CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Christopher Smitherman, a Green Party Cincinnati Council candidate and the local NAACP branch president, has accused the city's morning metro daily of "institutional racism at its core." He says the civil rights organization is prepared for some kind of showdown with the newspaper, a unit of the Gannett Co. Inc., publishing chain.
Smitherman expressed amazement that the Cincinnati Enquirer did not adequately cover, in his view, the Black Family Reunion. The annual summertime event on the banks of the Ohio River drew some 100,000 people downtown. Smitherman said if someone had been shot or harmed there would have been blazing coverage across news pages. But the mostly peaceful event got short shrift despite its importance to African Americans.
"I believe this is intentional and the result is the continuation of institutional racism at is core. If the Enquirer does not change they will force the Cincinnati branch of the NAACP to take measures to curb their behavior."
Does that last sentence imply a subscription boycott, or some kind of targeting of advertisers?
Smitherman's statement is just the latest signal that the newspaper is foundering under its top brass, who are increasingly viewed as out of touch, out of tune and have nearly exhausted the town's patience. The complete text of Smitherman's letter originally appeared in the Cincinnati Beacon, which is a small online and print news operation that is also among the daily's biggest critics.
[UPDATE -- There was coverage of the event, as this article from the past weekend shows. The complaint seems to be over whether the newspaper devoted enough attention and space to the Black Family Reunion.]
[Note to readers: The previous post was supposed to follow this one. The Bellwether will inactive for the rest of the day.]