Today’s newspaper features stories on the two leading Shelby County mayoral candidates.
I can’t imagine how they could have produced a more bias, slanted coverage, except if they had drawn devil horns on David Lenoir’s photo while placing a halo on Democrat Lee Harris’.
Yes, it was that bad.
By the second graph on Lenoir, we are told his wife said he was “serially unfaithful, gambling illegally, and having a drinking and drug problem.” The only things missing were pornography and pedophilia. He and his wife were divorcing, we are told, and it was ugly.
By contrast, in the very first graph on Harris, we read, “The home? Spotless. Trousers? Hung on the appropriate hanger. The drapes? Closed at night. The car? Washed. And polished. This was Lee Harris’ upbringing.” What? No rescuing a puppy from a burning building?
It continues, his parents were “most concerned with discipline, character and focus.”
As we know, most people just read the first few paragraphs of a story. That’s why these descriptions were placed there and where the character assassination takes place.
While Lenoir is described as having a wakeup call about his life on 9/11, when his cousin died in the World Trade Center, the impact of this is probably negative. That he made up with his wife won’t register either among quick scanning readers. These things stick in the mind.
Harris, by contrast gets described as a Yale law grad with a stint at the London School of Economics, who wanted to “forego Manhattan’s $1 million salaries and come home to tackle Memphis’ enduring blight and poverty…Going to Wall Street is not a challenge,” Harris said.
Got that? While Lenoir was wrestling with demons, family problems and a mutual fund that died in 2006, Harris was getting a full scholarship to Yale, but thinking about the problems of Memphis. The virtue just drips from him.
The love fest for Harris continued throughout the story. After graduation from law school, Harris came back to work in Memphis where he joined a law firm, but “in terms of salary, shy of New York pay scales.”
After getting on the City Council, Harris and his Harvard educated wife teach at the U of M instead of working at a law firm, the CA says. “They happen to be the only two tenured black faculty, Harris said. He’ll step down if elected.” Then he’ll “focus on his agenda of poverty and blight.”
But they want you to know he’s humble, too. His car, a 2003 Toyota 4Runner has a “check engine light lit up for years on the dashboard and some 200,000 miles now showing on the odometer.
In other words, just like you, Mr. Hard Working Memphian.
“Pulling up in the driveway of his parents’ home, parking beside his mother’s Lexus, he knows they’ll fuss.
“They tell me, ‘Your car is all beat up and dusty. Why don’t you buy a new one?'” Harris said.
Puhleez! Enough of the virtue signalling.
Lenoir’s religious turnaround by contrast is used to make him look like a redneck Bible thumping gay hater. They reference that the Shelby Democrat Chairman Corey Strong called him “homophobic” which is “a reference to Lenoir’s time at Centurion, which sought to attract investors with a promise it would not support the gay and lesbian agenda.
“He literally put money together to try to work against the – quote, unquote – ‘gay agenda,’ Strong said then.”
In the rundown on Harris, I don’t remember them quoting Shelby GOP Chair Lee Mills making a negative remark about the Democrat candidate. Fair? No. It just plants in easily led peoples’ minds that now Lenoir is a hater, too.
Not being a homophobe is one of those issues that you may truthfully deny, but can’t prove. That’s where the bias comes in because the newspaper editors know you can’t prove a negative, but they can leave a lasting implication.
Even on the plus side for Lenoir there is a subtle criticism. “Lenoir collected delinquent taxes aggressively from others, part of the reason for this year’s roughly $16 million to $17 million surplus.”
So now he’s a meanie.
What they don’t want to tell you about Harris is that all his care about blight and poverty comes with a big price. He’s going to raise our taxes to cure that and our perpetually languishing schools, probably bigly. Nevermind that we’ve been paying lots and lots of taxes without seeing one iota of improvement in our school system or in the war on poverty.
This was really quite an effort at manipulating the vote.
Luckily, fewer and fewer Memphians read the rag. Many hopped off long before the latest complete embrace of all things left.
Lenoir is clearly the best candidate. He can expect more of this from the CA because he is.