Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Is Kent Smith's Son's Arrest Newsworthy?

On Monday evening, I checked in on the local TV news broadcasts to see if any of them covered 7th District Republican congressional candidate Carlos May's campaign announcement. I believe WISH-TV covered May's announcement, but I didn't see any report during the regular evening broadcast. What I found being reported near the top of one of the news broadcasts was the arrest of City-County Councilor Kent Smith's 18-year-old son on charges of bringing a knife to school. Other television broadcasts carried similar reports on the arrest of Smith's son.

I have to wonder if any of those news organizations would have reported on this story if the person arrested wasn't the son of a City-County Councilor. It is unfortunate that May's campaign announcement, by comparison, received much less media coverage. The Indianapolis Star, which flashes U.S. Rep. Andre Carson's picture all over its news pages every time he goes to the bathroom, buried May's announcement, picking up a three-paragraph item run by the AP. You had to really be looking for it to find it in the Metro/State section.

20 comments:

Jon E. Easter said...

I agree AI...for once. I do think it's a news story, but it doesn't merit the coverage it's gotten. Kent Smith's son is an adult.

You won't find it on my blog because I don't think it merits anything, but I was thinking about writing a post on this topic. You beat me to it.

Steve Buyer's mess is something entirely different, and I await your coverage of that.

Advance Indiana said...

Well, Jon, when you decide to write something negative about Andre Carson, I'll think about it.

Advance Indiana said...

By the way, I ressearched and wrote about Eric Miller's abuse of a nonprofit organization and how much he personally made off of it over a period of about a year and nobody in the media wrote a thing about it. I'm not moved by Buyer's nonprofit deal. I don't see how he's made anything personally off of it, and the experts say he's doing nothing illegal. I thought Andre Carson getting a job with a city contractor a few weeks after he got appointed to the City-County Council was more newsworthy.

indyernie said...

Minton-McNeil made the Fox 59 News tonight. It seems she well enough to respond to Police runs in the hood.
According to the report she interfered in one and was sent home...I wonder if she is "well enough" to resume her sworn duty?
Wasn’t she Andre Carson’s, hand picked replacement?

Paul K. Ogden said...

AI, it depends on how you define "illegal." I think Buyer's foundation almost certainly has violated its 501(c)(3) status by not giving out any scholarships in the six years its been in existence. The foundation very will will lose that status. Of course, there are plenty of 501(c)
(3)s out there that exist simply pay their founders lavish and top employees lavish salaries.

I don't think Buyer has personally profitted off of the foundation in terms of $$, but it has allowed him to take some mighty fancy golf vacations under the guise of fundraising.

iPOPA said...

I disagree with both Jon and AI. Every time a kid takes a weapon to school, it is newsworthy because it allows parents to assess the success of the security measures for the school and alerts society, yet again, to the notion that even ''good kids'' can be lethal. I recall at least three stories this year about weapons at schools, so this story was going to run, and I blogged on it. A separate question might be is it fair to ID the kid as Kent Smith's son. And I would ask in response what is different between this and Judge Nelson's wife? Nobody charged him with any crime or knowledge of her conduct, but they drew him into the story. If Chelsea Clinton got a DUI, I'm supposed to believe AI wouldn't write on it? When people become ''public,'' in particular elected officials who put pictures of their families in campaign materials to make us think they are good husbands and parents, they lose the ability to not be connected with the misdeeds of that family. AI, didn't you report on a Carson family member who had gone to jail? Now when it's a Republican city-county councilor, you get squeamish? Where you are right is on May's coverage. I'm a Carson supporter, and I'm going to do whatever I can to defeat May. But the coverage he got on-line was ridiculous. They didn't even list his most recent biographical information, such as his work with the mayor (of course. that could have been doing him a favor with this mayor!), nor did the story have a single quote from him. Maybe this is just the painfully objective part of me, but I want to beat a guy because his ideas are wrong for this district, not because the media ignores him.

Downtown Indy said...

Three recent Star's headlines:

Two for Carlos May:

"Man to challenge Andre Carson"

"Attorney to challenge Andre Carson" (they even got this one wrong - May is not an attorney)

One for Marvin Scott:

"Repeat GOP candidate challenges Carson"

I see a pattern here.

Downtown Indy said...

Also newsworthy:

Golf course has city police car for 30 days

Russ McQuade scoops the 'big 3' and IndyStar again.

patriot paul said...

The small time media in this town will never arise above its Mayberry mentality so long as those who select the stories are borderline tabloid.

Advance Indiana said...

Chris, The judge case was entirely different. Number one, it was alleged the judge's wife forged the signature of another close relative, who also happened to be a judge. You couldn't report the story without noting the connection of the accused to two sitting judges. The Chelsea Clinton analogy misses the mark. The media was all over a story about the Bush daughters drinking underage while they were in college. They never reported on Vice President Al Gore's son getting booted out of an elite private school in D.C. for possession of marijuana. And of course, every detail of Levi Johnston's life is splashed all over the news media just because he likes saying a bunch of negative things about Sarah Palin. Yes, I reported on Jamie Carson committing one of the worst hate crimes against gay people in the history of Marion Co. Former U.S. Rep. Julia Carson visited her grandson frequently in jail, and the family tried to spring him so he could attend her funeral.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Carlos May does have a law degree.

As for Kent Smith's son - they are treating that as news because of the father's elected position and not because of the son's actions. Its part of the 'entertainment' value of news, rather than the 'information' value of news. Its not like the Star has extensive coverage of community news and so all word of kids bringing weapons to school are reported.

artfuggins said...

AI, the media did report on the problems of Al Gore's son and his dismissal from school. I remember reading about it and you know about it and unless Al Gore told you personally then there must have been some media reports. I have problems when small children are attacked by the media but Kent Smith's son is an 18 year old adult. What I can't understand is why Kent Smith initiated contact with the media re: this incident. It may not have been reported or gotten the prominent news it did if a city councilor did not go to the media and initiate discussion.

Advance Indiana said...

You must have read about Al Gore's son in the American Specator because it wasn't reported on by the mainstream media.

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

Remind me again why I refuse to buy the star or use its classifieds?

Vox Populi said...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19601277/

http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=3345350&page=1&page=1

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,288047,00.html

Three stories about Gore's son, none from the American Spectator. I remember it because I heard it on NPR.

Advance Indiana said...

Sorry, Vox, but those are the more recent stories about his drug arrest in 2007 long after Gore was no longer in office. I'm talking about the drug allegations when his father was Vice President and he was attending a prestigious private school. None of the mainstream media reported on that at the time it occurred.

johnny200877 said...

iPOPa, I have to correct you yet again, He was interviewed and quoted on the Morning news the following day, although only briefly, and he was interviewed on Amos in the morning directly following the announcement at one and was on Abdul in the Morning the following morning. PLEASE if you are going to comment TRY to get the facts right, you're "supposed" to be a Wabash man for Christ's sake!"

IA said...

AI,

I think you've missed the point about Buyer. First, the "expert" is a Hudson Institute/American Enterprise Institute Reagan Bush appointee. Second, he doesn't address the fact that Buyer first denied that it was his foundation. He doesn't address the fact that the foundation is paying for the salary of Buyer's Storm Chasers PAC director and for rent on his campaign office. Buyer also stated that his daughter was not paid by the foundation although she was. Finally the "we need more money in the foundation" argument is contradicted by the facts that the IRS filings each year indicate that they are asking for applications every year and that $600,000 is enough WITHOUT ANY INTEREST to offer scholarships for the NEXT 30 YEARS!

iPOPA said...

Johnny, you've demonstrated nicely how communication is such a subtle art. You accused me of not getting ''the facts'' right, but the only ''fact'' I had on May was what the Star specifically did, which was give him minimal coverage. I then offered a general principal, which was that I wanted to win on the merits, not because the media ignores the other guy. You took it to mean I said May didn't get ANY coverage from anybody, which is not what I said, nor was it my intent. But let me rephrase for clarity's sake...every media outlet should be fair in its coverage. The Star, in my opinion, did not do that. The Star IS the most prominent newspaper for this Congressional District, and newspapers have the luxury of providing more information than TV (column inches are easier to spare then time during a cramped newscast. If a candidate's resume can't be addressed even briefly in a newspaper story, sorry, but the paper isn't doing its job. I'm not sure why you responded as angrily as you did over something you misconstrued, so I guess I should apologize for wronging you in a prior life. (Of course, even if May had gotten the full front page of the paper, he'll still get destroyed by Carson).

johnny200877 said...

Ipopa,

Let me qotue your earlier post to refresh your memory "They didn't even list his most recent biographical information, such as his work with the mayor (of course. that could have been doing him a favor with this mayor!), nor did the story have a single quote from him." I simply stated that he WAS quoted on a variety of media outlets and for you to state otherwise was untrue. As for wronging me in another life, please don't hold yourslef in so high a regard, I am just correcting the misstatements of the ill informed.