As most people know, media drives discussions by deciding what to print, and also, what not to print. Here in Tallahassee, TR is working diligently to continue to provide coverage of local government issues that the Tallahassee Democrat refuses to address.
For example, TR broke a story on Sunday about the Consolidated Dispatch Agency (CDA) Director leaving for a vacation on the Saturday after the hurricane. The CDA is responsible for processing 9-1-1 calls. The Tallahassee Democrat has not covered the story. You can read TR’s story here.
However, what is different with the Hurricane Hermine coverage is that state-wide media has focused their eyes on what is happening in Tallahassee local government. This rarely happens. With this increased oversight comes an opportunity to evaluate just how the Tallahassee Democrat chooses to protect the local government bureaucracy.
Yesterday, the Tallahassee Democrat went all in for the the City of Tallahassee when popular columnist Gerald Ensley, who had access to air conditioning throughout most of the storm aftermath, called those who raised questions about the recovery efforts “whiners and complainers.”
One state-wide reporter with the SaintPetersblog thought such an article might be a little premature, when he tweeted:
Beyond the Ensley opinion piece, the Tallahassee Democrat is choosing to avoid critical review of the City’s efforts.
For example, the Democrat published a glowing article on the support of ten black ministers for Mayor Andrew Gillum. However, the Democrat has yet to find enough ink to inform citizens that local Democrat Florida state representative Michelle Rehwhinkel Vasilinda has questioned the City’s effort rather directly. She wrote, “@AndrewGillum We must do better. Only a Cat1. We don’t only have a responsibility to our local citizens but FL.”
See her tweet below:
Also, another elected Democrat from South Florida told PoliticoFlorida that Gillum’s answer for turning down outside help was “nonsense. A tree falls down on a powerline and specifications are set. A sub[contractor] goes and completes those specifications. It is dangerous, but not brain surgery.”
Remember, these are comments from Democrats and have not been reported in the Tallahassee Democrat.
And finally, a story reported in the state-wide media, but not by the Tallahassee Democrat, was the plight of two nursing homes that went without power for four days. The headline in FloridaPolitics.com read “Nursing homes remain in the dark four days after Hurricane Hermine.”
One of the nursing homes was the Dorchester home for disabled children. Based on Facebook posts Leon County Commissioner Bryan Desloge learned of the plight, visited the location, and called about getting power restored.
A concerned citizen posted the following on her Facebook:
A local home for severely disabled children – Dorchester- located in the City of Tallahassee, has been without power since the storm. Dorchester Cluster is a Tallahassee, intermediate care facility for severely mentally retarded persons (ICF/MR). With 24 beds and 52 employees.
These members of our community, many of them who are in wheel chairs have not been able to bathe, or do laundry for four full days. They do have a generator but it only runs the refrigerator and fans. The heat can cause seizures for the medically vulnerable.
Now I’m angry. We as a community are only a reflection of how we care for the most vulnerable among us. These facilities should be the highest priorities for restoration along with hospitals. This is a clear example that our community was not prepared for a disaster. I’m glad to say that when my county commissioner Bryan Desloge learned of the situation he has immediately gone into action. This is a location in the city. But Bryan understands the vulnerabilities of this community.
This is the easy stuff. This is the stuff that is on the first page of the protocol manual of the emergency plan. C’mon people get it together. #Andrew Gillum
Again, nothing in the Tallahassee Democrat. But we did get a story about how the Waffle House handled the storm!