Thursday, January 13, 2005

Another Public Service of Half-Bakered

With apologies to Cameron Harper. Feel free to use and abuse this graphic as you wish:

More information about the dust-up, via Peg, here, along with a comment of mine detailing a previous Harper-Herenton jab. Hilarious comments can be read under this post, also at Peg's blog, along with another eye-witness' take. And, as a bonus, an anonymous commenter gets angry at another commenter for anonymity! You can't make this stuff up.

My take? Cameron Harper didn't cross any lines unprovoked. Herenton's disdain for and evasion of the press is legend and has been extensively documented. Herenton's even admitted on tape that he'll lie to the press if it suits him. If the Mayor wants respectful treatment, he should behave respectfully. He's declined so far, so I don't think unusual measures like Harper's are necessarily bad form. Had some of the other reporters on the scene been thinking fast, they might have thrown in a few more questions to the rattled Mayor. No telling what Herenton might have said by accident.

On the other hand, I believe there's a pundit inside of Cameron just dying to get out. Watch regularly and you'll see little comments, opinions and asides pop out of him, especially at the end of segments. Given that the current news-anchor format has a pretense of neutrality and objectivity, that's likely not wise. If he's serious, he should go ahead and clearly stake out positions, so folks know what he believes, like any good pundit or critic. If he's just doing that as an "I'm a regular guy like you viewers" line, pandering to presumed audience biases, then that's doubly unwise, as folks won't buy it. Either way, Dee Griffin needs to know, so she can adapt her own presentation to whatever he's trying to do. As it is, she looks either uncomfortable or like she's deliberately ignoring what he says, which just heightens whatever Cameron has said.

And, for the record, while I support consolidation on a theoretical basis (fewer layers of government, smaller relative size, duplication of services, etc.) I recognise that, barring chicanery, it's not going to happen for another decade or two at least. Race trumps all. Herenton should get serious and present a plan (which after a decade he has yet to do) or just shut the hell up. My guess is that he'll do what he's done since his first election: drop the topic after a while. Old dogs don't learn new tricks....

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