Monday, May 18, 2009

May 18, 2009 Bill Swann's May 11 Tribune Ad

Former city council candidate Bill Swann's ad in the May 11 Tribune was bitter in tone while heaping a lot of criticism on Tribune election reporting and on the Trib for failure to investigate the candidates. Swann pretty much blamed the Tribune for his election loss.

In a multiple candidate race for a city council at-large seat, Gene Brooks was the winner, Swann was a close second, and incumbent Rick Trent was third.

Swann's ad points out that Brooks received 31% of the total votes cast and that only 14% of registered voters even bothered to cast a vote. Swann concludes that Mr. Brooks was elected "WITH LESS THAN 5% OF THE TOTAL REGISTERED VOTERS." Mr. Swann forgot to add that he (Swann) received even fewer votes than Brooks, so Mr. Swann also received the votes of "LESS THAN 5% OF THE TOTAL REGISTERED VOTERS.

Swann then refers to holding accountable "those elected by a minority of our citizens." Mr. Swann was probably taking a stab at Mr. Brooks, but this comment could also apply to the current Mayor Sami Barile. Barile, like Brooks, was elected in a multiple-candidate race in 2007, and Barile, like Mr. Brooks, received the votes of less than a majority of the actual voters and less than a majority of registered voters. [If Mr. Swann had received 1 more vote than Gene Brooks, Swann himself would have been one of "those elected by a minority of our citizens."]

Mr. Swann's ad also criticizes the local press for not fully investigating the candidates. Perhaps Mr. Swann hasn't noticed or perhaps Mr. Swann just hasn't been negatively affected by the press until now, but true investigative journalism does not exist in the offices of the Citizen Tribune. Mr. Swann is correct that there is no true in-depth investigative journalism at the Tribune.

What the Tribune lacks in investigative journalism and true news reporting, however, it makes up with lots of fluff and government press releases passed off as news. The Tribune has a monopoly on what information goes out to the public and a monopoly on political ads---like Mr. Swann's.

1 comment:

Katie said...

Ahhh, fluff like Stan's cat column? I would call writing about Foo Foo throwing up a hairball frivolous, yes. That's the Tribune: digging deep into a story(to get that hair out!).