Strange priorities? Not really....

Dateline: Tue 12 Jun 2007

Gary Welsh of Advance Indiana takes note this morning that the Indianapolis Star buried its story on the City-County Council's consideration of a proposed income tax hike. Star reporter Brendan O'Shaughnessy wrote a short piece about it, said Welsh, but it was not in my state edition, nor did I see it online this morning.

Yet, as Welsh notes, others have certainly been talking about the increase. He mentions Abdul Hakim Shabazz first reported the news over the weekend, and at least one of the Indy TV stations had it on their newscast last night.

Welsh ponders over this omission, while at the same time wondering why crime in Butler-Tarkington got such a big play in today's Star and in recent stories.

Now, I'm all for writing about the crime wave in the city, and the fact that Butler's staid old neighborhood has seen vicious, predatory attacks on the elderly is certainly news. But I know for a fact that a woman was robbed at gunpoint in Irvington a few weeks ago as she walked her son home from kindergarten; Bil Browning of Bilerico told me about cars in Irvington having their windows smashed out; the Eastside for years has had a buildup of vandalism, theft and more serious crimes. Why isn't the Star focusing its meager resources on crime there? Or the Westside, for that matter?

I'll tell you why. Here are a few of the key Star employees/big bosses who live either in Butler Tarkington or nearby Meridian-Kessler (for as Butler goes, so goes M-K): social columnist Susan Guyett, political talking head Matt Tully, exec editor Dennis Ryerson, m.e. Pam Fine, and A-1 editor Jenny Green and her husband Ted, a sports editor. That's part of the paper's brain trust, and you can bet those folks are all concerned, as I am -- but could this possibly be a case of an editor's proximity to the scene of the disaster influencing his decision? Could it be that all that prattle about listening to readers' ideas just evaporates when it's your own hood that's under the gun?

Oh, well, they're all transitional neighborhoods anyhow....


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