The Plain Dealer finally took an official but less than persuasive step toward explaining why it pulled a video of the gubernatorial candidates' group meeting with the editorial board of the Plain Dealer and the Northeast Ohio Media Group.(NEOMG)
In a long and painful la nostra culpa today, Ted Diadiun, NEOMG's reader representative, courageously led the reader along a bumpy path to the cut-and run decision that lay squarely in the hands of Chris Quinn, NEOMG's vice president of content. But soon after the video's brief appearance on cleveland.com, Quinn turned to damage control as the shameful inexplicable maneuver went virile on social media as well as that of Columbia Journalism Review.
That produced some panic, as though someone had been caught with his hand in the news jar. Panic? Quinn even harshly threatened to sue Plunderbund from posting some clips from the original video. (A Cleveland TV station even flashed the quips, which is where I saw our casually attired govcrnor turning his head away from Ed FitzGerald and Green candidate Anita Rios with a satanic laugh.
We later learned that he never bothered to answer the board's questions nor fully acknowledge the other two candidates. That, my friends, was the full, nasty Kasich that we have come to know as a guy entirely without social skills. Even a football coach whose team has been thrashed by the other guys will push onto the field to meet the victorious coach.
According to Diadiun, Quinn, now the veep of discontent, had realized that he hadn't informed the candidates that the session would be released for public consumption.
"When the governor's staff saw the video on cleveland.com., they were chagrined, and contacted NEOMG," Diadiun wrote. Quinn's explanation: He had "gotten busy as the candidates and board members arrived in staggered groups, and he never followed through."
Diadiun said Quinn's reasons for pulling the video were a matter of fairness and defensible. But he did write that Quinn's delay in explaining it were "indefensible."
The reaction to the messy wake was guaranteed. Diadiun noted that the mystery led people - including me - to believe ''something more sinister was afoot than the obvious, people began advancing crazy ideas, such as that Kasich had ordered the video to be deleted, or that it was taken down because it made the endorsed candidate look bad."
Quinn said nobody had asked him to remove the video. Oh?
I am among those who believe that Kasich played a role in the disappearing act. As one who organized and moderated Akron Press Club debates for several years, I can tell you that the panelists always wanted to know all of the rules, which were either sent to them or explained at the site. That's how you do these things. There were never to be any surprises.
I simply can't - and won't - believe that Kasich, who spent much of his campaign dodging reporters and refusing debates, didn't know all of the rules well ahead of arriving at the PD and demanded that the PD cool it, or words to that effect. The rest of the details have the appearance of Reddi Wip. .