Sunday, March 26, 2017

Passing the Ball to Yourself Isn't a Completion, It's More of a Recovered Fumble

The Enquirer sometimes reporter and sometimes columnist Jason Williams wrote a story this week about what would become the subject of his column PX: Yvette Simpson dropped ball on 'pale male' comment.  He created the issue by personally taking offense to the word "pale" being using against John Cranley.  Or it is possible he was fed the article by the Cranley campaign who wanted to play the reverse racism card.  Either way this was self manufactured outrage by Williams.  Then he writes the column and get's up on his soapbox and champions the fight against racism, against white people.  He even pulled in the opinion of former scandal ridden Hamilton County prosecutor Mike Allen who appears to be willing to play a newly minted white race card.

I didn't know those existed, but if any one locally would have one made for himself Mike Allen would be that guy.

Jason's sanctimonious column rings hollower with every Republican or Conservative Democrat he thinks to ask for comment on this topic.  He, and Cranley's camp, have contrived a slight that is so minor, that is so meaningless that NO ONE WOULD CARE ABOUT IT if he didn't bring it up.  Cranley wouldn't have cared about it if someone didn't bring it up to him.  If anyone other than a black woman used that phrase, Williams or Jay Kincaid or Cranley himself (who ever fed Williams the story) wouldn't have bothered to use it as a race based campaign tactic.

That's the Cranely goal here.  The Cranley camp is playing racial defense. They know they are not going to win the majority of the black vote for Mayor with two black candidates running.  That fear is exacerbated when a former Cranley ally (one very influential in the black community) defects after Cranley's actions.  What does that mean?  It means he has to win the white vote big.  The white vote, which is no more monolithic than the black vote, does have one segment that tends to think alike, the GOP vote, which is nearly all white. Cranley has to win the GOP vote, something he hurt his chancing of doing when he advocated making Cincinnati a "sanctuary city."  How better to draw in white outrage than creating race based outrage against a black candidate?  Well, there are other ways to be a legitimate candidate who pulls in votes of white people, but why would Cranley want to win legitimately when crass actions make it more likely he wins at all?

Jason Williams continues to be a poodle of the Cranley camp.  He has it out for Yvette Simpson and is willing to dump this type of bullshit column out there and hide behind the comments of Mike Allen.  I'd call it brazen if it wasn't just so biased.  It is biased on multiple levels: Pro-Cranley, race, and gender.  It is by far his worst column of this election season, but I am sure it earned him brownie-points within the Cranley camp. It won't 'earn' him a position in a Cranley administration, but it inches him that way.

As a case in journalism, this episode falls into the don't make your own news category.  Williams didn't make news in the sense that he became part of the story, but he sure did as a columnist.  His column is largely framed as him not liking how Simpson's campaign responded to HIM.  Add that to the the race based logistics I write about above and this column is a shit-storm.  He built the controversy and he attempted to bottle it.  I call that trying to catch your own pass, something you can't do in American football, unless someone else touches the ball first.  Simpson didn't touch this story and that pissed off Williams off, but didn't stop him from catching his own pass.  That is what I call a fumble recovered for a loss.  Journalism and politics need forward progress, not steps back.  This is a step back.  The worst part, he could have written about this topic and not made it such a big deal and made an actual point about the Facebook comment.  That doesn't help his cause, so fair play be damned.

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