Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cheerleaders Don't Win The Big Games

Everybody loves watching the cheerleaders. They don't have to be smart, they only have to look good and know the moves. Oh, and remember which team they're cheering for.

And while it is that every team has its cheerleaders you have never heard the winning of the big game attributed to the fine playing of the cheerleaders. Why? Because the cheerleaders are not in the game.

And so it is with our local media who act as nothing more than cheerleaders for Greensboro's home team of elected leaders and economic development professionals, always dancing and shouting the same upbeat, happy cheers no matter how far behind Greensboro gets.

But as Jeff Martin recently pointed out in his piece, Sykes Not Drinking the Koolaid, there is now one journalist in Greensboro who has decided he would rather be a respected journalist than a cheerleader:

"In over two years since local blogger, Jeff Sykes, became editor at YES! Weekly, he’s been a reliable critic of efforts to revitalize downtown Greensboro.

In December 2014 and January 2015,  he reported DGI head, Zack Matheny‘s, incompetent handling of a security ordinance for nightclubs.

In April 2015, he wrote two devastating articles about Matheny’s inept handling of an effort to create parklets.

In October 2015, he reported on Matheny’s DWI and how he conspired to replace the previous DGI head.

In December 2015, he reported finding vomit and feces on the sidewalk near City Center Park.
Last month, he teed off on Greensboro’s politicians and their insular behavior.

Last week, he joined other local journalists at Scuppernong Books for a Q&A session moderated by the mayor and is said to have continued kicking asses and taking names."

What I find most tragic is that as poorly behaved as our conservative leadership in Raleigh has been for the last few years, our liberal Greensboro City Council points their crooked little fingers despite being no more transparent, no more accountable and with no more concern for Greensboro's working classes than Raleigh's conservatives. They even take their campaign contributions from the same people and PACs as the conservatives in Raleigh.

And I'm a freaking liberal so it's not like I'm taking sides. I'm calling out those who should be on my side.

Like Mr Martin I have concerns as to what lengths Greensboro's leaders might go to censor Jeffrey Sykes.  My own experiences have included attempts at censorship, attempted lawsuits, threats of bodily harm, lies, intimidation and smear campaigns. And I never backed down.

So when they start attempting the same against Mr Sykes you just remember they have done all those things before.

And remember: Cheerleaders don't win the big game. Telling everyone the team is doing just fine when the team can't score only contributes to more losses. We can watch the game, we can see the scoreboard. And it causes the community to lose faith in the team as well as the cheerleaders.