Wag the Man

Categories: News

We already know Mayor Slay thinks the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sucks.


But now it's gotten personal. In a September 10 blog entry responding to a Post story by Jake Wagman about proposed public financing for Ballpark Village, Slay wrote:

The following quotation appeared in a story in Sunday's St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

"We want the biggest, most exciting, most transformative project possible," said Jeff Rainford, Slay's top aide. "If we just said, 'We'll settle for mediocrity,' we would be done by now." Asked about criticism that might come from approving more public funding for the Cardinals, Rainford said: "We've got a lot of small thinkers."

One problem, though.

Here's what Rainford actually told the reporter:

"We've got a lot of small thinkers at the Post-Dispatch."

Newspapers, of course, are free to edit what they include in their stories.

photo by Jennifer Silverberg
Jeff Rainford
Wagman calls bullshit. "The quote is accurate in both letter and context," he says via e-mail, "we stand by it 100 percent."
Rainford was out of town and didn't return our call, but mayoral spokesman Ed Rhode stands by what was written. In fact, he'd like to take this opportunity to bitch-slap Wagman a little more.
"I was in the meeting, too," says Rhode. "We had been talking to Jake, in this briefing on Ballpark Village, about how he does his stories. It was the three of us in my office, for a good hour. Jake took very little notes. When [Rainford] said there were lot of small thinkers at the Post-Dispatch, he was actually referring to Jake, and his lack of context on stories when he covers our stuff."
Wagman and his editor decline to comment further.
Rhode, in a talkative mood, had more to say about the mayor's recent P-D jihad. (Before anyone goes off on us for inaccuracies, that's our wordplay, not Ed's.)
"I don't think [the blog] is petty. I think it's one of the tools we have for getting out things that are going on in city government which other media doesn't want to cover. It gives us an unfiltered way to get out our message, and it gives us an opportunity to correct the misinformation that may be reported in the media.
"I'd rather get my city government news from the RFT," Rhode finishes. "All we ask is that stories are fair, balanced and presented in the proper context."
Aw, quit it, Ed. We're blushing! -Ben Westhoff
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