Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Even if you read the Enquirer, you miss a lot

Monday was the fourth anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq. Today's story on the front page of the local section (and not on page 1) about a protest on Fountain Square gives first ink to supporters of the war. You don't see a protester quoted until the story jumps to page 5 of the Local section. The editorial board doesn't seem to know the war is going on. Editorials the past three days have covered safe school buses, the Roebling Suspension Bridge and more Marcus Feisel madness. The editorial on what will happen to the seven children in the Carroll household is especially poignant, because editors at the Enquirer are currently refusing to publish stories based on an investigation of the foster care system locally. For your enjoyment, here is what an editorial about the war looks like.

Today's Chiquita story is a fairly comprehensive review of what happened on Monday, but the Enquirer still hasn't looked hard at what Chiquita did, and why. From the story:
But Chiquita spokesman Mike Mitchell emphasized that no current or former Chiquita executives, including the unidentified ones listed in the charges, are being charged with a crime at this time. He would not comment on the possibility of future charges.

Representatives of Carl Lindner, chairman of Chiquita when the payments started, according to the charges, would not comment. But it does not appear that Lindner has been questioned in the investigation.
The Enquirer does not explain why it believes Lindner has not been questioned. It seems relevant to mention that Lindner is a major contributor to Republican causes.

The top five officers at Chiquita in 1998, after the payments to the terrorist organization began, were Carl Lindner (chairman), son Keith Lindner (vice chairman), Steven Warshaw (president and chief operating officer), Robert Kistinger (president of the Chiquita Banana Group), and Robert Olson (general counsel). In 2003, when Chiquita went into bankruptcy, the top officers were Cyrus F. Freidheim (chairman, president and chief executive officer), Kistinger, Olson, James B. Riley (chief financial officer), and David J. Ockleshaw (president of Chiquita Processed Foods). Frieidheim has already acknowledged his connection to the case. This was reported Saturday, but not acknowledged by the Enquirer until today's story. Kistinger is still an officer with Chiquita.

Can you ever justify paying money to terrorists to protect the lives of your employees? That's the central question here, and seems to be a perfect subject for an editorial. It's apparently too big for the minds occupying the Enquirer's editorial board.

Lastly, I've said in the past that if something happens over the weekend, the Enquirer often won't report the story until the Tuesday after. I waited until today's paper to see if the Enquirer would write something substantial about the federal court decision Friday that went against the Enquirer virtually ignored Friday's federal court decision that went against Cintas and its anti-union effort. The Enquirer ran a one-paragraph "Business Brief" about the decision, but hasn't written a word since. Cintas has been in trouble the past few years, most recently because a worker was killed at a plant in Tulsa. The Enquirer has barely touched that story. It seems relevant to mention that Cintas Chairman Richard Farmer is a major contributor to Republican causes.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good stuff on Chiquita. I'd also like to point out that the Enquirer has not even covered the (huge) story that Jennifer Brunner, Ohio's new SOS, has asked the entire Cuyahoga County Elections Board to resign in an effort to clean up their act. State GOP chair and Cuyahoga Elections Board member Bob Bennett has vowed to resist, even threatening to sue.

This story is getting play all over the wires, the NY Times, etc. The Enquirer didn't run a word, apparently, not even an AP story. How disgusting is that?

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

but in fairness, "Anniversary" coverage is badly over played in most papers. Editors love it b/c it's a planned news event so they can have the whole damn thing prepared ahead of time. But really... does the fact it's been precisely 4 years of war warrant a load of coverage? The passage of time isn't news in and of itself.

Having said that, did Enquirer editors really made a philosophical judgment that they were sick and tired of newspapers overhyping anniversaries and say, "not us?" Or was it just a poorly planned edition?

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt it was a philosophical thing about being anniversary coverage being tired as there have been several postings for photos on the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire as of late for THAT anniversary.

The decision was likely made because the war isn't popular or "fun"...

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Enquirer isn't giving space to the war because it's not a local war. If the war were in Mason, or Florence, it would be all over it! Complete with yadda-yadda-yadda from people sipping their latte at the Shoppes of Montgomery and Florence.

9:05 PM  

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