Op-Ed: Magic Election Coverage

May 9, 2019

THE FORT WAYNE JOURNAL GAZETTE treats journalism as a magic show where key facts are hidden from subscribers trying to match reality with what they read at election time.

It is to be expected, then, that the newspaper would keep its show on the road after Tuesday’s primary. Its May 9 editorial pulled this rabbit out of the hat:

“ . . . but (Tim Smith) will have to alter his approach this fall as the GOP seeks to retain its majority on council. Incumbent council members Michael Barranda, Tom Freistroffer, Russ Jehl and Tom Didier voted along with John Crawford on several of the measures Smith criticized, so the mayoral candidate will have to tread carefully in criticizing financing for the Electric Works project, riverfront development plans or the troubled Red River trash contract.”

In fact, in the contested races, the councilman who won by the largest margin had directly and consistently criticized all of those projects as well as the newspaper’s incomplete coverage.

Moreover, both the winner in the GOP mayoral contest and in the at-large contest were political newcomers who beat the vote totals of sitting councilman who had records supporting several of the positions mentioned.

With the general election ahead, Journal Gazette readers will want to keep their eyes on the pea. — tcl


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