Thursday, July 25, 2013

Shamelessness and joblessness

Granted, the Tennessean made a campaign contribution to the PR effort designed to produce a favorable vote for Mayor Karl Dean on the Music City Center, but did reporter Michael Cass really have to end a piece on a North Nashville march against joblessness with the Mayor's talking points on the jobs the new build provided?

It was bad enough that Cass just repeated Hizzoner's spin while leaving out news that the Music City Center lost a court case in which Metro officials blocked out the addresses on lists of construction workers preventing a union from evaluating Karl Dean's claims that jobs would go to locals. And never mind Music City Center's shoddy method of counting the employed by merely counting the people who signed up for safety training beforehand. I do not only read perceptions that the Mayor's projects do not provide the jobs promised in the news media beyond the Tennessean, but I hear it in community meetings I attend and urban talk shows I listen to.

So, yes, it is bad form to report half-news as news simply in order to put Karl Dean on the right side of the joblessness issue. It is not like he literally rushed out to be a drum major in this march.

But to detract from organized dissent over joblessness by shilling once again for a Mayor who does not care about North Nashville community development or social justice is shameless. Cass's report should have ended closer to where he conveyed Brenda Gilmore's meeting with the Mayor. That's the most Karl Dean should have figured into the story.

Michael Cass should explain his decision to portray--unequivocally, mind you--the Mayor as an effective break on the joblessness that marchers believe is a chronic problem. Otherwise, the Mayor's communications director should have been listed as a contributor to this story.

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