Mayor refuses to tour United Way building with media

What is he afraid of?
From Toledo Free Press:

Local media were denied access to a tour of the United Way headquarters this afternoon after Mayor Carty Finkbeiner refused to walk through the building if members of the press accompanied him.

Bill Kitson, the local United Way's president and CEO, asked the press to not accompany Finkbeiner and Byron West, the building's architect, on the tour after the mayor insisted on having a private walkthrough. Before Finkbeiner arrived, Kitson told members of the media that all tours of the building were open.

http://www.toledofreepress.com/?id=8668

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I can understand why the media today failed to live up to the ethical standards of "Strive to ensure that the public's business is conducted in public. Defend the rights of access for all journalists." (see NPPA) After all, both the media and the mayor were guests of the United Way. It was Bill Kitson's call to make.

What I can't understand is when the news conference is held on public property, the mayor singles out one member of the media and goes off on them.  The mayor does not bully them on the basis of sound reasoning, but from a purely emotional and irrational outburst while the rest of the media sits there and does nothing.

 

Elizabeth Phillips tried to block my access to the elevator carrying the mayor and Mr. West but was unable to stop me. The mayor in his clipped angry voice told me "you are not going on this tour." I did not bother to reply. He repeated his statement stepping closer to me and in a very angry voice repeated his order. I ignored him. Finally with all the bluster he could muster he told me "the last time i checked you don't own this building." That of course required a reply which i will tell you about on monday morning.
The mayor may appear in print and on broadcast operations elsewhere but i can tell you right now you will not hear the truth from him nor will he be pressed by the sycophants to face up to his problem with the media.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

He did not want the media tagging along. He wanted deniability. If the were there recording the issues or perhaps pointing out potential problems. He could not say he was unaware. Funny how Carty and West both think it should be saved while everyone else thinks the building should come down. Is Carty that disconnected ? Or did he have his orders/viewpoint already made up for him ahead of time? The tour was to placate those who said he had not been thru the building yet.

Fred........ if Carty did as you wrote. You should have stepped into him HARD ! Can't wait to hear your story on Monday.

that Carty exhibited this behaviour towards the media, seeing this wasn't even his business to be involved with this issue in the first place. Maybe now there will be repercussions to this unprofessional and rather immature behaviour Carty's well known for.

It's The United Way's building, and Mr Kitson acknowledged to the media this was an open tour. It was not up to Carty to restrict media access, period.

And I feel badly for Mr Kitson for being thrust into such an uncomfortable position, and maybe this will be the "incentive" to just follow through with their intended plan of replacing the building instead of wasting more time and money to placate a washed up newspaper publisher.

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