Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Is The "Fix" In for Ravenstahl?

As if we needed more proof that the establishment is lining up behind Luke Ravenstahl's election in 2007, the Post-Gazette finally got around to taking Master Ravenstahl to the woodshed over the entire Regan-McNeilly affair. It's nearly two weeks since Dennis Regan resigned. It's been nearly a week since Catherine McNeilly was punished. The Burghosphere and some radio outlets have been buzzing about it during this entire period. And yet, the Post-Gazette found far better things to editorialize about until now -- including such front-burner local issues as installing anti-drunk driving technology in every new car and the feasibility of constructing a permanent lunar base. While they have been so busy thinking about the future of the automobile and gazing at the moon, they have stayed strangely silent about the most significant issue facing the city at the moment.

So why today, of all days? Probably because they wanted to wait until they could run a separate puff piece on the front page that would minimize any ill effects that their editorial might have on Master Ravenstahl's election campaign. So, while the Post-Gazette castigates the Mayor's "lame ethics", and notes that he has caused "a bad smell that [he] will have to answer for as he campaigns for election", they bury those comments on page B-6 in the back of local section.

On the front page, meanwhile, they surround Master Ravenstahl's name with a host of sweet-smelling buzz words, including "affordable", "fun", "smart", and (my personal favorite) "merrymaking". The headline proclaims that these are the things that our Mayor "envisions" will come to pass here in Pittsburgh under his leadership, while the article itself allows Master Ravenstahl to claim that "... he has gone beyond being a steward for the late Bob O'Connor, and offers a distinct vision for the city's future."

Pardon me if I am underwhelmed the Post-Gazette's bold editorializing here.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you. You are absolutely right. Why now? We have been subjected to a near daily puff piece by Rich Lord. No time to publish a little substance on the McNeilly matter. It is certainly troubling to have our media (and Ravenstahl) expend more time
on whichever actress happens to be in town than the serious problems at City hall.

Anonymous said...

Leave young Master Luke alone! He's a Jedi!

Scott said...

Anonymous-1: Why should a newspaper care about 1st amendment retaliation? I mean, what does free speech have to do with selling newspapers? And so what if a distressed municipality just spent $6.4 million (where did THAT $ come from???) to buy back bad debt (think the PG is digging deep to find the developer behind this one who can afford to pay the back-taxes on the property but was probably promised a handsome discount by the PG's friends on the 5th floor?)

Anonymous-2: I just dropped my little brother's collection of Star Wars figurines off at Goodwill - hurry off, I'll time you...

Mark said...

Seriously? What branch of the Goodwill?