Thursday, January 22, 2009

How Mainstream Media Memes Become Fact, Part 2

Since the beginning of Mayor Karl Dean's stint in the Courthouse, a meme has repeatedly emerged in the Nashville City Paper at the fringes of reports on Metro politics and at the heart of several anonymous editorial opinions: Dean Administration = good; Bill Purcell's former administration = bad. Whether that meme is reported from the mouths of interview subjects or comes from the disembodied editorial voice, it has been a constant, and an unchallenged constant.

Nate Rau's report on Eric Crafton this morning replays that meme once again without any challenge from Rau:
Crafton blames the opposition for drawing so much attention nationally to the issue. He insisted that if Purcell had not vetoed his original Council bill, then no one outside of Nashville would have noticed.
Crafton has made no bones about his odd animus for Purcell and his strange preference for Karl Dean, even though Dean has done much more than Purcell to oppose Crafton and publicize that opposition in the media.

It was the Dean Administration's legal department that threw up every road block it could to stave off an election. It has been Dean starring in opposition TV commercials and in a mayoral YouTube series speaking out against English Only. It was Dean who appeared with the Governor in a highly publicized pilgrimage to the polls recently to vote against English Only. Dean has been a much more newsworthy English Only opponent than Purcell, who would at times leave us guessing about whether he would veto Crafton's council English Only bill. Moreover, it wasn't Bill Purcell who went on national Fox News in February 2007 after the veto. It was Eric Crafton who brought national attention to his pet cause. For Crafton to argue that Purcell brought national attention is unadulterated fabrication at best, a damned lie at worst.

Reporter Rau should have responded to Crafton dragging Purcell once more through the muck disingenuously by pointing out all of these facts. But so doing would fail the dominant mayoral meme at the City Paper.

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