Monday Morning Enquirer Outrage
October 23, 2006 09:05 AM
The Enquirer's Kimball Perry runs today with a slathering story about David Pepper, who is running for county commissioner. The headline sums up the whole Pepper candidacy pretty well, "Pepper: Raised By Prominent Locals." Gee, now that's a reason to vote for somebody!
It's supposedly a human interest story, that focuses on David Pepper's family history in Cincinnati. Yes, his maternal grandfather was a prominent ob-gyn who delivered 30,000 babies here, including NBS's mom (that last part doesn't make the paper). Yes, David's maternal family history is actually more important to the city, even though his dad became C.E.O. of P&G. And yes, Kimball Perry reports all of this in such hushed tones, it's like he thinks David is our own local JFK, Jr. And, Kimball buys into the Pepper family spin on wealth: that it hasn't affect David's world view in the slightest!
To get the straight-skinny on this, Kimball turned to two unbiased sources: David himself, and David's mom,
Despite the perception that they grew up rich, the Pepper siblings weren't pampered and always had to work for their money, he said.
"We're just very down-to-earth people," Francie Pepper said. "We came from zero. John's family and my family inherited not one dime."
"We came from zero?" Zero? It is incredible that Kimball Perry reports this as fact, despite every bit of evidence to the contrary. How did he verify this? Aren't reporters supposed to verify what people tell them? Does anyone think that Kimball asked Mrs. Pepper if he could look over the family finances, or check out the terms of her parents' estate planning documents? Did he ask her how she managed to inherit her parents' summer home (on a private island in Canada), if she did not inherit "one dime"? Of course not!
But it gets worse,
Growing up in Hyde Park and Wyoming, David Pepper did odd jobs clearing brush, mowing lawns and painting houses during summers.
It turns out, NBS knows who did the yard work at the Pepper household, and it certainly wasn't David Pepper. They had a landscape crew and a mowing service. Trust us, we can tell you with absolute certainty: David Pepper didn't do any yard work.
Meanwhile compare, Kimball Perry's lovey-dovey piece on David Pepper, with his tacky companion article about David's opponent:
Phil Heimlich's dad is a world-renowned doctor, his mother the daughter of famous dancers Kathryn and Arthur Murray.
The family pariah is the commissioner's brother, Peter Heimlich. Family members think he is doing all he can to ruin his father's reputation and sabotage his brother's political career as the Republican Hamilton County commissioner is embroiled in a fierce election race.
Way to focus on the Heimlich family black sheep, Kimball. Perhaps you should also have mentioned that Peter Heimlich is completely unhinged? He launched a crazy attack on his own father, by assuming a woman's name and writing to the Business Courier anonymously, trying to out his Dad for faking the discovery of the Heimlich maneover. Don't you think that's worth either explaining--or not mentioning at all? How about a slathering article about the Heimlich family that focuses on how difficult it is to deal with a family member who is mentally ill?
Kimball, it's like you actually believe the spin from the left-wing blogosphere that argues that you are pro-Heimlich. You don't have to try to prove them wrong by failing to do your job.