Can the Plain Dealer be bought? It already has been

by Roldo Bartimole

(Plain Press, June 2017)      Can you imagine if the Cleveland Cavaliers again defeated the Golden State Warriors that the Plain Dealer’s next edition would ignore it? Just let it pass. No comment.

They didn’t fail on Wednesday to run 14 pages in two sports sections. It wasn’t the Warriors but the mere Boston Celtics.

Sports reigns. Beats real necessary news.

I didn’t see a column, an editorial or a follow-up article to what happened on Monday, May 22nd. Dropped after a brief nod on Tuesday.

“Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear,” according to George Orwell.

Then what’s not telling them what they should hear? The Plain Dealer way.

What happened on Monday: Council president Kevin Kelley, a dufuss if there ever was one, turned away petitioners with four boxes of signatures he knew were coming without even a legal document to validate his action.

He presented a piece of paper from long-time flunky and clerk Allan Dreyer, a factotum who will do the bidding of anyone in authority—an order taker no matter how revolting the task or stupid his boss’s request.

This is government not simply at its worse, but at its clumsiest worst.

Many citizens spent days and hours methodically collecting 20,000—and that’s 20,000 Clevelander stopped whatever they might have been doing and printed their name, filled in the necessary address and pertinent information. And, then signed their name to the sheet of paper signifying they wanted a vote.

Is the vote supposed to be serious?

It took a lot of people, walking streets, knocking on doors, and asking for the information to be recorded.

How many? Four hundred at least, say petitioners.

How long? Hundreds of hours of toil.

When? Rain, cold or sunshine.

But who cares? Not Cleveland City Hall. Not the editors of the PD. Nor the television news people—those silly individuals who are childish cheerleaders most of the time.

Wouldn’t that brand of insensitive government deserve an editorial kick in the ass? Not from the obedient order-takers in our First Amendment news media. Not Kelley. Not Mayor Frank Jackson. Not Law Director Barbara Langhenry.

Here are deficient officials without the honesty or decency to be representatives of the city’s citizens. Losers.

And as unrepresentative of the public as they are, what do you say about the people who claim to be journalists, guardians of the public. The Free Press.

Where was the outrage from George Rodrigue, PD editor; or Elizabeth Sullivan, opinion director; or Chris Quinn, editor and president.

All nice titles. No fitting response to this outrage.

George, Elizabeth, Quinn you could all take Dreyer’s place. You’d fit nicely.

Apparatchiks of the reigning order.

Do we just give up? Say, the hell with it? You guys win. Or do we kick ass.

If people aren’t angry now they never will be.

Editor’s Note: This article was first published by Have Coffee Will Write on May 25, 2017, a few days Cleveland City Council refused to accept petitions signed by over 20,000 Cleveland voters calling for a referendum on legislation passed by Cleveland City Council that calls for giving $88 million from the City of Cleveland toward expansion of the Quicken Loans Arena. To view more articles by Roldo Bartimole online visit


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