News Media Criticized

News Media Criticized

Editor, News-Register:

Why all the secrecy?

The more our elected officials try to hide something from their constituents, the more it makes one wonder why the secrecy? That was the case when I found out about a secret memorandum of understanding that was in the hands of two attorneys that proposed paying them $15,000 a month for 30 years to lease their land so the city could construct a parking garage on it. By the way, do the math, that works out to be $5.4 million dollars. There were other components of the MOU that unduly enriched these attorneys at the expense of the taxpayers.

As soon as I started to question this matter, and reached out to various local news media, the hair on the back of my neck went up. Why you might ask! Well, none of those contacted were willing to note my criticism or investigate my complaints about the secret MOU. Everywhere I turned I ran into a stone wall, local, state, and federal officials were reluctant to address my concerns. I reached out to the Wheeling newspaper, and other media outlets, seeking their help in exposing the behind the scenes dealings regarding the land lease MOU. All of these news media organizations were emailed detailed information on the MOU contents. To this day nothing has been reported on about the MOU for the garage except for propaganda provided by the city of Wheeling.

Finally, there was a small article in the morning edition of the newspaper quoting the mayor, the city manager, and Ms. Scatterday. That article did not go into the specifics of the MOU that was given to me. But the article did say that I was quoting from a “draft” MOU that has since been changed. No mention was made that this was the document provided to me by the city manager a couple of weeks ago. What motivated the Wheeling newspaper and others to fail to follow up on my criticism? A legitimate question, but one that we’ll probably never know the answer too.

Subsequent to writing this letter, and prior to sending it in, an editorial appeared in the Sunday, Jan 20t Wheeling News-Register titled “Keeping W.Va. Public in the Dark.” I can only assume the writer of this editorial has been kept in the dark on local issues, since the Wheeling News-Register has facilitated keeping the public in the dark. I’ve urged the newspaper to investigate and run a story with all of the facts about the land lease MOU that was offered to two local attorneys. The public at large was totally unaware of this proposed MOU and my efforts to bring it into the light of day has been a struggle. No one has failed the public by its lack of fair and unbiased reporting more than the Wheeling News-Register. Even when I spoke before Wheeling City Council on Jan. 15th, no mention of my presentation was made in the newspaper, or on the broadcast media that were present. At the end of the editorial in Sunday’s Jan. 20th edition, it said, and I quote, “What are they trying to hide?” That’s like the “pot calling the kettle black.” Come on, Wheeling news media, you can do better!!!

Hope springs eternal!

J. Jacobs



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