Regurgitate or Investigate?
Posted by Buzz Beeler on 21st January 2017
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July 22, 2016 5:51 pm ET

Media outlets miss the mark on getting the facts of Crandell’s call to withdraw Fort Howard bill

Source: Regurgitate or Investigate?

Photo credit/The Dundalk Eagle

Before I get too far into this latest chapter of the Fort Howard saga, let me just say that the old saying, “It ain’t over until it’s over,” applies here, folks.

Now to your regularly scheduled column, joined in progress…

In bold red, the word BREAKING appears next to the Dundalk Eagle announcement of broken—er, sorry—breaking news about Councilman Crandell pulling his Fort Howard legislation.

Dundalk Eagle: BREAKING

Councilman Todd Crandell releases statement on withdrawal of Fort Howard legislation (updated 16 hours ago)

Here is he link to the Eagle’s broken (my bad again) breaking news, which was nothing more than Mr. Crandell’s press release:

http://www.dundalkeagle.com/breaking/councilman-todd-crandell-releases-statement-on-withdrawal-of-fort-howard/article_6117aaa3-1647-5510-82ed-cfd37f575d49.html

I call them as I see them, and what I saw was a breakdown of the local and mainstream media in reporting the facts to the readers.

You’ll have to ask the media folks why that happens.

You see, what I saw this whole time was that Mr. Crandell knew all along the details on this decade-long debacle. He didn’t have to travel to Washington to know the details—just read the news stories that covered this mess right from the get-go.

Remember, I had detailed discussions with Mr. Crandell over the FH debacle as he ran for office.

You will notice that I left individual names out for a reason. I’m not looking to embarrass any individuals; rather, I want to hold the institution accountable for the, in my humble opinion, serious flaws in accountability by organizations that are supposed to report the news in a truthful and accurate way.

I did, one night, ask the former editor at the Eagle why the media outlets have gone from investigating stories to regurgitating whatever information is fed to them. In a nice way, I asked why reporters run a story (usually about politics) with nothing more than the press release information taken as gospel (truth) and why those journalists never challenge (ask questions about) the validity of the information coming from the politicians?

The answer I received was right to the point, and I give the responder credit for his brutally honest answer:

“Because we don’t have the time to investigate like you do.”

Ask and you shall receive.

Now, to be fair, I will say that I have a distinct advantage in the top line IT capabilities of Patch.com.

With that said, the Eagle has utilized Facebook and Patch,which negates my advantage somewhat.

I also received the Councilman’s press release by reading other news on Dundalk Patch. As the old saying goes, “it’s six of one, a half dozen of another,” and not from any other source. I might remind you that I have been excommunicated from and contact with the Councilman.

I guess, in a sense, the truth does hurt, but it doesn’t hurt me one bit. Mr. Crandell, however, has a different view on the subject.

If you go to the FB page of the Eagle, you will find a gaping hole in the coverage of the recent Fort Howard saga.

Just be careful not to fall into that hole, as who knows how far down it goes.

This is what the Eagle posted on its website, dated 7/12/16:

http://www.dundalkeagle.com/spotlight/crandell-proposes-restrictions-on-planned-fort-howard-development/article_aa1bd840-f660-5667-9303-9778e643a77d.html

I question the lack of coverage on the Fort Howard Community is meeting that was held on 7/19/16, because there is none.

I have some thoughts on that.

I acknowledge, as I have stated, my ability to quickly write the news as opposed to that of a weekly paper.

Try this one on for size:

http://patch.com/maryland/dundalk/fort-howard-crandells-pia-response-mia-0

For those of you that may not be up to date on Fort Howard, including the Dundalk Eagle (Ouch!), here is a powerful quote I used from ECT reporter Devin Crum’s article on Mr. Crandell and Fort Howard:

How did they come to the exact number of units when, according to an article in the East County Times by Devin Crum dated 7/14/16:

We didn’t want their input; we wanted community input and we wanted to dictate the project,” Anderson explained.

Anderson also said, “Actually, there’s no real plan.” In Crum’s article Anderson also said, “Everything that Cignarale is going with now is kind of like a written-on-the-back-of-a-napkin type thing.”

Along with the PIA that I filed, Mr. Crum’s quotes were very powerful in revealing the behind the scenes deals that I believe have been going on regarding FH.

The information also solidified my claim that there was a direct attempt to deceive the community since Councilman Crandell never had any community meetings and, in fact, outright rejected community input. He even failed to appear at two community meetings on the subject.

Just in case there are any naysayers, I will remind you that I recorded video during the entire Fort Howard Community meeting.

Videos don’t lie, folks.

With all of that said, if you think I’m letting the Baltimore Sun off the hook, think again.

Again, I report, you decide.

Let’s go back and look at some of the earlier reporting on FH by the Sun:

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/keyword/fort-howard

In my opinion, some of the stronger journalistic efforts came from Sun reporter Allison Knezevich.

When Mr. Munshell ran into some contentious problems in his efforts to move forward on is massive $500 million Development, the story dried up until what I believe was the preemptive strike by Mr. Crandell to head off the Fort Howard Community’s behind the scenes efforts to fight his bill.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-county/dundalk/bs-md-co-fort-howard-downzone-20160721-story.html

This story in the Sun was once again, in my humble opinion, a chance for Mr. Crandell to control the narrative and take away any breaking news from the FH Community members who were attempting to have the Councilman take a look at a revised bill that was produced out of the sight of the media.

Rather than even take a look at the community’s input, Councilman Crandell rejected it outright.

My beef with the Sun rests with the fact that the supposed journalists and reporters missed all of the behind the scenes details. There was not a peep with the recent events that led up to Mr. Crandell pulling his own legislation.

I guess the weather report for the article was cloudy that day. (Pardon the pun.)

Now that I have gotten all of this off my chest, if anyone thinks this is over, think again.

There are a host of unanswered questions that are harbingers of more storm clouds forecasting potential changes to come.

Here are some of the issues waiting to bubble up to the surface.

There are options out there that could change this FH development in a heartbeat.

There is the CMPZ hearing set for 8/30 where the council could run an end around game like Councilwoman Cathy Bevins might do with the Paragon Outlet Mall issue. This would change the zoning for the area, thus impacting the community’s attempt at taking this issue to the polls in a referendum (which, in my opinion, could cost Bevins her council seat since there were 70,000 names that signed on that ballot issue).

The other possibility for Crandell to pull an end around political move would be to reel back on the zoning on 8/30 and then, when the time is right, issue the dreaded PUD that negates the current zoning giving the developer carte blanch at a “Katy bar the door” development.

In closing, do the math, folks:

Bob Crandell + Todd Crandell + the DRC + William Feur the Optimist President and President of the DRC + Paul Rosenbergert, former Editor of the Dundalk Eagle (times) TradePoint Atlantic’s VP, Arron Tomarchio = limited visibility.

Or, if you prefer my favorite word, a lack of transparency.

Let us not forget all the moving parts that were left out of my PIA, e.g., Dutch, Kamenetz, and other unknown politicians, as the link reveals:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/2016-mayor-race/bs-md-ci-common-cause-20160213-story.html

So don’t touch that dial because, just like the term “soap opera” suggests, there are a lot of suds and bubbles left in this series.

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