Sunday, July 28, 2002


Pity poor Dave Kushma, forced week after week to parade his mediocrity for all to see, like the kid in school whose parents made him wear goofy clothes day after day.

In this week's shame, he demonstrates his ability to sum up what his paper (mis)reports by repeating the usual CA cant about Mayoral candidate George Flinn and drawing the usual false conclusions, as with this:
It's been amusing, for example, to watch George Flinn,
the Republican nominee for county mayor, insist he's not a politician,
while he's waged a free-spending, mud-slinging campaign against his
opponent, Democrat A C Wharton. The Flinn campaign's nastiness
would earn applause from the meanest ward boss.

The populist pose struck by Flinn, a wealthy broadcast magnate and
radiologist, is equally entertaining. Even while one of his radio stations
holds a lucrative contract to broadcast Memphis Grizzlies games, the
candidate has dusted off last year's hot button: that public subsidy of
the new downtown arena is illegitimate because city and county
taxpayers weren't allowed to vote directly on it.

The arena contract was a dirty back room deal among local business
and political elites, Flinn scolds. Of course, Wharton had nothing to do
with it - and as he notes, the debate ought to be about what the next
mayor will do, not about what the last one did.

Surely, though, we can expect Mayor Flinn to subject each of his major
policy decisions to popular referendum, given his passionate advocacy
of back-to-the-people democracy. Right? Bet on the Grizzlies to win an
NBA championship first.

We can leave that one to speak for itself, I think.

He goes on to repeat the CA's plumping of Randy Nichols and Jim Henry, praising them basically for being on the right side, the CA side, of the income tax issue.

But then Kushma goes on to actually essay a real thought! Oh my. He wonders, in relation to all the Court Clerk elections, Why are we electing all these people?

He does point out that most Memphians have no clue who these folks are or what they do. But his solution is to make them all appointees, to "professionalise" them. A fair suggestion, but another alternative, one that doesn't seem to have occured to him, is for the CA to explain to its readers what these offices do and why it matters, and who the folks running them are and what they do with their positions. The CA could do all that, but it makes for long, boring, "wonky" pieces that put off their readers!

Can't have that now, can we?

Until next time,
Your Working Boy

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