Thursday, August 01, 2002

Media watch


Proving no news is good news

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        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.

        Exhausting.

        Demoralizing.

        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 lpulfer@enquirer.com or phone 768-8393.

       

       



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- PULFER: Media watch
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