Thursday, August 01, 2002

Media watch

Proving no news is good news

        There was plenty to complain about that day. It was hot. Muggy, too. That's always good for some whining. As if this is news around here. It would be newsy if you woke up some July or August morning to snow flurries. Or even a breeze that wasn't laden with automobile spoor.

        The news was that a woman who drowned her children was deemed insane and a man stole from a food pantry.

        People lost money that day on the stock market. Other people (no one you know personally) made money on the stock market.

        A casino was punished for bringing in prostitutes to service a contingent of golfers. (I guess the news there was that the casino found some golfers who would rather have sex than golf.)

        Paul Brown Stadium, the gift that keeps on giving, will cost taxpayers $773,000 this year to insure against damages from terrorist attacks.

Unindicted barber

        Former congressman James Traficant was sentenced to eight years in prison for bribery, racketeering and tax evasion. No charges were filed against his barber.

        Two police officers are accused of assault and abduction. Friends mourn a murdered university professor. We are being boycotted and picketed. Still.



        So I ran away from the news. Actually, I walked. It was hot. I wound up in front of Knox Presbyterian Church on Michigan Avenue in Hyde Park. No television vans were parked at the curb. No photographers were setting up cameras. No t-shirts or programs sold. Refreshments — bottles of cold water — were free of charge. As was the concert.

        Four young men were singing. Good students at Walnut Hills High School, they went off to college — two to Atlanta, two stayed in Ohio. But they came back to Cincinnati.

        And kept singing.

        They call themselves Debonair and have gotten a few good gigs — the Jazz Festival, a Bearcat game, the Black Family Reunion. They are admired for their diversity, which they think is kind of funny because they couldn't be more alike, really.

        They love the same music — rhythm and blues, jazz, hip-hop. They are unanimously close to their families and are expert at mooching dinners at parents' houses. Any parent. Any house.

        They are only racially diverse.

        And so, one might notice, was the crowd on the lawn of the church. This was not a hastily convened, temporary committee to study racial harmony. This was it, the real McCoy. Longstanding. Casual. Comfortable.

In black and white

        Those of us in the news business are charged with ferreting out the bizarre, the unusual, the exhausting array of awful things people do to each other.

        This neighborhood gathering was not news. This was just a temporary congregation of Cincinnati people with a reasonably diverse ratio of young to old, black to white, wealthy to not-wealthy. They listened to some music, talked to their neighbors and walked home again. No big whoop. They do it all the time.

        Just the same, it felt remarkably good.

        E-mail or phone 768-8393.



Sources: Corbett suspect confessed
Butler property tax bills go higher
High court OKs name change for two women
Chabot challenger takes stand against urban sprawl
Heat alert on (But you probably guessed that)
Many called, few chosen for airport screener openings
Mt. Healthy schools on ballot
Obituary: Robert Hall Jr. was known for landscaping and beautification
Tristate A.M. Report
Two officers await arraignment
Two schools to add health centers
HOWARD: Some Good News
- PULFER: Media watch
RADEL: The Queen City's King
Campus minister faces porn charge
Clermont upset by coroner
Hundreds honor slain professor
Maineville might soon cease to be
Release denied for woman convicted of faking rapes
Verdict due in rape trial of ex-deputy
Bean there, done that? Not for him
For him, she really was 'Grandma Moses'
Scaled-down farms perfect fit for women
Taft scheduled to sign Ohio's anti-spam bill today
Technicians stay busy keeping COSI exhibits running
12th Street gets new attention
CROWLEY: Kentucky politics
Kentucky News Briefs
Ky. tax amnesty program offered through Sept. 30
Sleep Out Louie's saloon set for launch
Southgate names acting police chief