Saturday, January 08, 2011

Near total media blackout of this morning's council work session, despite council promises to televise

After CM Mike Jameson proposed a council work session for this morning, CM Vivian Wilhoite stated at two different council business meetings that council was working to televise the proceedings. According to the the Nashville neighborhoods e-list, CM Jameson asked preservationists not to turnout massively this morning like they had for previous Fairgrounds discussions because it was going to be televised.

If you like I turned on Metro 3 this morning expecting to see exactly what our council members were up to in the latest installment of the ongoing Fairgrounds drama, you were disappointed that Metro 3 was showing events of Metro government past, including Mayor Karl Dean's speech to the Rotary Club last month reaffirming his goal to sell off Fairgrounds property. There were Mayor Dean's smug comments on my TV once again that, in spite of previously taking a "time out" to listen, he would push ahead with his original goal. That is some thick irony.

Both the Tennessean and the Nashville City Paper bloggers were present and started out live tweeting the meeting. Then both inexplicably fell silent. The only detailed Tennessean tweet was on water spillage at the beginning of the session:

The City Paper's few tweets provided more details on the chances that the demolition bill may be deferred and on the CMs breaking up into groups to discuss the issue, but little else. Both bloggers responded to my request for information at the end of the meeting by saying that they had trouble getting cell signals during the meeting to tweet details. Even so, they disclosed little else at that point, including why the meeting was not televised.

CM Erik Cole replied to one of the press bloggers that he did not attempt to get a cell signal because he was busy participating in the work session. Too bad that participation was not seen by those who did not attend because they were told it would be on Metro 3.

CM Jamie Hollin eventually replied to my ongoing query-tweets that he was under the impression that the session would be televised.

This was an unfortunate media blackout that is not going to reassure suspicious community leaders who oppose the Mayor's attempt to coerce a redevelopment plan that has not shown broad public support. Metro 3's inflexibly selective coverage is frustrating, but I am particularly disappointed to hear that CM Jameson encouraged those leaders to stay home. As it turned out, council once again held an insular meeting even though it was in the interests of Nashvillians to observe it.

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