Friday, July 20, 2007

In Praise of Pittsburgh’s Mainstream Media (Except for Marty Griffin)

Thank you Rich Lord of the Post Gazette. Thank you Jeremy Boren of the Tribune-Review. Thank you Bob Mayo, Jon Delano, Tony Norman and countless others at the City Paper, KDKA, WPXI and WTAE. Radio talk show host Marty Griffin, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and of course Ravenstahl’s mother are a few who think local media have unfairly targeted our young mayor and are “out to get him.” But for the most part, Pittsburgh’s media are uncharacteristically unified on one point: We have an ethically challenged, arrogant frat-boy for a mayor and we’d better watch him closely because he could do some serious damage to a city already on the brink of insolvency.

It has taken decades of unchecked corruption, gross mismanagement, parasitic unions, corporate robber barons and one-party tyranny to bring Pittsburgh to the dangerous precipice where it stands today. True, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s contribution to this debacle is admittedly minuscule considering his short 10-month stint in office. And perhaps we would not be in the pickle we are today if the media had been half as vigilant with prior administrations as they are with this current one. Perhaps if we voters had engaged our brains prior to voting there wouldn’t have been a critical need for any media watchdogs to save us. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

One thing is clear, however….We no longer have time to debate the lessons of hindsight. We only have time to vigilantly scrutinize the every move of the man-boy who will unfortunately make or break us and who has shown himself to be deserving of such intense scrutiny. Ravenstahl’s actions and demeanor thus far have not been reassuring. He has stepped in one pile after another since inheriting the office from Bob O’Connor. Sadly, many of those piles were of his own making. Worse yet, Ravenstahl barely wipes the muck from one of his boots before he clomps headstrong with the other into yet another puddle of mud.

Was Rich Lord’s article about the cost of the mayor’s security detail “too much”? Is all of this just “piling on” as characterized by Marty Griffin? Absolutely not. Rich and Jeremy et al are stepping up to the plate, informing us about the who, what, when, where and why of this mayor. That is what journalists are supposed to do, by the way. Their job is to put the facts before us. Our job is to weigh those facts as we enter the ballot box this November. Hopefully we will weigh carefully and thoroughly and then do the right thing for Pittsburgh. We are out of time.

P.S. to Marty: We love you, Marty, and love how you watch out for the city. But on this one you are in the vast minorty, my man. The mayor has some serious "issues" recognized by the Left, Right, Conservatives, Liberals and Progressives alike. All media it seems but you.


Bram Reichbaum said...

As I think I've said elsewhere, I think Marty might be a bit more cagey that people give him credit for. Now that Luke has returned to his show, we'll see where he takes it.

As to Rich's story yesterday ... it did seem to be a bit confusing, I was almost glad I was under-the-weather and not up to blogging that day ... I am now thinking perhaps it was some sort of 3-bank shot.

Bram Reichbaum said...

Seriously, Char. On that last interview. Did you hear how he Columbo'd in to asking Luke "Who paid for it?" at the very, very end? The man has a role.

Meanwhile ... if he's in such a minority in "all media" ... where the heck is the Honz Man? WHERE ARE YOU, FRED HONSBERGER????

Char said...

Yes, Bram, you have a point. I know Marty has to stay friendly enough to Luke to keep coming back. It just irks me when I hear Marty comment later, when Luke isn't there, that he (Marty) thinks the whole golf thing is just a lot of "piling on".

As for Hons, you'd think he'd be the front man in the angry lynch mob "out to get" Luke. Instead, Fred is oddly quiet. Not too much one way or another. Don't know what to make of that.