Saturday, February 16, 2008

Ballard Lifts Ban On WTLC

The Star's Tim Evans reports that Mayor Greg Ballard's administration has lifted a short-lived ban on any communications or doing any business with WTLC, the city's leading black radio station. Evans writes:

The Ballard administration, unhappy with the way the mayor was being depicted on WTLC, imposed a short-lived ban prohibiting city staff from providing information, appearing on the air or advertising with the Indianapolis radio station.

The ban against the city's oldest minority-owned radio station was announced to city department heads in a Jan. 30 e-mail from Marcus Barlow, press secretary for Mayor Greg Ballard.

Barlow said Friday that the ban was rescinded after a meeting between city and radio station officials.

"It was just a couple of days," Barlow said. "We decided to step back until we sat down and had a meeting," at which their differences were resolved.

Barlow said the administration was upset with how Ballard was being described in on-air discussions about last month's shift in control over the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department from Sheriff Frank Anderson to the mayor.

He declined, however, to go into further specifics on what prompted him to write the Jan. 30 e-mail to city department heads.

It said: "This is to inform you that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES is anyone to correspond with WTLC. You are not to appear on their shows or send them any materials. Furthermore, your departments are not to advertise with them or contract with them in any way."

It's my understanding that what upset the Ballard administration was a caller's depiction of Mayor Ballard as being a Ku Klux Klan member. The administration felt that Brown should have admonished the caller for spreading the untruth but Brown refused to do so. Evans writes, "Brown said Friday he believes the flap occurred because 'somebody heard something, repeated it to somebody else, and when it got to the 25th floor (where the mayor's office is located in the City-County Building), it was not representative of what was on the air.'"

Surprisingly, Brown reacted rather mildly to the dust up this past week, indicating that the two sides had put the matter behind him. He did, however, assert that what the Mayor's office was attempting to do was illegal. Brown writes in his column this week, "Just Tellin It":

The retaliatory action was illegal. It violated the First and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, the Indiana Constitution, the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Communications Act of 1934 and the Code of Federal Regulations — Part 73 and various Indiana statutes.

After others pointed out to Mayor Ballard and his administration the outrageousness of their illegal directive, it was “rescinded.”

As a side note, I would note that this story was first broken by a blog run by the Indiana Democratic Party's spokesperson, Jen Wagner. The Accidental Mayor posted the e-mail directive the administration sent out concerning WTLC. Nowhere in Evans' story does it mention where the controversial e-mail was first reported.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

It is too bad Amos is such a hate-monger. He is in a unique position where he could really do some good in this city, but he choses to be played by powers who care little to nothing for him personally.

Anonymous said...

Gary, you really don't expect the integrity challenged newspaper to actually give credit? They are still puzzling over how they are going to endorse a fellow who associates with the Jew Hater and White Hater.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to note that the Indianapolis Star refused to print the story regarding Barlows memo when the flap occured. Instead, they run a story that reads like a followup to a story that they reported on when in fact they swept it under the rug.
The reader, having read what the Star reported is left scratching their head wondering what the flap was about in the first place.
Now we know the rest of the story but we had to get it from blogs and not the ms media. Why?
Because Amos Brown felt that was just fine to allow his African American listeners to call in and state that Mayor Ballard was part of the Ku Klux Klan. Is this how the African American community in Indianapolis fews white people, particularly those in elected office?
And then the Indianapolis Star panders to the stacked deck of race cards that Amos deals and give him a free ticket by refusing to meantion that the flap occured over Amos effectively agreeing with his caller that Ballard was Klansman?
Yet Amos Brown, WTLC and the Recorder expect whites in the 7th District to support a candidate that not only was a former member off the Nation of Islam and a the hip hop street gang 5 Percenters bit has accepted the endorsement and Black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan and the local bigot Nuri Muhammad?
If Amos Brown's racism and bigotry is refective of the entire African American community then Indianapolis has some serious problems on their hands that will be compounded ten fold if Andre Carson is elected.

Anonymous said...

Ballard sure knows how to kick off Black History month.

Anonymous said...

Ending this controversy is simple. What is on the tape? Certainly the Mayor's office asked to hear the program. Or requested a tape. What does the tape say? Did a caller actually refer to the Mayor as a Klan member? AI did your sources play the tape for you or show you a transcript? Given some of what has happened in the new administration and given AI's concerns, how do you KNOW that what you've told about what was said is correct?

Gary R. Welsh said...

I didn't hear it so I don't know what was actually said. I included what the Ballard people understood to have been said during the show to give people a perspective on what the dispute was over. The Star's report left that out. I included Amos' claim that what they thought they heard wasn't what was actually said.

Anonymous said...

Once in a while, Amos gets something right.

Ballard played right into an inside flush on this poker hand. Stupidly.

Rookie mistake.

He's a Marine. He won't make that mistake again.

Anonymous said...

Amos Brown is the racist. Everything that happens, he calls it a racist act by a white person.

It wouldn't matter if it were a purple radio program, if someone said that, good for the mayor.

But of course, Brown has to make it a racist act.

That's the only way he knows how to operate.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that the 'race card' is played in Indianapolis more than I would have thought. I get tired of people blaming racism for what happens to them.