The Stadium: The Rest of The Story

bullhornlady

The infamous “Bullhorn Lady”

For those of us at a certain age, the radio broadcast “The Rest of the Story” with Paul Harvey reminds me a lot of the opinion stories on the op-ed pages of The Inquirer, The Daily News and Philly.com about the proposed Temple Stadium.

They are all anti-stadium, none pro.

protestors

 

The truth is that you won’t know the “rest of the story” on any opinion pages of your newspaper because the other side isn’t allowed to opine

 

Harvey’s stories presented as little-known or forgotten facts on a variety of subjects with some key element of the story held back until the end. The broadcasts always concluded with a variation on the tag line “And now you know the rest of the story.”

The truth is that you won’t know the “rest of the story” on any opinion pages of your newspaper because the other side isn’t allowed to opine.

I found that out first-hand the last couple of weeks.

I first reached out to former Inquirer editor Bill Marrimow—a good guy who used to stop by my desk and shoot the breeze when I worked there—and he agreed with me that there should be varied opinions published:

Hi Mike – Because I am no longer working in the newsroom, you would definitely fare better if you submitted your piece on your own. By the way, I agree with you that it would be worthwhile for us to publish some opinion pieces in favor of building the stadium at Temple to provide another point of view.–BIll

So I did and this is the response I got from an editor at Philly.com named Erica Palan (her words in bold):

Can you say something about how the community members don’t have a right to weigh in on whether or not Temple builds a stadium because they don’t own the land?

 Are there other points of confusion between the neighborhood people and Temple? If so, explain what they are and why Temple is in the right.

These are the edits I was asked for and provided:

  1. The community absolutely does have the right to voice input on the project. They do not, I believe, should have veto power over it. 

2, The stadium should be built not for older graduates like me, but for the 12,500 students who live in and around the current vibrant campus now. When I went to school in the 1970s, there were no more than 1,000 student residents and the rest of us were commuters. These students deserve the same kind of experiences that students of other universities surrounded by dense residential areas have, like those at Boston College and Georgia Tech. Having football stadiums on campus at those schools help bind those students closer to their universities while in school and create a more active alumni base once gone.  Those Temple students and the university as a whole deserve advantages other similar urban schools with stadiums in residential footprints enjoy.

It has still yet to be published and I do not expect it to be.

Something tells me the vitriolic anti-Temple Stadium op-eds we see on the pages of the Inquirer and Daily News are not held to the same rigid editing standards nor should they because they are opinion pieces and those holding an anti-stadium opinion deserve to voice their side of the story.

The same latitude should be given the pro-stadium opinions and the fact that we haven’t seen one yet published is, sadly, not accidental.

And that’s the rest of the story.

17 thoughts on “The Stadium: The Rest of The Story

  1. Most newspapers pander to subscriber views or advocate owners’ agenda. Journalism 101 textbooks are the only places you’ll find objectivity.

    1. Neighbors have a right to peacefully protest, but ultimately Temple has the right to build on its own land in accordance with zoning laws. The city has the right to request an amended plan to keep 15th street open.

    2. Neighbors wrongly believe they’ll be relocated and incorrectly assume that stadium donations could be used to fund teacher pay raises or other community welfare programs. Neighbors also misinformed about parking on neighborhood streets because sufficient parking already exists on campus.

    There’s no genocidal final solutions, no yuppie-fueled gentrification plot, and no Jewish weather conspiracy.

    City council and neighborhood leaders eventually get paid off, the stadium is built, and “now you know the rrrrest of the story.”

  2. Once the racism flag is raised libs like those in charge of TU run for the hills. Frankly, TU should call the “neighbors” on that false claim and start advertising all it does for the “neighborhood, which would not even be there if it weren’t for TU.

  3. One more thing. The administration is trying to use logic and reason with the opposition. That never works with irrational people and causes. Time to play dirty and call them on their insanity and hatred. Only in Crazytown, where poverty is a big problem, does a 130 million dollar project that has year-round tangible benefits for the “neighborhood’ face such opposition.

  4. I did a search for “Temple Stadium” on Philly.com and found five op-ed stories ranting against the stadium and no pro-stadium op-eds. I thought it was because nobody felt the need to write one. Now I stand corrected. Thank you for sharing this latest example of the lefty media promoting only lefty causes (yet ironically I think no one benefits more from this project than the local community, who could pick up hundreds of part-time jobs within walking distance that would not otherwise be available)

  5. Thanks for the support, guys. The thing that irks me is that all five of those op-ed pieces were allowed to go nuclear on Temple without “giving the Temple side” yet I was asked to support my opinion by understanding the community’s side. That’s what it’s called an opinion piece on an opinion page. They get their opinion and I should get mine. If you write something in favor of the stadium, you’ve got to go through hoops to “understand” the other side. I made it clear I understand they have a right to INPUT but no right to VETO. I don’t think that opinion is worth suppressing, yet obviously Philly.com, the Inky and the DN do. Now I know why the business is a failing one. Got to be more inclusive than that.

    • EXCELLENT job NOT taking the bait. In my opinion it was clear they wanted you to say something forceful against the other side so they could throw more gasoline on the fire. For a number of papers the main objective is to sell papers and they will do what it takes to accomplish that. You didn’t give them what they wanted because you were too articulate.

      Joe P.

  6. I respectfully disagree on a main point made by JoeRU. who often contributes nicely , especially doing the old compare/contrast with RU Football.
    We no longer have a free and open minded press. We have a group of ‘like-minded’ target driven people, dressed like reporters but really not.
    Most everything I read today has that ‘angle’ where the agenda is pushed. These folks want to control there thinking, the process and the outcome.
    That’s how I sew news reporting , even in the daily rag, today.
    Philly news has been so one sided on the stadium there is no effort to step back and look at the whole picture, calmly.

    • Actually I tend to agree with you. Different papers/ news outlets have different leans IMO depending on their leadership and/ or contributors. In this case it was clear to me at least that the woman who wanted Mike to respond further wanted him to drop a quote that could be used to further their cause by having Mike (and by extension anyone who supports your stadium) come across as ‘aloof’, ‘arrogant’ or insensitive to the concerns of the local community. He knew better and carefully framed his thoughts, so they likely chose not to publish his response since they couldn’t sensationalize it.

      Joe P.

  7. Some of my favorite tailgate experiences were at the old Rutgers Stadium, which reminded me of the old Temple Stadium. We tailgated in the parking lot of the RAC and it seemed to me to be a long walk but it was great times. I hope one day Temple fans to have the same kind of experiences walking through their campus like RU fans have walking through their campus on the way to the stadium. I have my doubts, though.

  8. More negative press today in the INKY re the stadium. In the story about the assassination of MLK, they had a several mini-stories one of which equated the plans to build the stadium with other racial injustices alleged to be currently existing. Opponents are doubling down with the narrative that building the stadium is racist.

    • Wow. What a difference. … Imagine if Englert got up at a bowl game Pep Rally and said: “We’re going to build a stadium and WHO is going to pay for it?” Englert then holds up a hand to his ear and the fans yell: “NORTH PHILADELPHIA!!!” Englert nods head and drops mic. 🙂

  9. What’s with the “lefty/liberal” comments. This issue is about a Temple on-campus stadium vs those who hate the idea (some of whom are TU people).
    Where do you place those of us who are somewhere in the gray area? Left or right wingers? My political views have nothing to do with my opinion on whether to build the stadium.

    • Lefty only enters into it because the students among the Stadium Stompers are trying to lump this cause in with the $15 an hour cause. This is about the big bad white man keeping the black man down in their opinions. In truth, it’s about filling an empty lot strewn with trash now into a vital economic driver for the nearby community that provides them with jobs. (When the stadium isn’t open 359 days a year, the jobs are there in the retail element.) I don’t see righties (conservatives) opposing plans that provide jobs with little intrusion on quality of life. Maybe John Belli can chime in here.

  10. Thanks for the explanation George. To quote the German guy on the old TV show ‘Laugh In’, “In-ter-es-ting, but dum”. As stated by others, the monies raised for the stadium would never be available for general operating expenses like salaries. especially just raises, anyway. While I agree all people should make a decent wage, reality of the situation must be considered also – it’s about misplaced allegiance. These people have a righteous goal but need to take the attack to another front.
    And hopefully there could be a couple dozen fulltime jobs for local people with other year-round activities taking place in the stadium, not just 6 games a year.

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