Monday, May 05, 2008

Media Notes

New Orleans City Business has an interesting piece on the white bread, or beige paint, tastes of uptown New Orleanians.

While I was on vacation last Summer, the USA Today gave a report on riverfront redevelopment that mentioned one of the apparent conflict of interest charges that could be levelled against Sean Cummings in his role as head of NOBC. When I got back from my trip, I pored over a week's worth of newspapers and the Picayune's website, the one article that I did find didn't mention it -- better late than never, I suppose. I'm not familiar with any of Jen DeGregorio's other reporting, but I'd recommend her article on Sean Cummings in yesterday's Picayune. However, the opinions expressed by some of the people that she interviews strike me as astonishingly naive. To think that anybody who owns property in the city will always do what's best for the city betrays an ignorance both of the city's history, and of the very concept of competing interests.

As I've expressed before, my feelings about riverfront redevelopment are much more mixed than the above might indicate. I'll have more on this soon, but I'd be much less cynical if the project's informational presentations contained more information and fewerpromises:
An average of 5,800 jobs per year during construction
$13 million of state tax collections during each year of construction
$8 million of local tax collections during each year of construction
24,000 permanent jobs
$34.8 annual million of state tax collections upon completion
$28.5 annual million of state tax collections upon completion
An internal rate of return of 18% over 30 years.

All that and streetcars, who could ask for more?

Jeffrey is probably correct about what we can expect from the sports coverage if Tom Benson's purchase of WVUE is approved. I'll just remind everybody that, during the last mayoral election, WVUE really sucked. On May 6, 2006, WVUE made a truly bizarre editorial decision, that, to my knowledge, I was the only person to comment on. May 5 was the day that Paul Morton endorsed Mitch Landrieu, I can't find a link, but I'll print the LexisNexis feed for that date:
PROMINENT LOCAL PASTOR, BISHOP PAUL MORTON, IS ACCUSING DE LA SALLE HIGH SCHOOL OF DISCRIMINATION. MORTON IS ANGRY THAT HIS DAUGHTER AND OTHER AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDENTS CANNOT WEAR 'BRAIDS' TO SCHOOL. BUT, AS SABRINA WILSON REPORTS... THE SCHOOL DENIES ANY RACISM OR DISCRIMINATION IN ITS POLICIES. DE LA SALLE IS BEING BLASTED. "i cannot site idly by and watch discrimination be exemplified in this school and which such an arrogant attitude." BISHOP PAUL MORTON SAYS THE SCHOOL'S RULES ARE RACIST. "i am speaking on behalf of innocent black kids who have been denied their right and who will be denied their rights if they go to this school." MORTON'S ANGER IS OVER HAIRSTYLES. "you can wear bangs like white girls, you can wear a pony tails like white girls, but you cannot wear your hair like a black girl." MORTON'S DAUGHTER CHRISTIE ATTENDS DE LA SALLE. HE SAYS SHE WAS SO UPSET ABOUT NOT BEING ABLE TO WEAR BRAIDS A YEAR AGO SHE WANTED TO TRANSFER. "she's a fighter, she believes in the cause so it was embarrassing on my part cause daddy you stand up for so many issues, how can you let this get away." NOW THAT SHE'S ABOUT TO GRADUATE MORTON IS SOUNDING OFF. HE SAYS HE WAS REBUFFED WHEN HE QUESTIONED THE RULES. "the answer was shocking to me because the principal responded because this is not a black school, it is a private school." THE SCHOOL DENIES ANY DISCRIMINATION. "our school since its founding as stood for one of being inclusive, we embrace all different cultures and i think we're known in the community for that." PRESIDENT TEDESCO SAYS THE RULES ARE IN BLK AND WHITE. "we have a student parent handbook that has been approved by our board we're charged with enforcing that." IT SAYS 'EXTREME' HAIRSTYLES LIKE BRAIDS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE. THE PRINCIPAL SAYS THE MORTONS SIGNED ON TO THE RULES. "and actually sign that and yes they did." " bishop morton is even threatening to protest against de la salle if the hair style controversy isn't resolved to his liking." "we will form protest marches until de la salle changes." BUT, DE LA SALLE SAYS THE RULES ARE THE RULES.SIG, MORTON SAYS IF 'BRAIDS' AREN'T ALLOWED BY THE START OF THE FALL SESSION... THERE WILL BE PROTESTS.

That story, complete with film footage, was followed by a passing mention that Bishop Paul Morton had endorsed Mitch Landrieu. Since I couldn't find any mention of the De La Salle story anywhere, I don't even know if that press conference occurred on that day. I can't say that it was the most blatant media manipulation that I've ever seen during an election, but it was the most blatant that I've ever seen go unnoticed. The news coverage can't possibly get any more biased under Benson's ownership.

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