Thursday, March 24, 2011
Ballard Walks Away From Reporter Questioning Job Numbers
WRTV Channel 6 may not be in first place in the local news race, but they do some good work.
Watchdog reporter Kara Kenney went to work and pored over the city's job creation commitments vs. the actual number of jobs created. She found some interesting numbers that didn't add up. So, she decided to confront the Mayor with her numbers.
You can watch the encounter here, but, in short, Ballard blamed the Peterson Administration for his numbers not adding up saying the phrase, "It's the paradigm we inherited," several times. He even said it when Kenney asked a different question about whether the city is taking credit for the state's work in job creation.
Kenney reported that some of the names of companies were left out as confidential and that some of the purported 72 companies providing jobs that some did not promise any new positions.
In an election year, these kinds of interviews are potentially disastrous for the Mayor. He's not at his best when challenged, and it's clear that this is likely the reason he has no interest in debating Kennedy or others at this point.
In the video, Ballard came across as evasive and condescending. He even admitted to Kenney before walking away that he had no other answer than, "It's the paradigm we inherited." He also provided a ready-made ad for Melina Kennedy's campaign. Poor job by the Mayor's handlers who should have saved him from the impromptu interview and clearly should have prepared him for the possibility that someone might question him on this.
If I were Ballard, I would have referred Kenney to someone in the office telling her that I didn't have the numbers in front of me. It would have come off better than, "It's the paradigm we inherited."
Unfortunately, few people watch WRTV.
Kara Kenney took the time to respond to my blog post.
"The indychannel.com is the most popular news website in the market! We get more hits than anyone else."
I was unaware of this. Thanks to Ms. Kenney for setting me straight. I also did some research on their newscasts, and it looks like WRTV is growing its audience well and, as this article from IBJ says, is "becoming competitive."
I guess we will see where they fall out in February.