Submitted by Roldo on Fri, 03/20/2009 - 14:19.

 Someone alerted me to a WCPN show yesterday where Chris Evans of the Plain Dealer described County Commissioner Tim Hagan as aptly as anyone could.

Evans, an op/ed columnist and member of the PD editorial board, described Hagan’s role in the Medical Mart/Convention Center as a “pimp leading the dance.”
Wow! “Sound of Ideas” host Dan Moulthrop didn’t pursue what seemed to me to be the most provocative utterance I’ve ever heard on the 9 a.m. radio show. (Moulthrop also cut off a caller who was very critical of the PD’s coverage of the convention center coverage.)
Evans also described Chicago’s MMPI’s presentation to City Council as a “dog and pony show,” which it was. MMPI (Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. is the chosen developer of the sweetheart deal.)
Evans showed complete disdain for the way the County Commissioners (Hagan and Jimmy Dimora acting with Peter Lawson Jones off “performing”) decide the Med Mart site. He derided the Commissioners for their two press conferences held in a matter of hours. By the second the entire deal had changed. The Mall site suddenly got endorsed.
 “What happened in the last three hours?” Evans asked, commenting on the time between meetings by Hagan and Dimora. He also noted that the Commissioners were “spoon” feeding information rather than providing public information to the public. In other words, Hagan was keeping details of this dirty deal private.
 Why isn’t this the subject of some brutally frank editorials?
Why isn’t Evans writing this stuff on the editorial page of the PD?
Why isn’t the truth being told about this mess of a deal that could have deadly impact an already degraded local economy?
Evans, a very good reporter who did much of his work with the PD Sunday Magazine, owes us as much frank discussion of this issue in the PD’s editorial pages as he did on the radio.
There’s an old ditty that goes as I remember it, “Why must truth be smiled upon as if it were not so.”
Why should lies be hidden by those who are supposed to inform us?
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And why has PD tone changed since Commissioners picked Mall?

What I've found most interesting is the PD was the number one pimp-daddy for the MedCon, until the commissioners picked the Mall site... since then, they have been on the attack of the Mall site, and finally started raising some good questions about the viability of the whole project... questions they should have been asking for years...

I hope as the PD journalists begin seeing more papers go under, and more of their peers abandonded by their industry, they will choose to set in print for their remaining time the messages they want to share with the public - not the official stories.

As for Ideastream, I think they sold their soul to the devil when they moved into their $ multi-million digs across the street from the Cleveland Foundation... they are all about Cle+... not much in the way of hard-hitting journalism there these days

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