The Tallahassee Democrat, Disabled Children, and a Waffle House

The Tallahassee Democrat, Disabled Children, and a Waffle House

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 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!

12 Responses to "The Tallahassee Democrat, Disabled Children, and a Waffle House"

  1. If Republicans swept city and county offices in the next election, i have no doubt your paper would go silent on “accountability”. The TD would then go into overdrive on “what the TD doesn’t now cover”. Your paper is basically a reaction to the Democrats control of city and county governments. And of course Bill Proctor is always a reliable foil. The City utilities would be taken over FP & L and we would all be happy. Preston, we know you are a rock ribbed Republican Conservative. You might lose your morning show if you didn’t have Democrats around and if Trump wins.

  2. Head down to Keaton Beach on this sunny, warm afternoon. And watch the folks down there clean out their severely damaged homes, dragging furniture and appliances to the street, move boats that have been pushed in to the sides of buildings, among other things, with 5 gallon gas cans 10 deep in front of their homes to power generators for the foreseeable future. There’s the story; there’s the need. The rest is everyone peeing on each other’s legs. And if the answer is “well they chose to live there…” you’re right, they did. And we chose to live in Tallahassee. Deal with it. Sorry I blew up.

  3. Gerald Ensley will tell you Colin Kaepernick has every right to not stand during the National Anthem, but he will tell Tallahassee citizens who have been without power for five days that should keep their mouths shut and quit complaining.

    Can you say, “Hypocrite”?

  4. It is a shame how the Tallahassee Democrat protects political leaders. The ordinary citizen like myself is considered collateral damage. Our government, city and county has shown me there true colors.

  5. I count about 30 different storm stories on the Democrats Internet site. How many stories does that mean they have that you don’t. Not a subscriber or big fan (too expensive and liberal) but they have covered this from every angle and have helped me a lot. At least their site loads and they don’t go days without a story.

    1. In my opinion…it’s never about what the Democrat covers, it’s what they don’t. Certainly, there are many admirable aspects to coverage provided of the storm. Human interest stories, etc. Yes, they have sniffed around the edges of other stories. But, some reporters have also been angry and asked the state media to back off its criticism of their coverage. This is important – members of the state media have openly been critical of the lack of coverage of certain stories which is something Steve and I have pointed out for years. Personally, it feels good to be validated by others in the newspaper industry.

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