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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Who really has an agenda?

A column in the Trentonian last week threw more barbs at the foes of the current city administration, calling out attendees of a rally for a valued community police officer who was randomly transferred back onto patrol duties following a successful stint as the community officer in the South Ward.

“What we also know now is that people living in South Trenton with agendas — whether they are political or parochial — will kick, yell and march when an officer is taken away from his post but when in this case a young African American woman is removed from this world, they remain silent,” said the column's author.

It is true that there is outrage missing when poor black citizens are killed in urban ghettos like Trenton, but the lack of outcry does not mean the citizens with alleged agendas in South Trenton do not care about the lives of their fellow Trenton citizens.

Perhaps the murder victim in the Kingsbury Towers could have benefited from a close relationship with a community police officer, like the one who was forcibly removed from his helpful position in the South Trenton community by Trenton City police brass.

She could have told the community officer she didn’t have in real life about her dangerous relationship with an ex-con on his way back to prison.

Besides gang members and criminals, everyone who actually lives within Trenton city limits cares about the city’s murder problem, not only for the waste of the precious gift of life, but to a lesser extent, because it affects every Trenton resident in other ways.

Everyone knows about the odd looks and sideways glances that come out whenever someone mentions they live in Trenton. This response comes because of the horror stories and overblown fears people have from reading about the crime and poverty existing in the capital city.

The murder of the young lady in Kingsbury only reinforces those beliefs.

So Trenton Makes says nevermind to the ridiculous argument that South Ward residents who attended the rally for Officer Reyes don’t care about homicide victims in Trenton.

The Trentonian columnist should also refrain from talking about agendas in his future columns and articles.

What kind of responsible journalist would become so close and coddled by a city government that has failed to get the job done for nearly two decades?

The columnist's own superiors at his place of work admit that while they enjoy having an insider so close to the Trenton City government, the apparent bias, slant, and spin favoring the administration in his stories becomes bothersome.

So, in the future, let’s not talk about agendas.


Chrissy said...

LA Parker illustrates, twice a week, his tenuous grasp of the news and the community about which he is paid to write. Not only does he have a superficial understanding of the dynamics in Trenton, but also, his writing just kind of sucks.

For the last 30 years (at least), the Trentonian has not had the highest of standards, which is a shame, given the history of this paper; the publisher probably doesn't even really care what the hell LA writes. But the role of the press has always been one of advocacy of regular people. Perhaps if the Trentonian, by way of its columnist, took even a slightly less adversarial tone with the very people it is trying to attract as readers, paying subscribers, and/or paying advertisers, that paper wouldn't be in the mess that it's in. The administration of this city already has power and outlets; it does not need a puppet columnist at the Trentonian. But we (the people) could use a decent paper, that's for damn sure. Hooray for the blogs!

Old Mill Hill said...

Well, one could argue that Mr. Parker, by virtue of his having a column twice weekly is encouraged and entitled to express his personal opinions whether we agree with him or not.

When he is writing strictly as a reporter and loses his subjectivity is more of a concern And, honestly, his reporting is technically more objective than his columns...even if we can't always separate the one from the other.

A larger problem, to my mind, is the fact that anyone who disagrees with the city administration is automatically labeled "a foe" of same. This is, IMHO, the single largest failing on the part of Mayor Palmer and his toadies.

None of us are going to agree on everything all the time. Sometimes, through disagreement comes discourse and discovery of a better, different, improved way of going about something. There is no shame in that.

But the hallmark of Mr. Palmer's reign has been that any doubters or naysayers are to be marginalized, chastised, villified, or worse. If you dare express an opinion that differs from the Mayor's (or one of his chosen flunkies), then you are automatically labeled an enemy of the state.

That is not a democracy and if nothing else, the blogs (and the forum) seem to be bringing this hypocrisy more and more to light each day.

Hopefully the people of Trenton are about saturated with this BS and ready to stand up and do something to bring positive change to town.