Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Globe describes why Menino giving the Banner money is bad.

The Globe today had an editorial about the loss of independence when the Mayor gives the Banner a loan to continue publishing.

I had dinner at Mr. Miller's house a number of years ago. A very worldly and knowledgeable man. He clearly is no fan of the Mayor's and he had some amazing stories about the Mayor that are not fit for print. Even back then he talked about the financial difficulties involved in running a community newspaper.

I've been a Banner reader for a long time, as it covers my neighborhoods of Roxbury and the South End more than any other, and writes and advertises about events that no other media sources cover. However, this loan from Menino who cries poor on one hand but miraculously finds millions or hundreds of thousands of dollars under rocks all the time is not good for the independence of the press or good for electoral politics either.

Menino has proven himself someone who can talk out of both sides of his mouth at the same time, and because the media is so afraid of him, they never call him on it. How many other businesses in this city could use a $200,000 shot in the arm.

I have sent a FOIA request for the paperwork involved in this loan to the City and BRA. I often wonder how these deals happen. Was there an application? Is there collateral? What are the loan terms? Citizens should demand this type of transparency.

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