Sunday, July 29, 2012

Why the One-sided Interview?

So the Enquirer's Mark Curnutte had an article called Social worker: Poor pushed from OTR with a subtitle of "5 QUESTIONS: Alice Skirtz". It includes a short introduction to Alice Skirtz and a book she's written. Then it has a really short Q/A, literally five questions, that has no depth what-so-ever on the subject she's writing about. She makes outlandish and unsupported claims in the answers she gives and no follow-up questions are published seeking evidence on what she claims to be true.

What gives?

Is this throwing a bone to a particular political activist group? Is this article a reward for something else? It is not customary to let anyone equate the actions of redeveloping a decaying neighborhood with genocide, calling it "econocide," without calling It insults those who are making the city a better place, and it sullies the memories of those who actually have died in acts of genocide.

This Five Questions concept could be one that I've not seen before, but really is off mark for a story a subject like this. When there is controversy on the validity of what an author writes, then five questions just does not do justice to the reader. We need far more or just skip the author and/or the subject. If you can do something right, please don't do half of it.

13 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. (Resubmitted with a spelling correction)

    While I'll agree the interview questions were light, your criticism here is of a woman whose tenure with the Salvation Army spans a time nearly (if not) longer than your lifetime. Chances are she knows a bit more than you think about what is happening here.


    If you want to question her do that. Don't be a coward and get your Spiderman underwear in a bunch over the Mark Curnutte.

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  3. So, a one-sided fluff interview is a good interview? My Spidy-sense tells me something was amiss in the article. Her answers were, shall we say, short on support, but that was amplified by the format of the article.

    I would welcome her or any activist to provide me with a list of people who were legally living in a residence in OTR who were then forced by 3CDC to move. Note, that the Metropole is not in OTR, the only reported case this has occurred and which 3CDC gave support and assistance to the displace people.

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  4. They're running out of rightwingers to complain about the successes in OTR, so they're finding leftwingers to complain instead.

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  5. Again, the interview was light....I agree with you on that. And I think her answers were quite simply a response to simple questions.

    If her answers were not as good as you'd like, why don't you ask her some questions? I think if you did it would be a great interview. Contact her and ask her the tough questions.

    My point really is she seems, with her experience, a good person to whom to direct your questions.

    I mean this in the sincerest ways. As someone who interviews artists, I never ask, "where did you go to school." or "Who is your favorite or most influential artist."

    Please let me know if you decide to talk with her. I would love to read the interview.

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  6. oh....and "legally living in a residence in OTR" is a side road that permits you and 3cdc to ignore the problems she and others concerned with the homeless (because these are people) are trying to highlight.

    If you don't want to talk about the homeless, then you may not want to talk to her.

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  7. The problem is that she's not a good person to interview. She is an activist with an extremist point of view. She could talk to her own history, not to an objective set of facts.

    Also, "legally living in a residence in OTR" is specific. It requires fact and the law to be put forth, instead of spin. I'm being specific. I am talking about people who are legally living in an apartment who were forced out. If that happened, let it be known. I'm forcing activists to stop trying to equate that to those squatting in an abandoned building, where the run the risk of starting a fire that could burn down the entire block.

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  8. Clearly, she has an argument ( a whole book!) on a topic in which you do not wish to engage. "She's an activist!" you scream as if she has no point and no set of facts.


    If dealing with the facts there are homeless people in Cincinnati being pushed out of the way so YOU can walk and dine anywhere you'd like without having to see them is too hard to face, then fine....don't deal with it. But don't claim a woman with over 30 years of experience in the development of urban centers has no facts.

    Perhaps it's more accurate to say you are not a good person to do the interview.

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  9. @ Me, you are conflating experience with legitimacy and competence. Just because someone has a lot experience as an "activist" doesn't mean their opinions are anymore legit than Griff's and countless others. The facts are out there and available if you would like to see them. And based on those facts, I would argue that the methods employed over the course of her 30 years of an experience have been completely ineffective, as the urban poor are far worse off now than they were then, and they have largely been "helped" during that time period by government policies, people and organizations using tactics from the same playbook. Yet these people want to make a boogeyman out of 3CDC...it almost makes you wonder if these people just have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo?

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    1. I know it is pretty hip these days to discount age and experience as grounds for knowledge, though I'm not going to have that argument here.

      The point is she is arguing as an advocate for the homeless and Griff's argument stance requires we not talk about them. You cannot have a debate about Skirtz's work and not talk about the homeless.

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  10. I wanted to reread the article, but it seems to be gone from the Enquirer site. Can anyone else find it?

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    1. not sure why that link was killed, but I found it by searching the site for her name.

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    2. http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20120730/NEWS/307290065/Social-worker-Poor-pushed-from-OTR

      try this one

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Don't be an idiot or your post will be deleted.