Sunday, December 05, 2010

Opposition neither the Mayor's Office nor the Nashville Scene's website were willing to acknowledge

The Mayor took the wind out of this story by waffling on his Fairgrounds plan the night before, but last Thursday the "Save My Fairgrounds" group announced the results of a poll they conducted of flea market vendors on the question of the Mayor's proposed move of the Expo. The Nashville Business Journal reports that 98% of the flea market vendors opposed the Mayor's plan to exile them to a Hickory Hollow lease:

Of 280 vendor responses, 274 said they wanted to stay, and just two supported Mayor Karl Dean’s plan to move them to Hickory Hollow Mall in Antioch.

Dean dropped that part of his fairgrounds plan Wednesday after facing stiff opposition and questions about whether the Hickory Hollow move might be a money-losing proposition.

The Dean machine may have gotten in front of this story by announcing a divide-and-conquer plan to extend the flea market's Fairgrounds' digs for one year and cut out the racetrack, but we will see whether he has any regard for the vendors next autumn. My bet is on more divide-and-conquer next year. Egg-on-the-face averted last week, but if the Mayor has his way the flea market's days are numbered. Small business be damned.

By the way, this Nashville Scene post looks silly and over-emphatic in light of this survey. Or should I say it looked silly and over-emphatic. Pro journo and Scene blogger Jim Ridley (with the assistance of colleague Steve Haruch) posted a YouTube video of a purported, but unnamed flea market vendor praising Karl Dean's Hickory Hollow lease plan. If the vendor survey numbers are accurate, then she would have to be one of the two vendors who said they supported the Mayor.

However, the YouTube user who posted the video has as of tonight wiped it off the YouTube site. If the removal is permanent, this looks embarrassing for the Scene journo. Moreover, the video's disappearance in the wake of the vendor poll and the Mayor's flip flop makes its authenticity somewhat shaky. Did Ridley embed it without confirming that the woman on the tape was truly a supportive vendor?

At the very least Ridley posting it without any contrasting footage from what appears to be overwhelming vendor opposition looks slanted and biased. I even commented with a link of 5 other YouTube video interviews of vendors who opposed the move shortly after Ridley blogged the post, but he never made the time to post any of the videos. If the Nashville Scene was trying to report the views of the vendors accurately, they failed miserably on their website.

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