It hasn’t been a month, but I’m enjoying the passing news parade here in the D. Perhaps you’ve heard the red-Navigator story; it went national. In case you didn’t, here’s the short version:
Some time recently, the city paid $24,995 to lease a cherry-red, loaded, brand-new Lincoln Navigator. For whom was this lavish vehicle obtained? nosy reporters asked. The mayor looked at his nails and tried the old point-over-your-shoulder-and-yell-“Look! Comet Kahoutek!” trick, but eventually the truth came out: The car was for his wife and kids. The sum of $24,995? Can you guess what the cutoff is for city expenditures to require council approval? If you guessed $25,000, go to the head of the class.
This story was broken, and mostly pursued, by this guy Steve Wilson at Channel 7, one of those on-your-side reporters whose specialty is chasing people down the street with a microphone and ShakyCam. At one point, one of the mayor’s bodyguards put him up against the wall, ON CAMERA, and you can just imagine how many times that item was replayed; it was a body-slam sent from heaven.
So the other day I turn on the news — keep in mind, most of February is a TV rating period — and there it is again, the red Navigator, weeks after the original story cooled off. This time it was being driven to work by police commander, and where was the video shot? From above, of course. I mean, wouldn’t you send the chopper up to get video of the car, “being driven at speeds in excess of 80 mph.” I would. And then there’s Steve with his ShakyCam, chasing the cop into the building, asking why it doesn’t have any radios, if it’s a police car now.
Oh, it was rich. For a minute, I thought I was living in Florida.
Anyway, this Free Press piece seems to sum up the tragicomedy pretty well.
Bloggage: Via the Poor Man, I see the truth is still emerging on Jeff Gannon-J.D. Guckert’s so-called personal life, which would still be fairly personal if he didn’t have dick shots posted all over the damn internet. The link above is work-safe, but the links within that post are decidedly not, unless you work for Larry Flynt.
The trip to North Manchester was fine, but exhausting. Remind me again how difficult it is to drive 500 miles in one day after four hours of sleep or so. But it was nice to meet the North Manchester readers, and Manchester College folks, and Jeff Hawkins, whose Hawkins Family Farm community-agriculture project I wrote about once upon a time back in the day. He presented me with a frozen free-range chicken, which I accepted because I no longer have to abide by my employer’s payola rules and also because: It’s a chicken. There’s something amusing about accepting the gift of a frozen chicken. You can say, “I accept this gift on behalf of chicken lovers everywhere” and tuck it under your arm like a football.
I think I’ll have it for dinner Sunday, unless Alan has another awards show he has to get in the Monday paper.