Foundation for Columbia’s Future v. The State v. The Pulse


Originally uploaded by johnvierdsen

City politics in Columbia aren’t the usual “good v. bad,” “black and white” sort, while it’s easier to figure out who’s who and what’s what at the state and federal level. And, so it is with this kerfuffle between the blog The Pulse, The State and the Foundation for Columbia’s Future.

Like it or not, The Pulse has been the only real blog presence regularly covering city government. Naturally, it stepped on a few toes (ahem, cough, cough, Mayor Bob, cough, cough) and it was later discovered to be authored by several members of the Foundation.

As accurately pointed out in The State, the Foundation has been connected to the candidacies and policies of city councilmen Kirkman Finlay and Daniel Rickenmann (and Brian Boyer, natch), and powerful moneymen Don Tomlin and Gayle Averyt.

And, while the Foundation is bipartisan, it also includes (via the Google) political consultant Steve Fooshe. It was Fooshe, of whom one person close to city politics said, “Whatever he is involved in is bad. Rule of thumb.”

Now, though, is the confusing part. Foundation president Peter Brown wrote (at The Pulse):

The Foundation for Columbia’s Future does NOT have an affiliation with The Pulse of Columbia, and our Board Members certainly do not and have not written for The Pulse.

OK. But, then why did Foundation executive director Dave Wilson tell The State that they did?

Wilson said he registered the Web site under the foundation’s name by mistake. He said he and a number of the foundation’s board members write for the Web site, but it is not officially affiliated with the foundation.

What’s most irritating about this entire mess is that Brown basically called out The State‘s Adam Beam for being grossly inaccurate. Beam is a solid reporter and wrote the facts. It looks like Brown either has a complete disconnect with the rest of the board and the executive director, or he or Wilson said things that weren’t true. Either way, there seems to be a communication problem over there.

Now, The State’s Brad Warthen’s getting in on the act. Instead of taking the high road and simply backing the story, he takes a few swipes at the blog. That’s natural, since instead of dealing with the matter in a professional way, Brown lashed out like a petulant child.

It’s all so Columbia. A little bit of good, a helping of bad and the actual facts get obscured in the sniping.

Bloggers hit city leadership [The State]
Setting the Record Straight [The Pulse]
SOMEBODY doesn’t like being in the sunshine [Brad Warthen’s Blog]


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