The campaign has been notable for Wishard's large-scale Get Out the Vote efforts (my Poor Wife got three mailers on the same day) and What Appears to This Observer to have been a rather sheepish bit of cheerleading from that same local "news" media which spent half of 2006 pretending that all those Teabaggers were simple spontaneously-disgruntled citizens. (It's just fucking blatant anymore; this is why you can't let people get away with shit, even if it seems as innocuous or trivial as teleprompter reading. The hairdos are all upset again about Rising Gas Prices, as their Personal Highway Panzers start costing more and more to fill-up. By contrast, their reports of in-state job losses, sandwiched between H1N1 vaccine updates and video of children getting H1N1 inoculations, have all the passion of a $5 street blowjob. Maybe we should tie the licensing of the public airwaves to the unemployment rate, or COLA, or, especially in Hoosierland, funding for public education. Ooops, there goes the weekend Weather Bunny! I'm afraid we'll be going back to Doppler 2000 technology! We're downsizing the Noon cooking segment! Then you'd see the makeup running.)
At least that's the way it's seem to me, as the people who run such things have come face-to-face with the first big example of what incontinent tax-cutting has wrought, or the first example, anyway, that has real-world repercussions tied to no one's political fortunes. The people who decide how this sort of thing will be reported have plenty of reasons to root for lower tax rates, but when the consequences of that are a punch to the solar plexus of their civic boosterism they suddenly start worrying about consequences.
• Speaking of the locals, State Representative Ed Delaney was severely beaten Saturday morning in crime-ridden Hamilton county, Indiana. Delaney, who is also an attorney, was meeting--in his neighborhood--with a man who'd made an appointment to discuss some land acquisition. Delaney had managed to signal some passing neighbors, who called police, who arrived to find the man pistol-whipping Delaney on the ground. He suffered facial fractures and five broken ribs, among other injuries. The assailant fled and was captured after being Tasered. Delaney is 66. His attacker, Augustus J. Mendenhall, who is also an attorney, is 38.
At some point word of a possible motive--that Delaney had been involved in the 1983 closing of an adult bookstore in a building Mendenhall's father owned--leaked out, and was immediately misreported. (Sorry, should have warned you to sit down first.)
Channel 6 said the dispute had involved a "porn shop" in Lafayette Square Mall. I'm not sure when "porn shop" entered their stylebook, but it's what piqued my interest, and it is always simply fucking remarkable how long it takes anyone in the "news" biz to get a simple story straight. (Note: my Poor Wife heard "at Lafayette Square"; either is incorrect, though certainly there's never been anything more pornographic inside the Mall than the Orange Julius). The property in question was a building at the edge of Mall property; six stories later I'm still unclear as to who actually owned the land. It was closed as part of then-Prosecutor Steven "Goldsmythe" Goldsmith's efforts to "clean up" Indianapolis regardless of--perhaps that's "especially considering"--what rights he had to trample to do so. Goldsmythe* seized the building as part of the proceedings, and Mendenhall pere was (reportedly) bankrupted when he was chased all the way to the US Supreme Court before getting it back. Delaney represented the Simons, owners of the Mall, who evidently wanted the place shut down so they could bilk citizens in a wholesome, family atmosphere.
At any rate, the locals got hold of Gunsel Mendenhall Sunday or Monday for a little jailhouse video discussion, which apparently involves their agreeing to put a microphone in front of the guy and allow him to say anything:
"I explained to him that I was a representative of a Russian company and I implied that it was a front for Russian mafia," said Mendenhall as he met reporters in shackles. "I explained to him that they wanted to launder money through real estate here in Indiana."
Thus the local FOX affiliate. For fuck's sake. There's a senior citizen hospitalized, and damn fortunate this bunghole didn't manage to kill him, and you allow the guy to claim he "implied" he was looking to launder money for the Russian mob? Shades of Hannah Giles, Intrepid Girl Reporter! (Better yet, shades of that nutcase Hamilton county financial scammer who tried to fake his own death with one of his private planes. He got plenty of free face time, too.) The man has every right to raise this before the Bar, at which time it will become News, and you can morph into reporters. In the meantime, I look forward to you offering the same opportunity to the next child molester who makes the "news".
• WaPo runs a "reality" program entitled "Who Wants To Be The Next Wapo Opinion Columnist?", which, first, sorta illustrates the contention that newspapers aren't dying, they're committing suicide: they obviously haven't learned anything from the descent into Tabloidism, and are now cribbing from Teevee, which is like Penguin Classics announcing plans to release the Collected Works of David Broder; they seem to imagine that WaPo opinin' isn't something anyone with a keyboard could do as well as that bunch they've got now; and they also seem to believe that public popularity has something to do with it. I mean they seem to believe that you'll believe it. (Two words. First word. Sounds like "Pez-Ra".)
Anyway, it's Week Two (I think; I haven't really paid attention to it), and contestant Lydia Khalil ("a specialist on the Middle East and international security at the Council on Foreign Relations." God knows it's time we heard from them) pens the results of her discussions with five (5) cabbies! In one column! Game over! But lady, really, don't leave it all on the practice field.
• And here's the distinction between sports reporting and news reporting: once in a while sports figures tell the truth. Sunday on Dave Despain's show on SPEED he's got two of the American F-1 announcers on, and they're talking about next season, this season having ended earlier that day. And next year there'll be no refueling in F-1. And Steve Matchett says, "In 1994 (?; not sure, because SPEED doesn't post the video of lowly European racing) they re-introduced re-fueling, because, they said, it will make racing safer and more competitive. Now they ban re-fueling, because, they say, it will make racing safer and more competitive."
Imagine if you heard that sort of honesty in health care or education debates, or the run-up to our next War Resolution, and from someone whose income depends on the people operating the scam, yet.
• Indianapolis' City-County council (motto: Remember, You Could Be Living In Hamilton County) votes down a proposed smoking ordinance which would have included all workplaces, and--are you listening, Target?--prohibited smoking within 50 feet of the entrance to any building, after Accidental Mayor Gomer F. Ballard, USMC, who was silent on the deal before the last minute, tells the Republican majority in a closed-door session he wants the thing to fail. Sunday Indianapolis Racist Beacon above the fold headline says, "Streak of Individualism, Lack of a Health Culture Block Smoking Ban". I am not making that up.
*It's the name the fittingly Number Two Man at Bush's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives and Permanent Three-Card Monte Outlet feloniously registered to vote under, right alongside the fake address he attested to, on the grounds that all the Bad Motorscooters he'd sent up the river were just itching to rub him out. Compare, fer chrissakes, Rudy Fucking Giuliani, who lived at Gracie Manor and kept his mistresses secret. While Goldsmythe was Mayor there was a police vehicle permanently stationed on his street, and they stopped you for driving on it. I know. I tried.