Monday, November 05, 2007

Could This Be Media Bias

This could be what Mayor Herenton is talking about when he says the local media is biased. Could the reason it was such a slow week in the news, be due to the fact that none of the primary targets were Black? The focus of all the present investigations going on, are powerful White males. The news outlets have downplayed the magnitude of each of these guy's predicaments, by not reminding the citizens about them three times a day. All of these people face some pretty serious charges if found guilty. I guess you get more attention for stealing thousands than you do millions.

Bruce Thompson hasn't been seen, and hasn't even made a comment. I haven't seen any of the local reporters following him around sticking mics in his face either. It seems his plight has gotten less attention than Wanda Halbert, though he is the focus of the investigation. She was only implicated because of her involvement with him. It will be interesting to see what he has to say when the public finally hears it from him. They won't have any instances of him on tape sticking his foot in his mouth, you'll have to wait and see. He has hired Leslie Ballin, whether he's guilty or not he's preparing for a fight.

I don't think we're getting the full story when it comes to James Jordan and the MCS. I don't believe the loss was due to general waste as they have said, I think someone has been outright stealing. Mr. Jordan has resigned from his cushy job all of a sudden, with no backlash and a severance package. He won't miss the job or the people he left behind. He just got hired last year. I don't think the "waste" started with him being appointed. This is just the first time the public found out. The CNC has a 56.3 million dollar annual budget. In a year Mr. Jordan has cost the taxpayers 4 million dollars. It would be easy to do with a budget that size. Being incompetent is not against the law.

Regardless whether you agree with him or not, his plight still qualifies as front page news. I think the public should be privy to all the information concerning the city's financial dealings though. Had that been the case thirty-three years ago, hence we wouldn't be having this discussion? John Elkington oversees the biggest tourist attraction in the state, and it happens to be in the city of Memphis. At one point the city was in his debt, but that has probably since changed. I don't think he owes the city that much money now, but citizens are owed an accounting of whatever the amount. He is scheduled for court this Tuesday with his attorney J. Richard Rossi, who is already under indictment himself. Both cases have somehow remained out of the mainstream media.

Though this in my opinion, was more gossip than news. The media jumped on this like a duck in water. They revealed the homes and addresses, of several successful Black pastors in Memphis. Even providing links to the websites stating the values of their homes. Yet I noticed they didn't show any White pastor's houses. To make sure that everyone can see it, it's coming back on tonight. They might not need it, because thanks to Wendi Thomas and her story about COGIC. The controlled media have something else to talk about. Why don't they tell the public where some of these other millionaires like Nick Clark or Ira Lipman live? I'm sure they live good also, if not better. What is the big deal among especially Black people, about the "Man Of God" being blessed? Nobody asks or tells where Mark Goodfellow lives.

With nothing else happening, I wonder how they overlooked this? A kingpin in the topless bar industry in Memphis was sentenced today so obviously he had been on trial. Read about Ralph Lunati:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Journalists should:

— Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.

— Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.

— Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.

— Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.

— Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.

— Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes.

— Be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.

— Balance a criminal suspect’s fair trial rights with the public’s right to be informed.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ex-food director airs beef
Files EEOC complaint against school district
By Kristina Goetz (Contact)
Sunday, December 9, 2007

The former nutrition services director at Memphis City Schools has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging racial discrimination and sabotage.

James Jordan, who resigned in October following allegations of mismanagement at the Central Nutrition Center, alleges Memphis City Schools discriminated against him because he's white.

Jordan, on the job just over a year, resigned amid allegations that his department made hundreds of improper purchases and allowed 243 tons of frozen food to spoil.

"I was forced to resign my employment and immediately replaced by a black employee who had applied for the position but was not selected," he wrote in the complaint. "In addition, my performance was satisfactory, and I had an excellent evaluation."

Attempts to contact Jordan for comment were unsuccessful. He has been unavailable since the controversy erupted weeks ago.

In supplemental materials filed with the complaint and obtained by The Commercial Appeal, however, Jordan alleges black employees refused to help, misled or provided false information in an effort to undermine him.

He counters numerous allegations made about his management of the department in a five-page written defense.

In that document, Jordan suggests the department's highest profile crisis -- the forced dumping of tons of spoiled food -- was created by a saboteur who then helped auditors discredit him. The result was the loss of as much as $600,000 of food and a stinging, well-publicized audit.

Jordan wrote that many of the audit's findings, as well as anonymous employee allegations to school board members, were made "because the status quo black staff at the CNC do not want to change anything about the old way of performing their jobs, particularly under the direction of a white director."

Linda Khumalo, general counsel for MCS, said Friday she had not seen the complaint, which was filed Nov. 2. "I've only heard about it, so I have no comment," she said.

Jordan wrote that he had been warned about racial conflict and potential sabotage.

After being introduced to CNC staff, Jordan wrote, he was pulled into an office by an employee and told " 'there is a black/white thing here that you need to be warned of.' I responded, 'I don't manage color, I manage people. It will be OK.'"

Jordan went on to say his wife, Linda, had been given a similar warning. He wrote: "[The employee] told her, 'Your husband will be gone within a year. He is white and they will take him down. ... You need to watch out!' "

Jordan should have heeded the warnings, he wrote, adding that both he and his wife received threats at work, which caused security to be added at the CNC building.

On another occasion, Jordan claimed, school board president Patrice Robinson approached him while he was setting up a catering event. "While there, President Robinson called me over to tell me, 'You have some saboteurs working against you. You need to be careful,' " he wrote.

An unidentified person who answered the phone at Robinson's home Friday said the board chairman wasn't feeling well and was unavailable to speak to a reporter.

Jordan's allegations touch numerous bases -- from intentional misreporting of the fund balance to state officials to sabotage by black truck drivers who he claims intentionally failed to deliver food to schools and handled food improperly. Jordan described the department's cash management as a "setup for failure" that "created chaos."

But none of his allegations is more provocative than those involving the infamous disposal of tons of frozen food.

He alleges an inventory control employee "intentionally failed in her job but assisted the auditors in creating purposeful havoc and discrediting the director when she directed the disposal of the food. The First In First Out method of inventory was not followed since there was no monitoring of the food handling process by [the employee] along with no corrective action."

Jordan cites an inspection report dated Sept. 24 from the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department showing the coolers had been turned down to keep an overflow of frozen food at the proper temperature and that the situation didn't present a health problem.

"I sent this report to the auditors immediately," he wrote. "The next day ... the auditors declared the inspection to be bogus and called the health inspectors out again. If the determination of the health inspection dated 9/24/2007 was changed I was never given written documentation.

"One day there is not a serious problem and the next day they are throwing away an alleged $600,000 of food. ... Two of the three individuals chose [to determine which food would be discarded] were the staff members whose jobs were the responsibility for proper storage of received products, inventory control and food safety."

A spokeswoman from the health department said Friday that initially an investigator wasn't told about food that had been thawed and then refrozen. When he returned at the request of the school district, he helped determine which pallets of food had to be discarded.

Jordan also alleged that during the internal audit, white-out was used on documents so the people responsible for a now controversial party held at the Memphis College of Arts for MCS students were not disclosed.

Jordan wrote that former chief operating officer Michael Goar, who resigned in October to take a job as special assistant to the superintendent at Boston Public Schools, ordered the party and that another employee handled the details.

"I was told to take care of the event for Mr. Goar," Jordan wrote. "He wanted a very nice show. 'Don't worry about the money. Just get what you can get.'"

Jordan's personnel file, examined by the newspaper, did not contain any performance reviews, letters of commendation or reprimands.

"My evaluation was exemplary," Jordan wrote. "Mr. Goar stated many times that he did not have any problems with my job performance this first year. He appreciated my hard work and leadership. Mr. Goar even asked if I was interested in moving to Boston to assist there. Now Mr. Goar is changing his story, 'that he wished he never hired me' was in the press."

On Oct. 10, Jordan said Goar came to the CNC to meet him. "He began by telling me how bad I looked," Jordan wrote. "[That] I 'looked as though I had lost my best friend.' I informed him I was on several medications because of the stress at work. The disposal of the food by the auditors was very distressful. Mr. Goar stated I 'needed to resign for my sanity.' "

That's when Goar explained that Supt. Dan Ward had "lost faith in the leadership of the department," he wrote.

Goar couldn't be reached for comment Friday. Jonathan Palumbo, a spokesman for Boston Public Schools, said legal counsel advised the district not to comment on any complaint.

Jordan wrote that he had been told by Goar and others that he had "walked into a whirlwind mess when [he] arrived in Memphis in 2006."

"The deceit and lies are prevalent at all levels of the MCS system," Jordan wrote. "I refuse to be made the scapegoat for all the ills of the Nutrition Services Division."

6:08 AM  
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