As we come out of the holidays, the Florida Times Union has again fired up their engines in an attempt to convince everyone that the City of Jacksonville is being sucked into a black hole because of the Police and Fire Pension Fund. And as they have done in the past, they have inserted more slant than fact into their story.
In April of 2013, a settlement was reached between the City of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension Fund in mediation sanctioned by a FEDERAL judge. Times Union Propaganda Minister Frank Denton then filed suit against the city and the fund, citing violation of sunshine laws. Recently, local judge Waddell Wallace issued a ruling in favor of Denton and the TU, citing that the deal, in his opinion, did in fact violate sunshine laws.
This led to the Times Union trumpeting their “victory” on the front page of their paper and website, heralding Wallace’s decision as a monster victory for those fighting for sunshine. In all of their excitement of winning however, the Times Union never posted Wallace’s ruling on their website. Why would a newspaper that puts everything on its website (employee salary databases, sex offender databases, FCAT scores, the lawsuits they file, etc,) not put this moment of glory on their website for all to see????
It is simple….Because if you read the entire ruling, you know Wallace punted. That is not front page sensationalism. That is not a victory for sunshine. The TU can’t have that.
If one was engaged enough to read the ruling, one would find Wallace’s decision leaves a little caveat at the end….
Defendants shall not be in violation of this judgment of injunction if they are ordered by a federal court, based on federal law, to conduct mediation negotiations in private; provided that the parties have previously informed the federal court that they are subject to this injunction, and have taken all reasonable steps to seek a waiver of the local rales for the federal district to allow the mediation to be conducted in public for the purpose of carrying out the mandates in the constitution and statutes of the State of Florida that collective bargaining with governmental units be conducted in public.
So again I ask- Why does a newspaper that posts all of its achievements online for everyone to read not post this apparent significant and noteworthy ruling for all to see??
After reading this latest attempt at deceiving its dwindling readership, and realizing that this is the time of year that we review the previous year’s events, I decided to recap the TU in 2013 in just a few short paragraphs.
Wednesday October 30th, 2013
The Times Union, using front page font reserved for events that have changed history forever, reports that the Police and Fire Pension Fund is one of the worst in the nation, based upon this free report from The Pew Foundation. It is pasted on the front page for all to see.
At no time has the Times Union run the first story on the negative effects the Pew Foundation has had in other areas of the nation or that it is funded by the same billionaires that destroyed Enron. They travel from place to place and propose the same exact plan which destroys retirement plans for many. They just promote Pew’s offer for “Free help.”
Thursday October 31st and/or Friday November 1st, 2013
It is somewhere in these two days that it is realized the big anti pension article from Wednesday was incorrect. This was obvious as the Times Union had already begun writing the story for the weekend edition.
Saturday November 2nd, 2013
The Times Union prints a story about the previous Pew report and how the numbers were inaccurate. This story is bumped to the Metro section and ran on the Saturday where the entire city is immersed in the Florida/Georgia game and festivities.
When asked about the move to the Metro section, the Times Union hid behind the big Charlie Crist for Governor announcement as if no one knew that was coming. Charlie Crist had only looked like he was running for the previous year. But, this was apparently more breaking news to the Times Union than the fact that they misinformed the public yet again.
Sunday March 5th, 2013
The Times Union runs a piece on a UNF poll titled “Poll finds some surprising support for tax increases.” It centers on a poll conducted by UNF that covers many facets of life in Jacksonville, asking about such things as infrastructure improvements and maintaining libraries. However, the TU begins the second paragraph with an assault on the Police and Fire Pension Fund. It concludes its attack with “Other Results of the Poll,” making one think the pension was part of the poll.
Amazingly enough, if you read the poll conducted by UNF, it doesn’t even have the word pension in it. There is no question on pensions. There is no mention of police officers and fire fighters. The Times Union deliberately deceived readers into thinking that UNF’s poll focuses on their contrived “pension crisis.”
And of course…..the newspaper that posts everything for you to read has no link to the poll in its article so you can’t read it. But don’t worry, we got it for you right here.
These evident pieces of poor journalism show a slanted and malicious organization with an agenda. The job of a community newspaper is supposed to be to report the news. The Times Union has done Jacksonville and its citizens a huge disservice by promoting their slanted agenda for all to see.
This city has so much potential. It has many good things going for it. As this city’s only newspaper, the Times Union has an obligation to report to its constituents fair and accurate reporting, free of the opinions and grudges in its news stories. This is what made newspapers of the past the great institutions they were. Sadly, this version of the Times Union only soils the industry so many before them made respectable.