[UPDATED TUESDAY 4/15, 7:00 AM -- A story appeared in this morning's print edition on page B-2 of the metro section. It broke a week long black out, and was mostly an AP report about developments over the weekend in Columbus. It contained two quotes from Cincinnati-area lawmakers, State Sen. Eric Kearney and State Rep. Steve Driehaus, both Democrats like Attorney General Marc Dann. Apparently, no Republicans were available for comment, or the newspaper did not contact any members of the opposition party. Kearney said of Dann: "He's a little provocative, but in a good way. It sounds like somebody did something they really shouldn't have done." Driehaus, who is running for the OH-01 congressional seat, was quoted saying: "Any of us who are accused of wrongdoing, or any of our staff that are accused of wrongdoing, it is incumbent upon all of us as elected officials to cooperate in the investigation, and I would expect the attorney general to do that." That's the latest from Cincinnati's morning metro daily about sexual harassment allegations in the attorney general's office, allegations that are rattling state government.]
CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The Cincinnati Enquirer, Ohio's third-largest newspaper, has not yet published or produced a news story in its print edition (as this search shows) about the sexual harassment scandal now enveloping Democratic Ohio Atty. Gen. Marc Dann. The paper did print an editorial Saturday that calls for a special counsel on the case. But with what seems to be a news blackout in its printed pages, Enquirer customers might wonder: Why an opinion piece about something you have not told us anything about? If this isn't newsworthy, why bother with an editorial?
Meanwhile, Ohio's other major metropolitan dailies -- from Cleveland to Columbus, from Toledo to Dayton -- have been filled with stories all week. Here's a sample from the Akron Beacon Journal, the Columbus Dispatch, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, and the Dayton Daily News.
Cincinnati.com, the online version of the Enquirer, linked to some Dann news earlier this week in the Politics Extra political blog. But the material came from other newspapers around the state and was not produced by the Enquirer's staff. Some comments on the blog were critical, and one anonymous commenter noted:
"Isn't it embarrassing to the Enquirer that they have to link to other state newspapers so their readers can know what is happening with the state Attorney General's office? Seriously, I would like an answer to be posted from Enquirer management as to why they are failing on their watchdog role?"
Another wrote: "It appears the Enquirer is attempting to join Dann's cover up of pajamagate, or more accurately, the uncovering of it. Yo poor people in Cincinnati --this paper really keeps you in the dark. But at least you know how the Reds are doing."
And: "What is wrong with the Enquirer? I have to go to the Internet and read other Ohio paper just to know what is going on in this state. I wish someone could sue them for false-advertising for their failure to deliver the news."
Those comments appeared on the newspaper's own political blog -- so it is not censoring critics. But the comments show there is dissatisfaction with the Gannett Co. Inc. daily's extreme lack of news coverage about a major political scandal in Columbus. It may be that the newspaper is so thinly staffed it just doesn't have enough reporters to cover the Dann story. If that is the case, Gannett's budget cutting seems to have pared not just fat, but even the muscle that undergirds any meaty news coverage. Still, budget cuts cannot be entirely behind the Marc Dann news blackout in Ohio's third largest paper, the paper that serves the state's most populous metropolitan area. There are AP wire stories available for publication, along with copy from a story-exchange program set up last month with Ohio's other large dailies. None of that has made it into the Enquirer's pages.