Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Political Eye" Narrows In

Today’s online edition of The St. Louis American’s “Political Eye” is a detailed investigative piece as it pertains to my recent departure from the Post. Readers of this blog can and should visit the full story which contains interesting details, including the following excerpt:

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
returned.

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.”

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.”

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Brown...

I'm so sorry I won't be privy to your thoughts as I drink my morning coffee on your column days.

It seems Leonard Pitts is the only African American journalist now appearing in the Post who raises hell about injustice toward minorities. Your take on local issues will be sorely missed by this reader. Your voice has always given this older, white woman insight and perspective borne of experience, not just observation and conjecture.

I want newspapers to survive in this country, but the Post-Dispatch of today and my beloved Post from years past barely resemble each other. After this latest stunt, I'm seriously considering letting my subscription lapse.

We met a few months ago. I was one of the readers at the affair concerning banned books at the Legacy Cafe. I hope you will find a new outlet for your opinions and I will continue to check in on this blog for updates about you.

All the best to you,
Susanne Fogle

P.S. I don't know my "url"---so I had to be anonymous. Definitely not my style. :-)

Anonymous said...

this is hilarious. Slay is the anti-christ, blah, blah, blah...
you actually had a form to spew your "it's the white man keeping us down" crap. Now you have no forum, other than this blog which will soon be read by no one.
Perhaps you and the former police chief can share an apartment together.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Celina said...

Oh Mr. Brown, I am so sad about this. I enjoy your columns so much, and I was always annoyed when you went on vacation. I was truly shocked to see that small statement saying you were gone from the paper. I am happy you have a blog, since this means I still get to read you. Please keep writing, you always make me think and smile.

Michael Kime said...

I love the keyboard courage of the anonymous posters. I guaranty you that none of them are big enough to speak like that to someone's face. The are just a bunch of cowards hiding behind their anonymous posts. Have the courage to stand behind your statements if you want anyone to take you seriously.

bbgcmac said...

Sly,

Man I found out about this right before the American ran their article. Actually I kept looking for your pieces and then when they took the picture down I figured it out.

I wrote another columnist and he told me just enough that he was comfortable enough discussing on email.

Anyway... Someone hipped me to yoru blog so I will keep up with you.

I ain't surprised but I will continue to love, support and appreciate your work.

I also posted as such.

http://bbgcmac.wordpress.com/2009/04/17/bbg-supports-sylvester-brown-jr/

Anonymous said...

You wrote your column with the air of a chip on your shoulder.