Archive: December, 2010
Lost in all the hub-bub today about other things was a pretty good story in this morning's Inquirer that looked at income by census tracts within the city of Philadelphia. You'll be shocked, shocked to learn that very few Philly neighborhoods stayed the same. Already affluent areas like Center City and a few gentrfying neighborhoods that are close by -- Fishtown and the area just south of South Street, for example -- saw decent increases, but most poor and working-class neighborhoods saw incomes drop.
The article used Poplar Street as a device to show the economic bifurcation of Philadelphia, but we might as well call it Ronald Reagan Boulevard:
I don't normally republish 14-month-old Attytood posts -- except when they're exactly what I'd be saying now, anyway. And so with everyone all ga-ga about Cliff :Lee spurning bigger money in the Big Apple (although a larger tax bite -- just channeling my inner Rush for a second there) to instead ply his trade here in the City of Brotherly Love, let's not forgot that Philadelphia's supremacy on the Eastern Seaboard was already apparent back in October 2009, even if it didn't play out that way between the foul lines.
So here's a taste of what I wrote back on Oct. 31, 2009:
Facts are stubborn things -- and journalists should report them.
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Cay Johnston is a journalistic treasure -- and also a major league crank. In a new piece, he explains why most journalism is so bad nowadays, beginning with overhyped crime coverage:
To understand how badly we’re doing the most basic work of journalism in covering the law enforcement beat, try sitting in a barbershop. When I was getting my last haircut, the noon news on the television—positioned to be impossible to avoid watching—began with a grisly murder. The well-educated man in the chair next to me started ranting about how crime is out of control.
But it isn’t. I told Frank, a regular, that crime isn’t running wild and his chance of being burglarized today is 42.5 percent of what it was in 1980. The shop turned so quiet you could have heard a hair fall to the floor had the scissors not stopped. The barbers and clients listened intently as I next told them about how the number of murders in America peaked back in the early 1990’s at a bit south of 25,000 and fell to fewer than 16,000 in 2009. When we take population growth into account, this means your chance of being murdered has almost been cut in half.
“So why is there so much crime on the news every day?” Diane, who was cutting Frank’s hair, asked.
“Because it’s cheap,” I replied. “And with crime news you only have to get the cops’ side of the story. There is no ethical duty to ask the arrested for their side of the story.”
Discuss which ace is which suit. Cliff Lee is apparently the ace of hearts because today everybody -- even straight men -- wants to marry the guy.
Still tied up with a story -- different day, different story -- so talk amongst yourselves. According to Philadelphia media, absolutely nothing else happened today.
Sorry for the lack of blog-o-worthy material so far this week, but got tied up with a long story on a subject about which I know nothing (and still do even after turning in the article, which is pretty scary :-) ) So you can find things to talk about yourselves -- I mean, it's not like a judge threw out the health care plan or anything....
Smerconish is joining a political movement called "No Labels":
"No Labels isn't saying you have to compromise on everything. People have strongly held beliefs, and they should hold to their beliefs. But we are saying that if we want to make progress for our country, if we want to solve the big problems facing us, we're going to have to find common ground," cofounder Jonathan Cowan told me.