to
med students that they opt for higher paid specialties which ease loan
repayments? (This isn’t a personal beef. Our daughter, whose board
certifications include family practice, went through medical school on a
UC scholarship but many classmates graduated with life-limiting debt.)
had a long story on how jelly fish are multiplying at a rate that
creates or exacerbates problems in the oceans. These prehistoric
creatures survive, multiply and prosper without a spine or brain. Apt
cascade of information about NSA snooping has an unintended benefit.
Pervasive federal intrusions no longer are “just a journalists’ thing.”
Millions of Americans now know their cell phone calls and email/Internet
data are being collected and analyzed by NSA computers and agents. This growing consciousness may provoke a groundswell that could provide
brains and spine for Congress to correct police state legislation passed
Holder — still U.S. attorney general when this was written — is almost
contrite about Justice Department grabbing reporters’ telephone and
email records. He now says he won’t prosecute reporters just doing our
jobs. Any journalist who accepts
his assurance lacks the minimum skepticism required for our trade.
Holder serves at the pleasure of a president whose antipathy to leaks
recalls Nixon’s creation of the Plumbers.
dropout Gary Webb shared the Pulitzer Prize in 1990 for San Jose
Mercury’s coverage of the Loma Prieta earthquake. Then he took on the
CIA in his sometimes-overreaching 1996 Mercury series, Dark Alliance,
which said crack cocaine was being sold in Los Angeles’ black ghettos to
support CIA-supported contras in Nicaragua. The LA Times and others —
including the NYTimes and Washington Post — were embarrassed by Webb and
the nowhere San Jose paper. They went all out to discredit Webb and his
findings. Webb’s errors and inadequately supported assertions gave
critics their opening. Irrespective of the the national papers’ attacks
inaccuracies and misdirection, they ruined Webb’s career and he
committed suicide. Years later, even former critics acknowledged the
generally substantiated core of Webb’s series: CIA ignored Contra
cocaine smuggling and its spread of crack in U.S. inner cities. A movie
is being made about Webb and the CIA series, Kill the Messenger.
Morning Edition described in broad detail an NSA data center going up
outside Salt Lake City. Computers are so large and hot that they will
need 1.5 million gallons of cooling water daily. I wish NPR told me
where that water was coming from and where it would go after being used
to cool the computers.
• With friends like this ... Aljazeera.com
reports that Syrian rebels executed a 15-year-old Aleppo coffee vendor
in front of his family because the killers thought a common Syrian
retort was blasphemy. The youth apparently refused someone coffee on
credit, saying, “Even if Mohammad comes down, I will not give it as a
meeting at Sunnylands, the Annenberg estate near Palm Springs, Calif.,
pricked my nostalgia. In the early 1940s, my father, an Army physician,
was stationed in Palm Springs. A visionary local developer offered Dad
some land. As our family legend goes, that friend assured my father that
“after the war,” Palm Springs would boom. Headed for combat in Europe
and uncertain what might follow, Dad said thanks, but no thanks. Oh,
well. If Dad had taken his friend’s offer, last week’s Obama-Xi meeting
could have been on a Kaufman desert hideaway, “10,000 Lakes.”
7 Comments · Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Rich people get to do whatever the hell they want in this city. Maybe that’s the way it is in every city
and anyone surprised by it is a simpleton who clearly grew up on the
wrong side of I-75. But the influence that Cincinnati's rich people have over the direction of this city and the distribution of its resources should disturb everyone.
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Intruding is something
reporters do. Intrusions can be personal, professional, financial or
commercial. Or more than one of the above. And, yes, despite
inexplicably loud cell phone conversations, awareness of omnipresent
smartphone cameras and overly revealing Facebook posts, many Americans
still assert their right to privacy.