Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Anybody know what really happened to PD video?

If further proof of the media's loss of credibility  with disjointed editorial endorsements during this  election season was needed, the Plain Dealer's shameful stunt in removing a video from its online page will serve nicely. Since the video of Gov. Kasich's abysmal  true-to-life performance with two challengers seated before the NEOMG/Plain Dealer editors was inexplicably pulled,  the story has traveled widely.  Columbia Journalism Review associate editor  Greg Marx filled the blank darkly by describing it as "weird".

Still worse has a been the stonewalling of the decision as inquiries, including mine , were flagged to others on editors' row, where it's possible that the janitors were told to close  all of the blinds.   Calls and  emails  from a number of news outlets were  ignored, or  shoved up the ladder to Chris Quinn, vice president of content.  Nick Castele of WCPN reported that Quinn "politely declined" to explain the story behind the story.

My hunch is that the decision was made to protect Kasich, who made such a mess of himself  with his casual campaign slouch, ignoring Ed FitzGerald and Anita Ruiz and shunting  editors' questions. It was Quinn, after all, who threatened a lawsuit against Plunderbund, which posted some clips before the video vanished.  (Next day, the PD endorsed Kasich.)

But here again was Kasich's M.O. throughout the campaign, and with considerable help from FitzGerald's missteps,  friendly newspapers and millions in campaign money, we will have to live with him for a while longer.

 When he arrived in office four years ago he dismissed the press - said he never read newspapers and seemed to be the perfect model for former iconic  film critic, Pauline Kael,   who once twitted  the  New Yorker's debonair critics for being "so superior to the subject that they never dealt with it".

Hardly debonair,  Kasich,  rough edges and all, still seems to fit that description quite well.

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