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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Newspapers don't cover City Hall

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported, "Atlanta mayor addresses crime fighting in 2021 State of the City address."


The newspaper said, "Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the city plans to hire 250 new police officers in the next fiscal year which begins July 1."

How many officers does the city have?

The story did not say.

How many homicides were there last year?

The story did not say.

A few clicks on the web, and I answered my questions.

Channel 11 reported in December, "According to the department, there are 1,603 officers currently on the force, about 400 short of its authorized strength of 2,046 total officers."

So even if Her Honor adds 250 officers, the city will be 150 officers shy of what it needs.

Under her leadership, the city had a net loss of 219 officers last year alone. That was more than 10% of the police force.

As for my other question, homicides rose in 2020 to 157 from 99 in 2019.

That's an increase of 58%.

These were basic facts that the newspaper ignored.

To read the AJC report on the mayor's speech, one would think that adding 250 officers was a great improvement, when 250 new officers will barely replace last year's retirements and other departures.

The story said, "Calling gun violence 'a public health emergency,' Bottoms said Atlanta Police officers have arrested 216 people in gun-related incidents since the start of 2021. The city’s network of more than 1,500 cameras and license plate readers have also targeted street racing activities, she said, adding that the city will commit $3 million in public-private funding to expend that network by 250 cameras over the next fiscal year."

$3 million for 250 cameras? That's $12,000 each.

The top price I could find on the web was $2,179.99. With a group discount, I could probably buy 250 of the best cameras available for a half-million bucks.

I may bid on that contract. I can get them the cameras for half what they want to spend, and still pocket $1 million profit.

AJC's coverage of the speech was a slightly rewritten press release with a reporter's byline. If sitting on my rump in Poca, West Virginia, I can find facts to put the mayor's self-promoting speech in context, certainly a major metropolitan newspaper can.

But AJC didn't hold Bottoms accountable because newspapers seldom are interested in exposing incompetence. Most American newspapers have a long history of being in bed with City Hall. City after city burned this summer without one mainstream newspaper demanding a mayor resign for failing to protect a city from hoodlums.

Homicides have soared in city after city, and newspapers shrug it off.

AJC's handling of the homicide epidemic would be comical were it not for the lives lost.

Its story on the homicide toll said, "Is the mayor to blame?

"Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms was hailed after her response to destructive rioting in May after protests over the death of George Floyd devolved into chaos. Glamour featured her in its Women of the Year issue and her national profile soared amid talk of a position in President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.

"On Thursday, she announced Biden has nominated her for a position with the Democratic National Committee that would place her in charge of civic engagement and voter protection. Bottoms will continue to serve as mayor of Atlanta, where she’s been criticized by residents and even some civic leaders weary over the 58% rise in homicides."

Like Biden, she falls up.

Chicago's murder rate is ridiculous. It has been 90 years since the city last had Republican mayor. The Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times have not held accountable the Cook County Democrat Political Machine, which continues its chokehold on City Hall while young black men continue to kill one another in the lesser neighborhoods.

But newspapers portray themselves as guardians of the city. Harvard's Neiman journalism lab published a column by Mary Ellen Klas.

She wrote, "Much has been written about the decline in the ranks of government reporters, but less is said about the impact that is having on government. From my vantage point, that impact is even more menacing than the loss of our legacy newspapers because it has diminished government accountability, reduced access to accurate information, and, led to a decline in public trust."  

That is a fairy tale.

Legacy newspapers largely ignore City Hall. And when it comes to accurate information, need I remind readers that the New York Times and Washington Post received Pulitzers for promoting the Russian Collusion story, which turned out to be a hoax.

Journalists talk of news deserts as newspapers fold. I have news for those journalists. Crooks will be exposed without newspapers.

This already is happening.

A chief justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court turned out to be a crook. He was uncovered not by the local newspaper but by Kennie Bass of Channel 8.

If the Internet is hastening the death of newspapers, consider it a mercy killing.

Unlike those 157 homicides in Atlanta last year, a 58% increase from the 99 in 2019, which AJC incredibly failed to include in its story on the state of the city.


  1. "I may bid on that contract. I can get them the cameras for half what they want to spend, and still pocket $1 million profit."

    I strongly believe this has already been taken care of and given the costs of these cameras, several people there had to be compensated for their cooperation.

    1. Even with Adding in the cost of installing and networking them, there’s a hole lot of corruption going on.

  2. I guess you can say that the Atlanta mayor has proven to be a Bottoms feeder.

  3. Too bad, Don, but the bid for the cameras has already been rigged for the city's favorite BIPOC contractor and no further bids will be considered. Having been in the business I can tell you that the contractor was given the number in advance and perhaps even more information so that their proposal would be the one chosen. That is exactly how it works. Once the rigger decides to retire from government service he will be rewarded with a cushy and highly paid job with his favorite contractor.

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  5. Atlanta is a sh!thole. Just like all chocolate cities.

  6. great post Don

    It is VERY interesting that now with modern search engines and online data LITTLE if any correlation of that data is done in mainstream journalism.

    For example IF one were to look. The current surge of border ICE detaining illegals at the border "could" be mapped to the day in which the trend increased? If anyone did that data dive out of curiosity. I wonder what day THAT might be?

    There is overall a supreme lack of media curiosity these days. For example could defunding police discussion in Large Metro City Halls across this great land somehow be related to loss of Police officers to wealthy suburbs where crime is less?

    Could the spike in say assaults on vulnerable populations (like Asians!) be oh I don't know "tied" to the loss of officers at a particular police department. I mean has anyone NOTICED that rural towns don't seem to have an Asian Hate problem right?

    Has anyone noticed that Dem cities with Black Woman mayors seem to be having problems with Police Officer relations and Officer retention? It's public data. Police officers are in fact public servants.

    Have Police Departments in said Black Woman Mayor cities have been forced to LOWER their standards on hiring Police officers in order to fill classes??? (hint they have AND most citizens would be SHOCKED as to some of the waivers, like Convicted Misdemeanor Dudes allowed to wear a badge and an gun in yo city... standards lowered)

    Pretty much most of the Dem Black Woman mayor type places are turning into New Orleans at a very rapid pace.

    I have seen quite a few anonymous post from cops in such cities. They relate that the Police find themselves in difficult straits with the Mayor's office. On the one hand the Mayor flatly orders the Police to NOT do a George Floyd (which means no public apprehension of non-compliant suspects of a certain amount of Melanin). Which then gets out to the street hoods and now EVERYONE wants to be non-compliant and evade arrest.

    All a hood needs to do is cause enough of a scene to assure cell phones start recording and then "scream like the po-po be killin ya". And remember THIS is EVERY SINGLE arrest now. And it's interesting that much like Floyd a helpful "recorder" will edit out any hood being non-compliant parts.

    Oh and good luck with those 250 cameras Miz Mayor. I bet that they last a Week til they are shot out of operation.

  7. And another thing

    Murders only tell a small percentage of the story.

    Aggravated Assaults are the real tell in how dangerous crime is in a city. Aggravated Assaults these days are rehabilitated murders. As in the victim would have died except a level 1 trauma center saved half the victim's body.

    Everyone likes the murder rate because it does not get scary like AA numbers can. But AA increases are proportional to Murder in nearly every case. So yes 50+ people were murdered but the +100s of people that were nearly murdered and probably disabled for life ARE the true tragedy.

  8. Harvard's Neiman journalism lab

    IIRC, Neiman was a Milwaukee Journal exec and you'll never guess: the Journal hated only two Milwaukee officials: Mayor Maier, who was happy to tell Journal execs where to put it, and Chief Harold Brier, who was a tough SOB, honest cop, and who did not put up with crap from ANYBODY. Definitely not PC--and if you were a wayward cop, you'd be in jail, too.

  9. city after city pretty much says it and too many are (mal)administered by black Democrat women with three names and a lot of excuses.

    Like another black woman, Barack Hussein Obama.

    Or is that racist.

  10. Name ONE all black town, city, county, territory, country that is not a hellhole to live in. Look worldwide. A sad fact, but a fact just the same.

    1. But I thought peace had come to Zimbabwe, as Saint Stevie said?

    2. Botswana does fairly well in Africa. I understand that there are black communities on some Carolina islands that have been run well for over a hundred years. None of those places is run by Marxists. The black illegitimacy rate was very low before the Great Society. Fatherless boys turn out to act like bastards at a high fraction regardless of race.

  11. After 36 years I let my subscription to the AJC lapse this year. I got tired of paying for propaganda. - GOC

  12. Say her name: Secoriea Turner. She was the little girl murdered in her mother's car by the black occupiers the Mayor refused to remove from her city's streets. Jason Whitlock had a heartbreaking video last year of the young children executed in the post George Floyd lawlessness.

  13. Many city papers in my corner of the south have reduced the number of reporters and use AP and the Gannett network for the news. Local stories are no longer local. Local sports are no longer covered locally. I’m not talking Atlanta sized cities, but 10,000-200,000 size.

  14. Just to put the size of Atlanta's Police force which has an authorized strength of 2,046 total officers to protect a city of over 506,000, the Capitol Police force that is assigned to protect Nancy Pelosi's fifedom, has over 2300 officers!

  15. Democrat controlled Big Cities have been in the cr^pper for decades with the legacy newspapers support. This local phenomenon is now national, and the USA is going down the cr^pper with the legacy national “news” media serving as activists for the far-left authoritarian anti-Constitution wannabe fascists.

    It’s so freakin obvious. Like the sun.

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