Wednesday, June 08, 2005

More On The Partially Broken Story Of No Soundstown For Downtown

At the end of May I expressed ambivalence about the possibility that the Sounds stadium plans Downtown were sinking, at least according to a Nashville City Paper article by reporter Craig Boerner.

When I originally read Boerner's article, I did not get the sense that he did in his opening that the deal is on its death bed. However, I denied my first perception and chalked my lack of discernment down to my layperson's ignorance about "tax increment financing (TIF)," which was to be the method by which the Sounds could afford to move Downtown. As I finished Boerner's piece, I just told myself that there is probably something within the structure of TIF itself that tells the knowledgeable reader, "Of course. The deal is practically off now."

Then, I read Bruce Barry's criticism of Boerner's article in the Nashville Scene weblog. Barry didn't see the connection, either. Moreover, he took Boerner to task for not explaining TIF in the first place. Apparently, there is no implicit TIF logic that indicated a deal killer, and even if there was, Boerner should have made the connection for his readers, as Barry argues.

Well, I took it upon myself to contact someone in the know to find out the real deal. I found out 1) that Boerner acknowledges that the material in his article does not support the title or the lead-in claims about the probable demise of the Sounds' move plans; 2) that the "proposal in doubt" headline of the article was not written by Boerner; and 3) there is more to this story coming than Boerner's article lets on or that the Mayor's Office or Sounds management are currently ready to acknowledge during negotiations.

So, Bruce Barry was right and I obviously still haven't learned to be more critical of reportage as I read it. But you have got to wonder about the questionable logic of intentionally running a title and lead-in that go unsupported by the material of Boerner's article. Whether or not the City Paper has privileged insider info on the health of the Sounds proposal is really less important than editorial tactics of simply grabbing attention and not substantiating the grab with facts. Somebody seems to have teased to mislead readers.

Stay tuned to the City Paper for more information on the supposed demise of plans to relocate Soundstown Downtown, but from now on skip the lead-ins to get to the actual dope on the deal.

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