Post-Dispatch editor Arnie Robbins called the American after being emailed and asked to comment on this claim. “His dismissal was about one thing only: a violation of our ethics policy,” Robbins said of Brown. “The mayor had nothing to do with this. Nothing.”
Slay’s spokesman Ed Rhode did not respond to a request for comment. A message left on Slay’s chief of staff Jeff Rainford’s cell phone was not
The EYE has detailed countless instances when the Post – the city’s only daily – rushed to the defense of the mayor or his political allies. The reader’s note by Robbins and Maples about Brown’s dismissal claims, “Our integrity and our credibility with readers is (sic) of utmost importance to us,” but the people who turned out in support of Sylvester would argue that the paper’s coverage of city politics long ago abandoned “integrity” and in so doing damaged the paper’s “credibility.”
In a letter that will run in full next week, a reader of the American and the Post named Grady Brown expressed a commonly held view in the local black community. “Mr. Brown would not be silent to the corruption coming out of the Slay administration,” Grady Brown wrote of Sylvester. “And why should he stand silent and allow this inadequate mayor continue to run this city into the ground?”
In his recently concluded campaign for reelection, surrounded by scandals that burgeoned on his watch and announced development deals that fell through, Slay enjoyed consistent promotion and endorsement from every space in the Post except, on occasion, Sylvester’s column.
Interestingly, Brown’s editors claim he hurt the paper’s “integrity” and “credibility” by accepting a reimbursement check for travel expenses from a non-governmental body he has never written about in the paper. Yet the Post, which covers Slay in every edition, stands to benefit from Slay’s announced lobbying efforts on its behalf in Jefferson City. The mayor’s campaign website lists support for daily newspapers among his legislative priorities for this session. We are not aware of the Post declining assistance from the mayor’s lobbyists to protect its “integrity” and “credibility.”
The Post’s maintenance of these journalistic goals also is called into doubt by a promotional mailer sent to West County ZIP codes last week. The mailer boasts, “We are Right on the Money (in more ways than one)” and takes pride in the paper’s “conservative, relevant view points.” More than half of the featured headlines from recent Post coverage trash Obama. Example: “The end of Obama's magical mystery tour” and “A study in amateurism.”