Thorns & Roses: The Worst, Best & Most Absurd

Why local journalism matters  |  Rose

Kudos to the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting for its important story about state Rep. Dan Johnson, documenting his landscape of lies and an allegation of sexual assault. Johnson killed himself after publication. Reporters at KyCIR should not feel responsible, or even bad, about this. Johnson made his own bad decisions until the end of his life. Exposing them was a First Amendment duty.

It’s raining bullets  |  Thorn

Deep in a Courier Journal story on police Chief Steve Conrad’s report to the Metro Council was this: New listening devices implanted in neighborhoods detected 1,294 incidents of gunfire, 88 percent of which weren’t connected to an emergency 911 call. Police say the detection tool helped cut down shootings. In 2016, Louisville police recorded 434 shootings compared to 354 so far this year, Courier Journal reported.

Trees > paper  |  Thorn & Rose

A thorn… maybe from a hawthorn tree… goes to CJ for topping off its trees. Steele Blades Lawn and Landscaping was hired to do the work. With a name like that, what did you expect?! Arborists say the maimed trees may not survive — yet another unnecessary assault on the city’s evaporating tree canopy. Reporter James Bruggers gets a rose for writing critically about his employer.

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Compassion is an aspiration?  |  Rose & Thorn

Mayor Greg Fischer gets a rose for suspending the clearing of homeless encampments so the city can look for solutions. Hmm… like funding the Affordable Housing Trust Fund… providing more services… Anyway, the mayor has taken criticism over the dichotomy between his “Compassionate City” campaign and treatment of the homeless. He said compassion is an aspiration. “It shouldn’t be a word that people use against each other for some reason when we fall short of what we’re trying to do,” Fischer said, CJ reported.

Gov. block-head  |  Thorn

State Rep. Attica Scott, the only black, female lawmaker, was blocked from Gov. Matt Bevin’s Twitter page. “It’s pretty clear to me that it’s gender and race,” Scott said, CJ reported. She was unblocked eventually.

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