We Still Need the Newspaper

Submitted by Roldo on Thu, 04/03/2008 - 15:06.


The Plain Dealer proved again this week why we need newspapers.
Irritating sometimes to live with them; but difficult to live without them.

Talk all you want about weekly alternatives, bloggers and citizen activists – and we need them badly as prods and sometimes even more – but newspapers have the heft, expertise, and man/womanpower to go in depth on issues.

We are losing some of that with too much dumbing down in our newspapers. And, television news has become more and more than irrelevant. The best WVIZ seems able to offer us is 20 minutes of near uselessness on Friday nights with Dick Feagler. Ideastream has fancy facilities but little to offer the community in news. Why doesn’t public TV here have daily local news programming– and I mean NEWS, not what’s offered by our four local TV stations as “news?”

The PD’s Ameritrust construction contract story by Sandra Livingston and Joel Rutchick this week provides a community service that individuals, no matter their expertise, don’t have the time and often the expertise to put together. It’s a task newspapers alone seem able to do and should pursue more.

The same is true of the National City Bank stories with Teresa Dixon Murray’s expertise and long-term attention.
I’d appreciate more about the political links in the Ameritrust deal, regarding the Perkins family, Choice Construction and now the McTech Corp.  They appear clearly to be fronts of minority contractors simply providing cover for the R. P. Carbone Co., as the majority, and white owned firm. This is a damaging cabal to the aim of employing minority individuals, long kept out of the building trades.

Do these connections go to one or more of the Commissioners? Is former Mayor Michael White still pulling strings here and at City Hall in this regard? We need more of the connections spelled out.

Hopefully, the PD also will get to the Precision Environmental Co.and its high, but winning bid on asbestos clearing at the E. 9th & Euclid where the Commissioners originally planned (badly) its centralized administration building.

Part of the DiGeronimo & Independence Excavation Company, the company bid $915,000 more than a St. Louis firm but won the contract.

How did this happen? Is the contract now being fed more County money, since Tim Hagan and Jimmy Dimora are willingly offering to spend more on the former Dick Jacobs properties?  Did Hagan/Dimora bail out Jacobs from property the former Indians owner left abandoned for years?

Is PD editorial director Brent Larkin still performing editorial blocking for Hagan, his pal? Why do we never see a critical editorial about this debacle that will cost County taxpayers millions and millions of dollars?
Guess Hagan has the same protection insurance policy with Larkin as he had on the Gateway project.

Hagan’s arrogance toward the public cries out for censure and rebuke.
“Would I be willing to put $8 million into that corner to encourage development? Absolutely,” Hagan told the PD. Does he really mean US, as in County taxpayers? Oh, I think WE are going to put a lot more than another $8 million into that corner. Any development there will float on a sea of subsidies from all levels of government.

Another question the PD should examine is one that will test Peter Lawson Jones, who has acted more responsibly than his two partners.

That is the question implied – and often will be pressed – by Republican Bay Village Mayor Deborah Southerland. She’s running against Lawson Jones – now in the gun sights his colleagues set up. Southerland says, “I maintain they shouldn’t have purchased the property in the first place. They really need to get out of from under it.”




When a local paper stops, dumbs down, avoids, and ignores investigative reporting - it's purpose is gone.

I agree that the Dirty Dealer's report on the Breuer contracts is a good development, but it is two to three years too late - and not representative of the paper's legacy policy of blind support for particular money interests in NEO. 

And, everything the reporters complain about in the Breuer contracting is even more exaggerated in the secret Kennedy MedCon deal that the Commissioners have schemed up but which the Dirty Dealer editorials have approved. 

The Dirty Dealer doesn't even see their own hypocrisy.

The Dirty Dealer writes that the regional sewer board meetings should follow the open meeting law, that the Tri C HVAC contracts should follow the open meeting law, the Breuer Ameritrust contracts should follow the open meeting law,   but the MEDCON?


The 900,000,000.00 million dollar MEDCON? 

That MEDCON DEAL can be arranged in secret, without any public bidding process.   And the Dirty Dealer editors endorse the spectacular results of  Fred The Fixer. 


Do we need that kind of newspaper in NEO?



 The annual diminution in the Dirty Dealer's readership speaks volumes. 


A Shrinking City like Cleveland needs a Shrinking Newspaper like the Dirty Dealer.   Now there's a match made in heaven!

Invasion of the Word Snatchers

  Scott Lax beautifully captures my frustration with the state of newspapers and reporting.  Click on the pdf for Word Snatchers HERE.