Sunday, September 30, 2012

Manufactured News Is Not Real News: MidPoint Falsely Smeared

When a complaint by one person is just not good enough for a news story, don't manufacture a story that is void of a point or many relevant facts.

Here are the problems with the article from the Enquirer:

  1. The issue is not about Midpoint: I'm not sure who is out to rain on the Midpoint Music Festival, but someone obviously doesn't like it being in Washington Park.  I'd guess the pro-bum crowd (aka 'homeless activists') are helping paint something that benefits OTR and CityBeat in as negative light as possible.  I doubt that former CityBeat News Editor, Greg Flannery,  would be pleased to see CityBeat's new owner benefiting from an event centered on Washington Park.
  2. One man's complaint against the Park gets an article? What makes Tim Mara's complaint more news worthy than the complaints of others on a laundry list of issues: police conduct, Indian Hill Voter Registration, choice prosecutions by the County Prosecutor, etc?
  3. The article alters Tim Mara's complaint: In the minutes of the Cincinnati Bar Association Local Government Committee meeting in early September, Mara is on record raising a complaint about the musical events that take place on Fridays in Washington Park.  He made the complaint there, because the guest speaker was from the Cincinnati Park Board.  The article claims Thursdays and Fridays.  The Jazz night on Thursdays was held in the bandstand, and didn't have the capacity to have the crowds and it ended at 9PM.  The Friday Flow events were at the main stage and all of the reports I heard indicated it drew a larger crowd, which was scheduled to end at 10PM.  The sound at the Bandstand has never been loud enough in my experience to be a problem from the area Mara lives on Pleasant.  Friday nights is the problem he sees, were the music is run through a bigger system and closer to his home. The issue is, and I hate to say it, who is primary audience for Friday Flow?  Also, why didn't Mara bring up the urination at the Bar Committee meeting?  He wrote the minutes referenced above, so he certainly would have noted it if he did.
  4. Where are the details on the complaints filed? What specific events, nights, and number of incidents were cited by Tim Mara that warrented this big of a deal?
  5. What about white guys pissing all over Downtown after Bengals' games?  If you haven't seen drunk white suburban/exurban men urinating in the alleyways and around buildings Downtown (especially South of 4th Street), then you've not been there on Sunday evenings in the Fall.  Why did the article not address this?  It wouldn't have anything to do with the pro-white guys suburban bias of the Enquirer, would it? At the same time as the article can ignore white guys pissing and ignore that the issue for Mara is that allegedly some black people pissing near his home, the article can allude that young mostly liberal Democratic music fans could piss all over Mara's front step.  Again, young people are bad, middle age white guys are ignored when they do wrong.
  6. Why is Josh Spring Quoted for this Article? Why is the reporter so lazy to have not gotten a quote from someone with the Midpoint Festival or maybe a member of the OTR community council?  Hell, why not ask some who went to one big events this year at the park (OTR concert, CSO, or Shakespeare in the Park) how long the lines for the bathrooms were.  Instead the Enquirer quotes someone (Spring) who wants the Park, 3CDC, the OTR Businesses, and the City itself to fail.  That's either bias or sensationalism.  It could be both, but I don't see them as sophisticated as that.
For the record, there were not long lines for the bathrooms at Washington Park during the festival.  All of the shows ended by about 10.  They were loud, I can't deny that, but so were the bands playing at 12th and Vine.  Mara needs to understand that he lives in a city, not a suburb.  If he has the misguided belief that he can turn the city into a suburb, then he may want to join hands with John Cranley and start a really big pouty party, because it isn't going to happen.

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