Submitted by Roldo on Tue, 06/30/2009 - 13:02.

Does Jimmy Dimora deserve the privilege of being considered innocent until proven guilty? I don’t think the Plain Dealer believes so.


I can’t argue with there being news coverage of the county corruption issues. However, I think the Plain Dealer has been using the mess for a circulation boost.


Big black headlines almost daily. Lots of space that give the impression of a crusade. Large photographs of public officials.


It all has the quality of a campaign. However, editors don’t run for office.


They are running these days, however, for their lives. The temptation to play a juicy story big to attract and keep readers and subscribers has to be enticing.


Newspapers are troubled by declining interest and declining revenues. Anything that can change that formula presents opportunities.


Fat Jimmy Dimora makes quite a target. And the PD has been using him as a piñata on the front page almost daily.


Yesterday Dimora struck back. What he had to say doesn’t absolve him of anything yet. However, it did strike a feeling in me of, hey, maybe this guy isn’t as guilty as he’s been painted.


As he said himself, “I’m not an angel, but I’m not a crook.”


Well, it may take a court to prove the latter.


Until that time, the guy is innocent under our laws.


Someone said that Dimora was being Sam “Shepparded” by the PD. That refers to the way Sam Sheppard’s guilt in the murder of his wife was railroaded by the Cleveland news media, especially the defunct Cleveland Press. The truth in the Sheppard case, whatever it was, got mangled.


I don’t think what the PD has done is the same. However, the headlines have the same smell.


It’s not a good direction for a newspaper. It’s not good for a newspaper in the long run. It can damage credibility.


I watched the video the PD put on its site of the press conference. It ran 2:59 minutes. The press conference, according to someone who timed it, ran about 33 minutes. I went to Ch. 8, WJW, to view its video. It was 12:11 seconds. It gave a better feel for what Dimora had to say.


I got a more comprehensive view of Dimora’s press conference from the television station than I did from the newspaper.


I asked the PD about its abbreviated video.

Managing editor Debra Simmons responded to the e-mail I sent Editor Susan Goldberg, who is out of town, saying “We quickly posted a short excerpt of the press conference last night. There’s more to come. We will put the full press conference on line this afternoon.”


As of 1:25, Tuesday, as this is being written, the 2:59 minute version is still up. There are more than 100 responses, most seem clearly against Dimora and with the typical mocking tone: “Boss Feed,” “Needs a psychiatrist,” “It’s a blimp.”


(In checking back at 1:45 the original video was gone and there was no replacement in its place of a longer version at that time.)


Since Dimora has been dominating the front page of the PD with stories pointing to his dishonesty, I thought it would have been fair for the PD to give him his full shot. The paper did play the press conference on the front page. And it did have – likely for the first time – a respectful photo of the man. It’s easy to ridicule with huge photos, especially of an admittedly overweight man.


You can convict people more easily on the front page than you can in a courtroom.


I did get a response from Goldberg on another question I asked. I asked her in an e-mail about Dimora’s criticism of her and Brent Larkin’s lunch with Republican boss Bob Bennett and whether she had had similar sit-downs with Democratic leaders.


Here’s her response:  “The criticism of me having lunch with a Republican official is beyond ridiculous. I have had lunches, breakfasts and coffees (and multiple foodless meetings) with dozens and dozens of people from across the political spectrum. I consider it part of my job. Without looking at my calendar or getting into specifics, I would guess I’ve had more meetings with Democrats than Republicans, if only because there are more elected Democratic officials than Republicans around here.”


Dimora wants us to believe that there was a conspiracy hatched out of the President George Bush administration via Karl Rove to get Democratic Party leaders before the 2008 election.


That’s something I don’t have too much trouble considering.








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Thanks for writing this Roldo

I just watched the short video on the PD - pehaps the rest is tied up in copyright litigation.

I believe anything Jimmy may have to say about the Republicans being evil, and that they are part of trying to set up and take down any Democrats possible - that is politics.

The PD has seemed deep in the Republican playbook - we've been saying that on REALNEO for as long as there has been REALNEO.

.. here was the link to embed from is this not violating copyrights (has ad for the PD... Sorry JeffB)?!?!

Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora wants federal investigation

Disrupt IT

PD's embeded videos do not

PD's embeded videos do not work on Realneo. 

Your rights in NEO

  Here's the link to the article and my comment...

Posted by bbc2 on 06/30/09 at 11:12AM

Dimora is not going to get my sympathy, but he is not far off in his criticism of the Republican Party and the Plain Dealer. The Plain Dealer condoned Dimora/Russo's style of politics with endorsements spanning from 1992 to as recently as 2006. Dimora and the Plain Dealer can't have it both ways. Expect the "republican" agenda pushed by Rokakis to get the same round of endorsements by the PD this fall, if it is still around. Efficiency, accountability and delivery of services should be the benchmarks for our news brokers and our political brokers...NEO's media and political representation has failed miserably at both [all].

Checking, the

Checking, the Plain Dealer has two videos of the Dimora press conference that covers, I believe,  the entire press conference, as its Managing Editor Debra Simmons, quoted above, said would appear.

but are they mutually exclusive?

 isn't it possible Dimora, etal ARE fricking crooks AND the peedee and gop are desperate in their attempts to bring them down?

one does not necessarily preclude the other.

i mean our county government has been blatantly self-serving. remember how arrogant they were a few short months ago? and then there's the juvi court fiasco which promises to keep giving into the future... $30mill for a block of toxin infested dirt in the city's poorest neighborhood? and now another computer system that doesn't work by companies already caught with their thumb in the pudding (link above ^).

give me a frickin' break - the gop and peedee would be guilty of neglect were they NOT to be drumming this story.... and Greg White would tazer a jaywalkin' grandma-

politics had everything but nothing to do with it.... 



Roldo your points are well

Roldo your points are well taken.

I watched the video of Jimmy's "news conference" (33 minutes) and it wasn't as "rambling" as it has been painted.   Not an intellectual pragmatic argument - but heck it was a news conference NOT closing arguments after two weeks of trial. 

I appreciate your point about the PD's seeming campaign.  

Wait and see what federal charges are forthcoming.   Thus far, speculation aside, fact is Dimora has not been named.


Rokakis is no saint, his

Rokakis is no saint, his friends get the first rights to buy tax liens and now they will get the first right to the land bank.

Goldberg is a card holding republican, the whole shutting down of Wide Open revealed where her loyalty resides.





The Set-up

  Thanks Oengus--knew we were friends.  This is one set-up meant to create a new one.  We're all chumps in this game.  How long do we allow a newspaper and the shadow business/card holders destroy our region?  Don't forget all the demolitions happening on the public dime.  The Reimagining Cleveland proposal is a farce, and "helping the poor?" Give me a break. 

Some of the property tax

Some of the property tax liens seem to have been sold to a company in New Jersey company.  

At least that happened in some instances i researched a few years back.  Curious to say the least.  But then a few years into the liens that company sues for settlement.

On balance however it is obvious that those unpaid taxes were sold at a discounted rate - otherwise no one would buy them - as there would be no profit.

So was it responsible to sell them and get money into the coffers OR was irresponsible to sell off potential county revenue?