Sauron’s all seeing eye no longer lights on my little blog. Yesterday, the day after the record-breaking day I noted, was yet another record breaking day. Lots of folks were interested in the happenings at the Maplewood City Council. But things are settling down now.
Not much new to note on the topic here. I had a brief email interchange with the reporter of the aforementioned [TV story]. My email to her (which you can see if you want by following the “Read the rest…” link below) just noted that it seemed like only folks who wanted to complain got the airtime, and she replied kind of what I expected: she’s limited to who will actually speak on camera in the time given. That make perfect sense. It’s the people who want to talk that want to talk. And grumpy people often have more to say than content people. Otherwise, I think she did a nice job of showing the general disarray. She had a great slo-mo of one of the council members rolling their eyes. :)
I did want to note that Dale Trippler got a little airtime complaining that the “Gladstone project” hadn’t made any progress. I’ve [noted previously] that he may not be the most unbiased person in the world concerning the newly conservative city council. However, I wanted to remind folks that he isn’t merely a “Maplewood Resident” as was noted on the screen, but also someone who in February lost his bid to be on this city council to Rebecca Cave, and was actually on the Gladstone Planning Commission for Maplewood. He’s also served on the “Environmental Committee”.
Does this mean he shouldn’t have gotten screen time? No! In fact, he may be the most knowledgeable person around concerning the Gladstone project. And besides, he *is* a resident, too, and should have his voice heard. But knowing he’s not just a randomly sampled resident helps fill out the picture.
He may be *the* expert. He may simply want his pet project done. He may simply be mad he got beat. It opens up a lot of fair questions.
I think I would not like to be a reporter. To come in and hear “you, go there, report on this… and you’ve got 50 seconds on the 6 and 60 on the 10″ seems like it would be really hard to know who to talk to, what the situation is, etc. And it all changes the next day. “Investigative” reports must be a station’s way of throwing a reporter a bone; let them focus a little and stretch their legs.
Anyway, I imagine this will become more interesting as we draw nearer election time. (*Are* any of the city council seats up for re-election this fall?)
Previously on this topic:
- [Maplewood’s City Council draws more attention][e]
- [Maplewood, MN and Greg Copeland’s background check][d]
- [More Maplewood, Minnesota fireworks][c]
- [The local paper is at it again][b]
- [A tiny peek at local politics][a]
Follow the jump for the email. It’s not that interesting, but it’s there if you want it.
Here’s my email to the reporter of the local TV story. I am not publishing her perfectly pleasant response because I didn’t ask her if I could, and there’s really not much there. If she is reading this and would like me to, drop me a note. There was one nice little thing about a couple who she spoke with, but it’s not “mine” to share.
> Good afternoon!
> I just caught your story about the Maplewood City Council and it’s good to see that fiasco getting attention. However, I can’t help but comment that it appeared very little balance was given to the various “sides” there.
> I’m not a Maplewood resident (I live on Saint Paul’s East Side) and I don’t know any of the people involved, but a local paper’s coverage of the events caught my interest and I’ve been watching ever since.
> On my own blog I’ve had a number of posts chronicling the events from a perspective I think quite different from the blog you mentioned: What’s Left of Maplewood. I’m glad they are out there and participating, but they certainly present only one, seemingly fairly hostile vantage point. (Why hostile? Because so much of the argumentation seems ad hominem.)
> Anyway, I wanted to offer my few posts as something of a different take on the events. I’m surprised you missed them as somehow my posts rank very highly when Googling (or otherwise searching out) the topic.
> In writing, I followed up on the coverage I’d seen to date, and also on people who have been quoted in the past, noting that it seems they themselves may have axes to grind. Dale Tippler, who was in your story, is one of those people that I discovered had at least something of a bias. Bias doesn’t make his feedback invalid, but it does shed light on where he’s coming from. I just like to hear from biased people on all sides, when possible.
> I watched your story twice and I didn’t notice any perspective shared other than those who were unhappy. Of course, you don’t have a limitless slate like a blogger does, and it may be that no one from the council’s majority wanted to speak with you about the issue, but nevertheless I think it is a more interesting story the more perspectives it is viewed from.
> I’m glad to see how clearly you brought forward that the council is not working together well at all. You may know that there was a commissioned report to that effect with a wonderful quote that the city council needs “to learn how to act like adults, respect differences, and then use the electoral process to resolve outstanding differences.”
> Thanks for your time and attention to that interesting story,
> Ken Martin
> Saint Paul’s luxurious East Side