May 9, 2012

Misguided, But Not Demeaned

Bill White usually doesn't concern himself with politics. Over the years, like a teacher with decades of lesson plans, Bill has a file of themes to fill the space. By the time the last Christmas light column appears, it's almost time for Eating his way through Musikfest. Before judging the cakes at the fair, he has his Hall of Fame. He claims it's intend is not to ridicule, and cites the Cipko brothers as proof, because they were philanthropists. White omits that he portrayed them as buffoons with oversized toupees. For those who think I'm being harsh on Bill, let me quote him from May 22, 2008. I’ve milked the Hall of Fame for all I can this year, as is my wont, but there’s one more bit of unfinished business. Bill wrote his second column on the Great NIZ Debate and described me as misguided, once again. Apparently, Bill has gotten emails criticizing his first column, with one claiming he demeaned me. I didn't "demean" the blogger on the program, project opponent Michael Molovinsky. I summarized his views and said I felt he is misguided. There's nothing demeaning about that. The problem of course is that he summarized my views incorrectly. He mischaracterized my comments as being preoccupied with the former merchants, and ignored all my points about the Arena and NIZ in general. But I'm starting to repeat myself, and I don't want to sound like a paid columnist.

 I'm being rough on Bill. Although he did get two columns from the debate, this is my second blog post about his columns. I probably have some jealously. He gets paid to mostly ignore Allentown politics and write three columns a week. I write six posts a week on local politics, for free, and get called dour and misguided for my effort.


Anonymous said...

Bit long in the tooth White is•

Anonymous said...

Without your blog, along with Bernie's, the arena wouldn't have been discussed at all. It's criminal how the local papers were so late to get on board. Radio news is virtually disappeared from the local scene, and Ch 69 is busy covering 9 or so counties. Journalism is dead.

ironpigpen said...

Perhaps Bill White could use a history lesson on minor league hockey and how notoriously rough it used to be.

I wonder if Bill White has ever played hockey. I wonder if he knows what it is like to go into the boards with your head down. Perhaps he has been too busy stuffing his face at Musikfest.

I feel another article coming on about Chairman Pawlowski's 220.0 million dollar Palace of Sport.

I'm not sure Bill White spends a whole lot of time worrying about my feelings about Big Government spending outrageous amounts of money on a minor league hockey rink.

But, to be honest, I'm not sure how much time I spend worry about Bill White's feelings, to be perfectly honest.

Ice hockey can be a very rough game. I wonder how much Bill White apprecitates that? Perhaps it is getting to be about time to find out ...

Perhaps PAWLOWSKI PRESS will re-print my stuff someday, if I get real lucky, am cool enough and donate enough money to the right politicians.

monkey momma said...

Ditto what 11:40 said - thanks for all your work on this issue.

Anonymous said...

MM -

What White and his co-workers at the Morning Call fail to appreciate is how fed up readers are with getting one side of the story. That's just about EVERY story, since the Arena/NIZ issue is only the latest example.

White will probably use in his defense is that he is a feature writer, and is paid to give his opinion on issues. Fair enough. White is obviously a supporter of the NIZ and has said as much, so his viewpoint is not surprising. But what White and his colleagues don't see (or won't admit to) is that there is no one at the Call giving the other side of this issue (and others). Sure the Call might have an occasional guest columnist or op-ed, but inside the Call there seems to be little diversity of thought.

Contrary viewpoints on issues within a newspaper drives a natural internal conflict of opinions that spills over onto the pages of a SUCCESSFUL newspaper. That diversity of opinion cannot be artificially produced by those inside the paper CHOOSING an occasional quote or article to represent what the Call THINKS summarizes what the other side believes. You need true believers, from all parts of the political spectrum, to get balanced coverage.

People are able to see the obvious - that the Morning Call sees its role in Allentown as something other than simply reporting the news. The Call sees itself as a partner in Allentown's "transformation". It promotes this agenda through editorials and by limited reporting of issues (to be fair, the limited reporting is sometimes the fault not of the reporter but the result of a slant by their story editor).

The Call was largely silent about the Arena/NIZ early on, and more in-depth (at least for the MC) coverage didn't start until after the City had already acquired the properties for the arena and demolition was slated to begin. In short, they waited until it was too late (or at least they thought it was too late) for negative coverage to derail the project.

What those at the Call fail to recognize is 1) that the people see the bias that exists now; and 2) people prefer real reporting over cheerleading from their newspaper. The Call's failure to recognize this (maybe they just don’t care) has led to declining readership and profitability for them.

The Morning Call, like Allentown City Hall, is out of touch with the people on the NIZ issue. But I expect little to change with White and others inside the Call, because ultimately their agenda does not include representing more than one side of the debate.

Sadly, their lack of balanced reporting has greatly contributed to the decline of Allentown since years of flawed plans by Allentown's elected officials have not received proper public scrutiny. That is the legacy the Call is leaving behind.

Anonymous said...

Every day the stinkin' Morning Call exercises its Free Market right to lead the cheers for the NIZ.

And every day I exercise my Free Market right to not purchase their product.

Fair enough for me, then.


Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

BRILLIANT post, 10:16!

Thus, the importance of this and other blogs.

Canary_In_Coalmine said...

Well said, Anon 10:16. I agree with everything you wrote and would just add that there are frequently more than two sides to an issue.

Anonymous said...

How's that Chapter 11 coming along Tribune? Maybe try #4 will work. Seems the MC staff was a good fit with Sam #(&*@# Zell!

Bill Coker said...

Being from the boonies of Nazareth (according to Mayor Ed or is it Mr. Ed?), I can't be the fullest can in the sixpack. However, even I can see the arena project is dead due to bond financing being delayed by the lawsuits. Even the state apparently is going to be involved.

It is also evident to me that without Mike and Bernie covering this in such depth, hardly anyone would have been aware of this until much too late. Kudo's to the blogging community.

michael molovinsky said...

bill, although i started contributing very early in the debate, in april of 2011, before any other bloggers or MSM, my concern was the displaced merchants and the unlevel playing field. when bernie became interested, he contributed his research skills, unearthing the relationship between the players. i would contribute the current legal snafu to kraus and assad of The Morning Call, who explored and elaborated upon the EIT. as i wrote a while back, the project seems to have tripped on it's own greed and arrogance

Bernie O'Hare said...

10:16's comment was brilliant, I agree.

michael molovinsky said...

as if to prove 10:16's point, paul carpenter's column today supports the arena project.