So far the calls on the piece about the CPS 6 Million Dollar art collection seem to think the story does not include enough history about how the collection came to pass. Since TV time is limited, I will provide a little background here.
Many people believe the art collection is filled with pieces purchased by former students who collected “dimes and nickels” that they then used to buy paintings.
While it is true that the first paintings were purchased with donations gathered by Seniors at Hughes High School, one art curator tells me the extent to which “kids collecting coins” is responsible for the art collection has been overstated. The majority of paintings, I am told, were donated by alumni, teachers and the artists themselves.
I have been hit hard with complaints about my Target 5 Investigation into the Cincinnati Public Schools Art Collection worth 6 million dollars. Crazy thing is…..the stories haven’t even aired yet. Looks like our friends over in the promotions department grabbed some people’s attention! I will be anxious to see what the reaction is AFTER everyone actually watches the stories!
Wanted to let you all in on a knock down, drag out fight with a PR flack (no pun intended) from University Hospital. Listen to what happened and you be the judge.
A 19 year old patient claimed she was raped in a hospital elevator. Don Crause, director of marketing, inferred to me by phone that the incident might not be a rape after all. His exact words were that police will need to “finish investigating to see if there was an incident.” That of course, casts doubt on the victim, which is the biggest challenge rape victims have: convincing people they didn’t “ask for it.” (By the way the suspect, Archie Sanders, was arrested and charged with Rape. He is being held on $100,000 bond.)
Anyway, before I went to air with the story I felt like the victim had a right to speak for herself, so I called her…..in her hospital room. Didn’t do anything sneaky. Just got her name from court records, dialed the hospitals main number and asked for her room. She picked up the phone and started telling me what happened almost immediately….knowing full well who I was, what I was doing and that I was recording the conversation. She WANTED people to know that she was NOT A LIAR….that she was attacked and raped in that elevator no matter what the hospital believed.
Don (the PR flack) wasn’t happy I spoke with the victim. First he telephoned one of my supervisors and called me a “low-life” for calling a rape victim in the hospital. When I spoke to Don directly, he told me I was one of a handful of reporters with a “reputation” for having shady motives.
My question to Don is this: why does giving an alleged rape victim a chance to speak up for herself make me a “low-life?” I feel like victims of sex crimes should be given every opportunity to tell their stories….IF THEY CHOOSE TO. AND SHE DID! So I don’t think giving her a voice was so sleazy…do you?
What I want to know is: why Don was so upset I spoke with her in the first place?
What a snow storm! Every once in a while I get to be a part of reporting something that makes me remember why I’m in this business in the first place, and this was one of those times. Doing live shots for the Today Show and MSNBC, the anchors often asked me “who did I piss off to get this assignment?” meaning standing out in a near blizzard and telling people sitting in their nice warm homes what’s it’s like outside. The answer is NOT being out in that storm would have been the real punishment. It was a blast….a little cold (at one point my hair froze….seriously) but a blast none-the-less. When you’re a reporter, a true reporter, there is no other place to be than in the middle of the story. So for everyone who ignored Police orders to stay inside and wandered out to get a first hand look at a once in 40 years snowstorm, more power to you. If I wasn’t working, I would have been right there too.
Well….it’s over. At least it is in my eyes. And it all ended with a failed attempt at humor. When Hillary Clinton whined about how she gets all the tough questions in last night’s debate in Cleveland, using Saturday Night Live as her source no less, the door slammed on her chances at the nomination. And here’s why. It made her seem like the one thing she is not: weak. Thus far in the campaign Sen. Cliton’s message has changed, her demeanor has changed, even her politics have changed. What has never changed is the perception she is a strong woman capable of leading the country. Until last night. By complaining minutes into the debate she was getting too many questions (I mean who complains about getting too much time in a debate anyway) for the first time she made her opponent, Barack Obama, look more presidential. I’m not saying that her complaints aren’t justified. As a member of the media, I can say without doubt there is nothing newsrooms like more than a nice shiny car….and this one is named Barack. But Sen. Clinton should have been able to overcome that. A President would have.
I’m on my way up to Cleveland for the big debate between Clinton and Obama. Could be Mrs. Clinton’s last stand. I hate to say this as I have a lot of respect for Sen. Clinton, but it seems as though she is really grasping at straws as this campaign gets away from her. I interviewed her after her rally at Cincinnati State and I was amazed at how angry she seemed as she blasted Sen. Obama for his NAFTA and Universal Health Care mailings. Not that I am saying she doesn’t have reason to be upset. But to me a candidate starts to look desperate when they start throwing the equivalent of a “hay maker” in boxing….that huge shot that does damage if it lands but has very little chance of landing. If she had stuck with the issues more rather than trying to make Ohio and Texas a street fight I think she would have had a better chance. As it is….I think the polls will be even or possibly tilted to Obama by the time the primaries roll around March 4th. The Cleveland debate is Mrs. Clinton’s last chance to get back to the issues… her one long shot to take back the race.
Been gone for a while for the birth of my second child, Rosalee, but more on that later! I wanted to mention a worth while cause I came across while reporting a story on CPS money problems and the potential cutbacks that could come with them.
Walnut Hills High School is holding a “Support Our Sports Party” on Friday, Feb. 29th from 8-12pm. It’s being held at the Newport Syndicate across from World Peace Bell, 2 blocks south of Newport On The Levee. There will be live music, and all money raised goes to support the schools athletic program.
This is especially important now becuase CPS is threatening to cut virtually all sports teams at public schools if voters don’t approve a large tax levy in March. That means schools like Walnut Hills, one of the nations finest, would be on its own to continue the extra-curricular tradition that’s made it such a special place. So put on your dancing shoes for a good cause!
Some yahoo decided to use MLK day to post some racist fliers out in West Covington….on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, no less! I am so torn about reporting stories like this. On one hand I never want to give these groups the publicity and attention they thrive off of. On the other hand as news organizations we have a responsibility to let our views know this kind of stuff still goes on. In the end we reported the story, but not the name of the group. Hopefully their ugly message will show people we still have a long way to go, almost 40 years after Dr. King’s death.
Duke Energy might want to honor the spirit, and not just the word of law. After a landlord stopped paying utility bills, Duke shut off the heat to an apartment building in Cincinnati, one that houses four families with 14 children. State rules prohibit shutting off the heat to a home in the dead of winter. But due to a technicality (the landlord was the one who’s name was on the bill) Duke went forward with shutting off the gas. That left all those parents and kids, one as young as 8 month old, to shiver all night in below freezing temps. The 8 month old and his mom actually slept on the floor next to their electric oven to keep warm.
I understand Duke needs to get what it’s owed. But these poor people caught in the middle haven’t done anything wrong….yet they’re the ones left out in the cold. And to all of them, and to me, that doesn’t seem right. Maybe next time Duke should wait till Spring to collect on old debts.
Much to the dismay of a number of people who live and work in Over the Rhine, the Police department has decided not to add extra officers to the area now that Sheriffs are pulling out for budget reasons.
This is a tough call for the PD. Crime has gone down big time since Sheriffs started helping patrol OTR back in October of 2005. The thinking goes….why add additional police to an area where crime is on the decline?
The problem is that OTR is not out of the woods. Anyone who has been down there lately will tell you that for every nice new store or apartment building, there are still three or four run down ones. The criminal element is not gone…they’ve just moved down the street. And many fear they are ready to come back the minute police let up.
The cops, of course, say they won’t let things get back to the way they were…promising to beef up their presence if crime returns. But will it be too late? The department’s betting not….but only time will tell if the gamble pays off.