Monday, August 18, 2008

Boycott the Press of Atlantic City!!!

The Press of Atlantic City has abandoned its journalistic duty to report on matters of public interest to the residents of Atlantic City and therefore should be boycotted.

Atlantic City is a veritable playground for any gumshoe reporter with the slightest sense of civic responsibility or interest in lurid public scandal. The city possesses every character flaw a local reporter could ask for to provide a constant stream of salacious front page stories. In the past year alone, four former members of city council were convicted of corruption, the mayor resigned following his own corruption scandal, and another member of city council was indicted for setting up a colleague with a prostitute, filming the encounter, and then attempting to blackmail him.

Not only are city leaders corrupt, they are also totally incompetent, as evidenced by the city's bloated payrolls and budget. To get a sense of how badly mismanaged Atlantic City is, look at Coral Gables, Florida for the sake of comparison. Like Atlantic City, Coral Gables is a city with a population of approximately 40,000 and which also has a tourist based local economy. Looking at some basic benchmarks, Coral Gables has a total of 859 city employees and a budget of $142 million. By comparison, Atlantic City has nearly double the number of employees (approximately 1,600) and a budget of $206 million. Despite the fact that Atlantic City spends 45% more than Coral Gables, it delivers far inferior services (particularly schools and public safety) to its residents. There is no legitimate excuse for the high cost and gross inefficiency and ineffectiveness of Atlantic City's government.

Moreover, crime in Atlantic City is at epidemic level. Out of 325 U.S. cities with a population between 40,000 - 60,000, Atlantic City had the highest murder rate in the country - by a significant margin. Thousands of Atlantic City residents live in drug infested, crime ridden public housing projects. Rather than promote efforts to move residents out of these decrepit conditions, local politicians shower them with public assistance dollars in an effort to keep the residents - and their votes - in Atlantic City. The city would be better served by shutting down this public housing and helping these residents move to more dignified conditions elsewhere.

Despite the over-abundance of highly reportable material, the Press somehow manages to be completely irrelevant as a city watchdog and cultural institution. A prime example of The Press' pointless reporting appears in today's edition, where we learn that the Pinnacle casino project, which was put on hold earlier this year due to the credit crisis, continues to lease billboards...

What? I'm sorry, were you waiting for something else to the story? No, no, there's nothing more. That's it. Just in case you hadn't recently noticed the massive billboards around town that are advertising the Pinnacle project, the Press just thought you should know...they're still there.

The Press is nothing more than a mouthpiece for the criminally incompetent and self-serving city administrators it should be questioning, investigating and exposing. Accordingly, we implore the residents of Atlantic City and the region to boycott The Press of Atlantic City unless and until it fulfills its public duty to report on matters of public interest and to hold the city's leaders accountable for their mismanagement of the city.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said!
Now should be well done...