Monday, May 4, 2009

Lowly Citizen Tells Tennessean New Convention Center Would Be Swell

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2009 at 9:45 AM

click to enlarge Ron Samuels: Just your average, everyday bank president.
  • Ron Samuels: Just your average, everyday bank president.
The Tennessean has given its fair share of ink to convention center cheerleaders. But even by their generous standards, this weekend's papers were full-on pep rallies. Before smirking at opponents of the billion-dollar Music City Center, the Tennessean published a letter to the editor from concerned citizen Ron Samuels. The important message Mr. Samuels wished to relay: Denver totally brushed off people who said the post-9/11 economy was a bad time to build, and they're doing super. So forget all these naysayers, let's get a drillin'! Now there's nothing wrong with publishing Mr. Samuels' letter. The problem is, if all you had to go on was the information the Tennessean provided (his zip code), you'd think Samuels was just an average Joe. Rather than the CEO of Avenue Bank, current chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and former finance committee head for the commission that recommended building the center two years ago. Throw in the fact that he spearheaded campaigns to recruit the Oilers and keep the Predators and you could've probably written Mr. Samuels' letter for him. Assuming someone told you all of that up front.* *We take all of this back if it turns out that there's another Ron Samuels in Nashville who flew out to Denver and came back so impressed he decided to put pen to paper. It's possible Mr. Samuels didn't provide any of that information himself. Maybe some overworked night editor didn't recognize his name and just let it run. It's understandable. But the paper still has a duty to say who he is and who he works for. If you insist on giving your readers a convention center cheerleader's "rah-rah" speech, at least tell them he has a rooting interest in the game.

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