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« Ron Paul's ghosts and ghostwriters | Main | Stone faced »

Jan 16, 2008

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Jim Rosenberg

This is gripping, truly important stuff. Any word on whether the GPD Chief, City Manager, or Council has made changes to the structure, organization, or reporting of internal investigations in response to the undisputed lessons of the Wray Fray. Don't interrupt the journalist wars for it, though. Priorities and all.

Ed Cone

I don't see it as an either/or, Jim.

Media fact-checking of this sort seems healthy to me. The people involved, and the people of GSO, deserve accurate versions of the story. It seems to me that the mix and remix of N&R's news reporting, Jerry's investigative reporting, and Jordan's analysis are bringing us closer to the truth, or at least some truths.

Jim Rosenberg

We've had uninterrupted, endless analysis of the past driven by competing ideological perspectives. Remind me again what the answer to my question is as to the effort applied to solving the undisputed underlying problems?

Ed Cone

Jim, I'm not trying to say this answers your question, I'm saying there is more than one question.

I'm interested in the one you ask, but also interested in getting an accurate story on what actually happened, and I feel like we are edging closer to doing so.

Spag

I don't see an ideological breakdown. The story seems more to be about jumping to conclusions by a lot of the principals on both sides, with the possibility of hidden agendas playing a role as well.

Linda Miles has never addressed the Walt Jones letter about the basement meeting.

Ed, you really need to scratch that picture of Chris Matthews on the top left. It's downright scary. I know it's not your fault, but maybe you can contact the people at Media Matters (a.k.a. the Hillary Clinton campaign) to use a picture of someone else.

Jim Rosenberg

Here's my point. Let's take the two flashiest "issues" in the Wray Fray: the lockout and the "multijurisdictional investigation."

Forget who is to blame in the ideological warfront for a minute. Clearly, there are underlying problems.

We don't want flashy lockout, but supposedly Johnson was warned about evidence tampering. In this case, we got the WORST OF BOTH WORLDS -- a confrontation followed by a duty-free weekend to tamper with evidence, followed by a highly public lockout. That's pretty shamefully bad. It's been years since it happened. We've been parsing every word said in dozens of forums. How about city leaders review the lockout policy, modify it, and announce to us that, whatever happened in the past, this won't happen again in the future. You know, fix it.

Mitch Johnson has been whining about poor information about the multijurisdictional investigation for years now. How about city leaders look into this and figure out a way that a City Manager can get information from federal investigators that answer the big picture questions he needs to know but do not compromise the investigation. This seems extremely possible. How about city leaders set some standards for what merits an internal investigation, how they are formed, when and how they report, and who is on the team. Then, report on the findings so citizens don't have to worry anymore about "black books" and "secret police."

Good Lord, it's been years now and Jerry Bledsoe is about to tell us what Wray's favorite Applebee's menu item is and not a finger has been lifted as far as I can tell to assure the public -- hey we looked at and fixed the problems that are apparent and indisputed at the heart of this matter. This seems nuts. Is it just me?

Ed Cone

I'm not reading the Green series the same way you are, Jim. You portray it as part of an endless rehash, but I see it as a step toward resolving some still-unclear storylines -- important ones.

I see questions about the integrity and reputation of named individuals -- Brian James foremost among them, in my view -- being brought into relief, and perhaps moving toward resolution.

And I see the possibility of establishing a clear-cut answer to the core question of what Wray is alleged to have done wrong. If he actually misled his bosses on the multi-jurisdictional thing to the extent Johnson says he did, it's a smoking gun. Such has been said before, but this is the clearest statement on it I've seen -- I'd like to see more.

I just don't see this as the distraction from real issues you do. Doesn't mean I don't see what you're saying -- I think you've been one of the most perceptive commenters on this whole thing, and your emphasis on moving forward and actually fixing problems is vitally important.

Jim Rosenberg

Ed - You're right, of course. Of course, Green's series is "valuable." It's just the latest straw to break this camel's back in terms of the endless appetite of this community for conflict porn without a happy ending while leaders seem like they're not even trying to give us the civic O-face.

Joe Killian

"The civic O-face."

Nice.

Lenslinger

"Conflict Porn."

I think you just came up with THE title for the GSO Nazi Klan Lunch Counter Wray Fray epic - currently brewing in several laptops at once across the Piedmont...

Jim Rosenberg

I am no stranger to porn, Stew -- as you well now having sold me my black market copy of the white-hot "Roy's Folks, After Dark" for quite a tidy sum. That is quite a racket you have going, my good friend. My best to Roy and the freaks.

Lenslinger

I saw Big Boy El Roy just today. He was fondling a new GPS unit and talking about his motorcycle. Makes ME look forward to semi-retirement.

Jim Rosenberg

That move in the third segment -- the "Kneel McFeel" -- amazing. How does he do that?

Beau Dure

"Conflict porn" -- dang, Jim, you just summed up several lengthy books on media criticism! You could've saved me a lot of time in grad school.

Spag

"How about city leaders look into this and figure out a way that a City Manager can get information from federal investigators that answer the big picture questions he needs to know but do not compromise the investigation."

I don't think that is the proper role of a City Manager even if Mitch Johnson believes that it is. If that's what we want to do, then let's just eliminate the position of Police Chief and let the City Manager run the police department. The greatest cause of the problems we have now seems to be directly related to the City Manager getting far too involved in police matters- something he is not qualified to do by any stretch, and something he continues to do because like it is said so often about George Bush around here- he hasn't learned from any of his mistakes and has the arrogance to believe he never does anything wrong.

Jim Rosenberg

Don't be such a drama queen. There was an instance and may be one in the future where such information was needed. It's not a "role." It's a single item on the Manager's To-Do list. Find a way to get it done, and move on. I don't know what the greatest cause of this or that is or what the hell George Bush has to do with anything I've said. Conflicting information and uncertainty caused a problem that ended up biting us. Fix the problem. Dial down your rhetorical Double Diggler Doppler. Bonus points for the dirty reference.

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