Friday, March 19, 2010

The Dayton Daily News and a lesson in false equivalence

Today the Dayton Daily News ran with the following headline:

The story revolves around Kasich's charge that Governor Strickland failed to do whatever was necessary to keep the jobs giant, NCR, in Dayton.
“I wonder about NCR. Why did they have to go? I don’t know why they made that decision. I know that we weren’t on it. And if they weren’t answering my calls I’d be starting to call boards of directors. I’d know the people’s names that I was meeting with. I’d show up on time for a meeting,” Kasich said.
But what particularly fascinated me was the following paragraph:
But when asked if he knew the names of all five people sitting at the Dayton Daily News meeting — including editorial page editor Ellen Belcher — Kasich admitted that he did not. And, Kasich called one writer by the wrong name three times.

Somehow, in some universe, the DDN editorial staff believes it's just as vital for a gubernatorial candidate to know each of their names as it is for a Governor to know the person who could prevent thousands of jobs from leaving Dayton.

Even Lis Smith, Strickland's communications director, is jumping all over this story...

The use of false equivalence coming from both the DDN board and Lis Smith is a bewildering and frustrating rhetorical tactic designed to belittle Kasich.

And it's totally and completely irresponsible.

For those unclear of what I mean when I say "false equivalence", equivalence is defined as such: the state or fact of being equivalent; equality in value, force, significance, etc. Falsely equivocating something encourages the perception that two situations are "equal in significance", when in reality, they aren't.

It's been well documented that Strickland's Administration was asleep at the wheel while NCR's CEO was getting wooed with golf putters down in Atlanta by GA Gov. Sonny Perdue all the way back in the Fall of 2008.

As the New York Times states:

Mr. Nuti said that he attended a renewable energy conference in New York the month after that disastrous meeting, and during lunch sat next to Governor Strickland — who, he says, not only did not know who he was, despite his name tag, but never introduced himself.

Strickland's excuse?

Strickland has told the Dayton Daily News that at the conference in New York he was sitting next to royalty from Spain and was focused on pitching some Ohio companies to him. He has said that had he seen Nuti’s name tag, he would have spoken to him.

Yes, Strickland really said that.

Here's an idea, Ted. Rather than focusing on royalty, how about worrying about the guy in your backyard who's already indicated an interest in taking thousands of jobs away from Ohio?

Yet somehow, all of these failures by Strickland to properly address the NCR situation, one with thousands of jobs on the line, is supposed to be equivalent to knowing all the names of an editorial board?

Anyone else reminded of SNL's "Really?" sketch?

Well, there is a massive, humongous, giant difference between knowing the names of an editorial board and knowing the names of a man in control of the destinies of thousands of Ohioans.

In the world of mainstream journalism, these kind of petty gotcha games based on false equivalence are what continues to push readers away.

It's small and it deflects from the stories that really matter to voters.


  1. Kasich said he'd make a point to know who he's meeting with and would not be late... at a meeting where he couldn't remember anyone's name and he was late.

    Boo hoo, Keeling.

    Oh, and NCR was mostly out of Ohio thanks to Republican Governors AWOL actions.

    NCR left because it was already mostly gone and it's new CEO had no ties to Ohio and was intersted in getting out of Ohio because he thought employee recruitment would be easier for an office in Atlanta, not Dayton.

    Oh, and Georgia has an income tax.

  2. PlunderSCUM Russo's WonderlandMarch 20, 2010 at 11:12 AM

    The latest PlunderScum to attack Jon Keeling - Timmy "boy toy" Russo

    First, would even one percent of the good people of Cuyahoga County Council District 7 EVER use such an obnoxiously arrogant word such as "apoplexy" in their everyday lives?

    HELL NO !! Russo must be running for office in the wrong district !!

    Second, would someone who has never experienced "apoplexy" have reason to actually know what the word means?

    HELL NO !!!!

    Who in THE Hell is Tim Russo trying to impress? It is most certain that I am not impressed. But, I am interested to understand how this word defines a few of Russo's numerous afflictions.

    Yes, it is true, Timmy can definitely be identified as suffering from the #1 definition:

    "Sudden impairment of neurological function..."

    Also, we have all witnessed Timmy fly off the handle similar to the #3 definition:

    "A fit of extreme anger; rage"

    But, the #2 definition probably only happens when Timmy solicits sex with 12-year-old boys:

    "A sudden effusion of blood into an organ or tissue"

    Timmy accuses Jon of "reading Alice in Wonderland on acid" to "disappear... far into cosmic folds in the time space continuum"

    Certainly, the opposite appears to be true when viewing this tripped-out "pass the bong" like autobiographical YouTube video created by Tim Russo that has the title "Do I Freak You Out?"

    You be the judge...

  3. PlunderFreak Birds Flock TogetherMarch 20, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    Yes, Tim Russo does freak me out.

    Ohio's Most Controversial Blogger Struggles To Recover From Self-inflicted Wounds"

    Timmy's video of people reacting (usually negatively) to the Cleveland Free Times "Unforgiven" story about Russo's life.

    Hey Eric Vessels and Brian Hester, birds of a feather flock together.

  4. Crazy-haired "Hippie Timmy" cries about the now defunct Ohio ACORN organization. That's right, the ACORN that eventually shut down all of their corrupt operations across the entire state of Ohio.

    Timmy concludes his Pro-ACORN rant by criticizing Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper publisher saying:

    "Pick on somebody your own size"

    Yet, neither Timmy nor Eric Vessels have any problem with repeated, vulgar and harsh interrogation of young high school boys and girls at a Sarah Palin book signing in Columbus.

    Hey Timmy and Eric, PICK ON SOMEONE YOUR OWN SIZE and
    "gimme something worth talking about" - LOLOLOL

  5. Ooops, here's the link to crazy-haired "Hippie Timmy" crying about how Ohio ACORN was treated by the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper.

  6. Second try on "pick on someone your own size" link


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