Monday, August 08, 2011

Barry Horstman's Anti-Streetcar Cheerleading Continues

In case you still had any doubt of the bias of the reporting on the Streetcar issue from the Enquirer's Barry Horstman, then read this article, which is more cheerleading than reporting. Horstman has not properly reported on what the ballot initiative says and provides a tacit explanation of it's  language with selective quotes that provide more of an argument for Smitherman to use, than a balanced summary. Any objective analysis of it, like Judge Mark Painter provided in the Enquirer, would conclude that this ballot initiative would ban the city from spending any money on any rail project, not just the streetcar. This type of bias is what I have come to expect from Horstman, which is very disappointing, but there is hope that he will soon end his involvement in reporting on this issue.  It is very pathetic that the impetus for a story on the Streetcar is going to be an email or phone call from Smitherman to Hortsman providing an update on his signature boondoggle.  The number of press releases and blog pots put out there last week on the ballot language was not something Horstman would have missed, especially if he reads the guest columnists in the newspaper that pays his salary. Hortsman failed to report on many substantive details of this situation. Here is an outline of some of what he failed to do.
  1. Question Smitherman on the language used in the ballot initiative. 
  2. Question COAST on the language used in the ballot initiative. (Didn't they write it?)
  3. Provide evidence on the validity of the claim that August 10th is a soft deadline. This contradicts a prior article he wrote.  What changed?
  4. Ask Smitherman how he's going to get over 1,200 signatures in 3 days, when it took around 5 days to get nearly 800.
  5. Ask Smitherman how he knows the signatures he has gotten in the last 5 days are valid, is that his guess or have they been validated by the Board of Elections?
  6. Ask Smitherman a question about a member of his campaign trashing at least one box full of CityBeat issues last Friday night. (This may happen yet. Hortsman and the Enquirer do like reporting on dirty tricks.)
That's not everything he could have done and included in the article, but the list summarizes some of the key details that would provide the most factual and fair presentation of the current situation.  We really are suffering with the lack of news gathering in this town.  TV and Radio don't have the resources to provide in depth reporting, so we are stuck with what every the Enquirer puts out.  That's a shameful way to live in a democracy.


  1. Also, it's important to note that in the physical Enquirer this story ran on the front page, above the fold. At least 10 anti-streetcar stories have run on the front page so far this year.

  2. Biased Barry os a hack and a joke.


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