Monday, February 2, 2009

A Modern Day Carpetbagger: Tennessean editor tries to profit from your misery by claiming he cares about you in Sunday newspaper column

My South -- which I claim now after 13 years of living here and plans to do so for the rest of life -- knows of and hates the word "Carpetbagger".

After Our South lay in shambles, these men from the North came down to profit from our misery.

Today I tell you that the Carpetbagger remains alive and well, as demonstrated in yesterday's column by Tennessean Editor Mark Silverman.

Amid all the hypocrisy I have covered in my career in my home state now and forever, nothing has approached what was written Sunday by -- what most people who have come across him say -- a bad man.

Silverman professed compassion for what Tennesseans are experiencing economically, which for anyone who has worked for him or have been laid off by him the past couple of years, is a claim without credibility. Actually, it is insulting. He believes he can keep fooling you.

First, some background. Silverman is only here because his corporate bosses up North sent him here to stem the decline in profits here. But they did not send him to improve the newspaper. He did not want to come here. He was happy at a larger newspaper in Detroit where he had more staff.

Second, Silverman is great friends with the editor who ruined this newspaper. So he does not see any need to change and respect your wishes in a newspaper, let alone feel compassion for your economic plight.

This man laid of 22 human beings before Christmas 2008, including two with chronic health conditions. More people have left because of his ill treatment of them and so many employees in his newsroom who are Tennesseans by birth and choice. You know what it is like in your workplaces as the workload increases and respect for your efforts decline.

This quarter, Gannett and Tennessean employees will be forced to take a week off without pay. How's that for compassion for families? Analysts expect Tennessean and Gannett employees will have to be furloughed three other times this year. That means a loss of an entire month of income.

So do you believe Silverman has compassion for you and your economic misery when he is dishes out so much on his own?

I laughed out loud while reading a copy of the newspaper at the Walgreens without buying it. Silverman cited Ms. Cheap as a source for help. Yes, the former Banner employee is good at what she does. But one of her bits of advice in the past to readers to save money was to cancel their Tennessean subscription and to read the newspaper on the web.

That was excellent advice. Advertisers should do the same.

Silverman's economic analysis was appalling and ignorant. He cited economic downturns since the Civil War, which is appropriate for a Carpetbagger as he. He says each lasted 11 months.

He obviously does not watch CNBC or know of the famed NYU economist Nourei Roubini who predicted this downturn based on declining home values. This recession will be like no other we have ever known. It will last at least two or three years, Roubini says. Tennessee will be hit harder than other states because of its dependence on the new auto industry.

Silverman's silly comment that it is dark before the dawn was refuted this morning by a CNBC anchor who said with earnings data expected out this week, it is dark before getting darker.

But such poor analysis by the Carpetbagger should be expected from a man who killed his own Business section at a time when readers needed more financial news and direction. And in an area of such entrepreneurism and small business power besides giant health care companies and corporations, Silverman's action is further proof of his Carpetbagger intentions.

Carpetbaggers never give. They just take, particularly when times are hard. He tried Sunday to fool you into believing The Tennessean is a newspaper of compassion. With him and fellow Carpetbagger Ellen Leifeld in charge, you can see for yourselves their indifference and gross lack of respect for your values. The product continues to decline at an increasing place.

But the depth to which Silverman stooped yesterday in feigning compassion was beyond any hypocrisy I have ever seen in my time as a journalist and a Tennessean for life. He made Jimmy Naifeh seem principled.

Spurn the Carpgetbagger and his product. Both only seek to take from the little you have and not give anything in return.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What do you think about Franklin Mayor John Schrorer comments regarding not wanting sign spinners. He said he thought it would look "TRASHY, like Nolensville road ".