Friday, August 11, 2006

NCP Left Out the Best Parts of Manning-a-Mano

As I wrote last night, Charlie Tygard was seething Tuesday during the Budget and Finance session on the Capital Budget. After the Parks Department people left, Metro's Finance Director David Manning, who had the podium during the Schermerhorn Fulton Complex discussion, effectively turned back Charlie's attacks. However, you could not tell that from a recap in this morning's Nashville City Paper:
At a meeting earlier this week, Tygard told Metro Finance Director David Manning he felt Purcell had not supported the [west Nashville] library for political reasons. Purcell allocated $700,000 for the land in his proposed capital budget this year. Manning responded to Tygard saying Purcell has spent far more dollars on community projects than any other Nashville mayor.
That's not all either Tygard or Manning said. The omitted details are telling. Tygard demanded that both Manning and Purcell explain to Bellevue residents why they would not be getting a library or more elementary schools. And then, he overplayed his hand: he accused the Mayor of spending less money on the Nashville community and more money on the courthouse and public square, which Tygard called, "monuments to government."

Manning countered with facts that we all know: this Mayor has spent more money on the neighborhoods than any other Mayor ever has or probably ever will. The Finance Director said that if previous Mayors and Councils had taken steps to maintain and repair the courthouse over the years, then Metro would not now be spending so much to do so now. He also took his own shot at the Metro Council by saying that the Mayor spends more time out in the neighborhoods than any Council members. And the congregation said, "Booya!"

But as I said, Tygard overplayed his hand by calling Nashville's courthouse and public square "monuments to government." He revealed at that moment that his anger was more political and partisan than pragmatic. He was far afield from fiscal conservativism that questions cost overruns. He was being a socially conservative Don Quixote, fighting imaginary big government foes; had he put a lid on his seething cauldron, Tygard might have seen that if we resort to calling the courthouse a "monument to government," then we are also bound to refer likewise to any libraries or public schools that the government builds in Bellevue.


  1. S-Town Mike,
    Your continuing criticisms of The Nashville City Paper (NCP) are getting more than a little suspect. I mean, how many posts on this blog are exclusively about the NCP?
    You slam the paper at every turn, but rarely if ever offer a critique of other Nashville media which make just as many mistakes.
    You also do not give credit where credit is due with NCP. You regurgitated criticism of NCP from one of their competitors - your beloved Scene - about the NCP's supposed new right leaning direction but failed to mention the NCP endorsed your favored "progressive" politician in town, Gracie Porter, for school board. Where were you on that one, Mike?
    You are suppose to be "Mr. Neighborhood" but you fail to recognize that the NCP is the ONLY paper in town actually covering issues that impact our emerging neighborhoods. I live off Nolensville Road in an area over run by gangs. I had never seen the name "MS-13" in print until the NCP started actually covering gangs in Nashville. The Scene has not touched the issue. It took a shooting in the middle of The Tennessean's suburban demographic -Opry Mills - before they even discovered there were gangs in Nashville.
    In this particular post, you slam the NCP for not going far enough in their coverage on this meeting. You also pump up Mayor Purcell, who you brag on this blog about getting an award from last year. Was there even another newspaper that covered this meeting?
    All I know is that the NCP is the only paper that covers my part of town. I actually called their staff when I couldn't get the police to call me back on a gang issue. They made the call for me and got me the name of the correct officer in the gang unit to talk to.
    I have read your blog for awhile, and it seems your grudge against these folks has to do with one bad headline about your neighborhood. Is this about holding the MSM accountable or your property values?
    You have a good blog, S-town and your heart seems pure. But you better check yourself before you wreck yourself on this one. Either that or be "fair and balanced" in offering criticism of all the Nashville media - and credit.
    - Nolensville NCP Reader

  2. Oi vey. More anonymous commenters than you can shake a stick at.

    In defense of myself:

    *I don't know how many posts are "exclusively about NCP." I did a search in the little box at the top and it turned up 53 posts with the term "City Paper" in them. Some are critical posts; some mention the City Paper in good faith quotes. I'll let you go count how many are critical, but even if half are, I've made over 1,050 posts, which means that around 2% would be critical of NCP.

    *I've been critical of the Nashville Scene. In fact, the first media-criticism post I ever made on this blog was about the Scene way back in my first month: February 2005. And I've been critical of them since then. You can search for yourself. I've been as critical of the Tennessean as I have the NCP. I have also criticized the television newscasts without flinching.

    *I was critical of the NCP way before they started screwing up stories on Salemtown. You can do another search yourself to see how far back, but the earliest critical post I made that I can remember was the one on a NCP story last summer that confused rather than clarified information on negotiations for a new baseball stadium, which is a subject that hardly affects my property values.

    *Maybe, just maybe, the NCP is getting truthful critical play here because they make mistakes and don't make great efforts to correct them. Notice that you did not challenge a single argument I've made over the months about the NCP's errors. The ones they made about Salemtown's gangs were huge, and no amount of pumping up what they do for your neighborhood is going to change that fact. They set us back a bit.

    *The only candidate whom I've endorsed here is Ginny Welsch. I've merely defended Gracie Porter when I thought Kay Brooks was shafting her. I wish I could write about every subject in the world, but I am a mere human being as busy as everyone else. I average between 1 and 2 posts per day, so I have to choose my topics.

    *I have been supportive of the Mayor where I thought he was right and I've been critical to irreverent toward him when I didn't agree with him. So, what's the problem?

    *Finally, I created this blog for the good of local communities in the North End. It is not just intended to help my property values, lest it would be a rah-rah, promotional, public relations tool mostly on real estate. But increases in property values and the overall good of the neighborhoods are not mutually exclusive catagories. I, like most homeowners, want my property values to increase, but not at the expense of the neighborhood or the truth. There is no fault in that.