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Why WRAL frustrates, ex. #1,329

In this latest edition in our series on how the news media contributes to the stereotypes of Triangle communities, we take a look at the WRAL web site, which is highlighting Q&A sessions that the television station's been having with local and state leaders:


"Next up in our series, we'll ask Durham County Commissioner Ellen Reckhow whether she prefers bulletproof vests or armored cars. Then, we'll ask Apex mayor Keith Weatherly: is your town the Peak of Good Living, or just the South's best small town to live in?"



I saw this feature after following your link earlier today. It is a wonder that I manage to mow my lawn without being robbed at gunpoint. Contrast Mayor Bell's questions with Mayor Weinbrecht's; again I am convinced that I live in the right part of the Triangle.

Samantha E.

Wow. This almost feels like it should be something out of The Onion, rather than a supposedly respectable mainstream news outlet. Gives you more fodder for your "truth is stranger than fiction; we can't make up stuff this good/bad" schtick!


Kevin, I'm sending you the bill for my blood pressure medicine. ;)

Myrtle Horgeputh

Well, of course, "we the people" allegedly pose the questions. It would be interesting to know how the choosing of questions happens. As I recall, most of Mayor Bell's questions were from non-Durhamites. I thought that, too, odd.

I have a theory that WRAL/FOX 50/Capitol Broadcasting/Durham Bulls/ American Tobacco Historic District/ETC. seeks to drive down the cost of Durham (primarily downtown Durham) property so he can buy it up for a song (and get those choice tax credits and city kickback-style benefits). Has he actually ponied up any hardcore moolah for his growing Empire of Durhamia?

I mean, with all his investment downtown (about which I'm actually pleased and proud), you'd think he'd wish to help protect his investments by exerting a bit of restraint on the breathless reports of MORE CRIME in DURHAM! Unless his master plan includes perpetuating the bad Durham rap as a means of scarfing up our cool stuff, spiffing it up and then profiteering (watch the really Great Things Are Happening In Durham news coming to a Capitol property near you in, oh, 3-5 years).


Quick question, did anyone notice the recent firings of Wake County officials because of excessive spending using county credit cards? Okay, did anyone notices newscasts like WRAL hardly covered this story in the morning tv news? I find it hard to believe that this story will pass without all the local morning newscasts showing it every half hour if it was a Durham elective...Not even an elective either! This guy was an administrator of some sort! If you have someone at that level thinking they can get away with this, think about how he got the idea of doing this...Especially think about how he was doing this with colleagues, letting them splurge with him using the county's money...Also think about the recent Wake County raise on taxes they need to "ease Wake county growing pains" Also think about the ridiculous amount of money this scumbag Easly spent while on a trip to Europe to "promote Carolina tourism". Ok, now that you have thought about this, you think this is going on throughout the whole Wake leadership organization? Someone would have to prove me wrong with real facts for me to believe it is not happening elsewhere in that government...


Wow. I say your next radio show should be devoted to ripping RAL a new one. That's pathetic.

Durham Resident

You all have noticed that contrary to what Valerie said almost all of those questions WRAL poses to the Mayor are from Durham people. As a Durhamite myself I don't like the constant crime coverage in our city but I do believe that we need to be realistic with ourselves. It isn't just people from other cities pointing at us. Actually, my experience is that more than not it is us pointing at us and then blaming others (ie RAL wrapped with some sort of conspiracy/market value theme???) on our problems. Here is something that I would like us all to honestly think about --- how about, as opposed to spending our time writing this blog (and our comments) about how awesome Durham is and how terrible every other city is and how this person or that person said something bad about Durham - we use our efforts to write a blog about how we can fix the problems we know are know exist. If we are all so upset about how we are treated the best way to prove our point is to squelch crime in our city? Isn't that what we should be working on? Cheers to my neighbors.


DurhamResident - starting a blog is free. Please post the link to yours that you described here as soon as you start it.


Durham Resident, you'll notice that comment was actually by Myrtle Horgeputh. Although I'll entertain an entertaining conspiracy theory most days. :)


Assuming that everyone actually gave their real home town, 3 out of the 4 questions which specifically addressed crime, gangs, and panhandlers were from people outside of Durham.


Questions from Durham residents included the generic "Is it your fault that Durham is so f*cked up?" from Kevin Jones, two questions about bridges (the ped bridge over 147, and the ATT bridge over I-40), and one about reducing gas use in police and other city vehicles by minimizing take-home by employees. that last question, which sought to blame outgoing manager Patrick Baker for suggesting a tax increase in the city, could have, and maybe was, asked of any mayor in the Triangle. I haven't heard of a single municipality which reduced property taxes in this year's budget cycle.


My problem with the way crime is reported in the Triangle, by WRAL, the newspapers and others, is that it is pointless to engage in finger pointing and nothing more than an attempt to deflect responsibility to label Durham as the crime center of our area. It is absurd to believe that criminals respect town or county borders. Indeed, we have painful evidence that criminals from all towns in this area prey on the citizens of other towns and it gets us nowhere to say Durham has a crime problem and Durham needs to solve it. We all share in this problem and we all need to solve it, and it's not going to be on the town level that it gets solved.


I asked what Mayor Bell's favorite Locopop flavor was. I guess that didn't make the top three.

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