Monday, June 05, 2006

Jumping the shark

Another day, another JS story about the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. The story, as usual when the paper writes about MMSD, is so slanted it's almost lying down. So did MMSD Executive Director Kevin Shafer do something wrong when he defended his agency?

Yes, dumping is bad. We all know that, and we all know most major sewage districts do it. Is dumping into rivers that supply people's drinking water, as Chicago does, better than dumping into a lake that does the same?

Is Chicago's dumping 5 times more into the rivers better than MMSD's dumping 28 billion fewer gallons into Lake Michigan?

The paper's credibility on this topic died for me a few years ago when it ran a front-page story about an anonymous letter alleging wrongdoing at MMSD. I have yet to see similar treatment of similar letters sent to other government agencies, and plenty of local government agencies have fraud and abuse hotlines and addresses, so there would be plenty of opportunity for the JS to follow up.

The JS has pretty much given up even the pretense of fairness when it comes to MMSD coverage. It has, in TV vernacular, "jumped the shark" on this one.

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