Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Trib Fires Back: Who You Callin’ Yellow?

Even Sophie Masloff Enters the Fray

The Tribune-Review launched a counter-attack against the mayor this morning, obviously in response to Ravenstahl’s charges of “Yellow Journalism” tactics by the newspaper. Today’s front-page salvo chronicles the mayor’s propensity to duck, if not outright lie, when asked tough questions about his many blunderous “misseps.”

This matter-of-fact recap of Ravenstahl’s numerous stupid and/or outrageous escapades was long overdue and much needed. Even so, seeing it laid out in the mainstream press was enough to make even the most jaundiced wince. How could Pittsburgh be so unlucky as to have this kid heaped upon us at a time some would say we can least afford it?

The Trib didn’t just take one punch and let it go. No, an additional article by Richard Gazarik reports on advice given to Luke by area leaders. And then there is the always-sage commentary by Eric Heyl who thinks Luke is a golf addict on the verge of needing an intervention.

If the Trib is just a Yellow Journalist Republican rag, imagine what threats and torture must have been used to extort these comments from “everybody’s grandma” Sophie Masloff and others in the area:

Mayor Sophie Masloff, Pittsburgh Mayor 1988-1994: “ I was the mayor for 24 hours a day – that came ahead of everything else. When I had appointments I couldn’t keep because I went somewhere, I always said where I was, and members of the media checked up on me. That was fine.”

Morton Coleman, aide to former Mayor Joseph Barr and former director of Pitt’s Institute of Politics: “Clearly, Luke’s got to be forthcoming. This is a job that demands transparency, and when he doesn’t do that, it just creates all kinds of problems for him and for everyone else.”

Khari Mosley, PA League of Young Voters board member: “There is a growing contingent of people who are skeptical of the mayor’s leadership.”

David Donahoe, aide to late Mayor Richard Caliguiri: “The [only time Caliguiri hid anything from reporters] was when a reporter learned of his illness before he was ready to tell anyone. I can’t say he got mad, he just realized he had to be forthcoming about it from that point on.”

Kinder, gentler words offering constructive criticism but still acknowledging there is a problem:

Ted Harhai, Monessen Mayor 1998-2002: “Cool it. [snip] He needs to lower his profile and concentrate on the things that need concentrated on.”

Jim Gebicki, Latrobe Mayor 1993-2000: “I don’t think he knew any better. He needs to listen more, talk less. [snip] It’s easy to make a fool of yourself or your community or both.”

The Pist-Gazette begs to differ. Mayor Ravenstahl has worked long and hard and has gone way out of his way to make a fool of himself. Thank God for Yellow Journalist Republican rags like the Tribune-Review who, as it turns out, is nobody’s fool.

1 comment:

EdHeath said...

What continues to bother me are the statements the Mayor made some time ago, presented in a March 21 PG article as a paraphrase ( “Similarly, when someone offers the mayor tickets to a sporting event, he recalls the city's limits on such gratuities -- but does not keep a tally to ensure that he's complying with them.” The same article also contains these two paragraphs:
“The mayor has taken a minimalist approach to reporting financial information required annually under the charter. Where the city's Disclosure of Interest form asks for "all your creditors and debts ... in excess of $1,000" he has consistently indicated "none." He and his wife, Erin, have an $87,000 mortgage and a $10,600 line of credit.
The past two mayors and most council members have listed mortgage lenders or amounts. Mr. Ravenstahl presented disclosure instructions that exclude mortgages and home equity loans and said he viewed that as binding on city forms.”
Now, I don’t know anything about who the Mayor’s handlers are, if any, or who might be or have been his mentor. But that article was published months before the Mario/UPMC blow up. This is the Mayor Tony Norman was looking at when he compared him to Dick Cheney. Maybe it was because of the TV coverage, but this is a 27 year old man accepting, if not soliciting favors, apparently without regard for city rules, and also refusing to disclose information concerning those favors.
Now, maybe the Mayor’s presence at the June 28 council hearing would have accomplished little, but unless he talked UPMC into increasing their contribution to the city while out golfing, then his presence on the golf course also accomplished little, despite his claims of this being a business meeting (
“"I have discussions with all major stakeholders and business owners and businesses in the city of Pittsburgh, and UPMC is no different in that regard," Mr. Ravenstahl said. "It just so happens that our discussions took place on a golf course, rather than my office."”
These are the words of our Mayor.