Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tully's Pro-Whole Foods Column Again Showcases His Lack of Journalistic Integrity

Indianapolis Star columnist Matthew Tulley on Tuesday penned an article in support of the proposed Whole Foods development to replace the abandoned Shell Gas Station just north of Westfield Boulevard off of College Avenue.
Matthew Tully

Tully, as the Star's political columnist, is entitled to voice his opinion. Indeed that is his job.  Rather the problem is what he deliberately leaves out of his column, critical facts that he knew darn well would have undermined his argument.  Instead of addressing those facts honestly, he just ignored them.  That speaks of Tully's lack of intellectual honesty.

In the lengthy column, Tully never once mentions that $6 million in TIF money (our property tax dollars) will be going to Browning Development, one of the most politically-connected developers in Indiana.  At the same time Tully is pleading for taxpayers to contribute more in taxes and fees, he can never bring himself to criticize taxpayers being asked to subside, and assume the risk, of the projects of private developers.

But that's not all.   Tully never even once mentions that the Whole Foods is simply part of a much larger development, a four story apartment building that will tower over Broad Ripple.  To build such a large structure, the developer will have to get a zoning variance.  Should Browning Investments get a variance to build a structure when others have to follow the zoning rules that limit the size of their buildings.  What impact will this behemoth of a project have on the character of Broad Ripple?

And what about the additional traffic?  Just south of the project off of College Avenue is one of the most congested intersections in the city.  Traveling on Broad Ripple through the heart of the village, you are often faced with stalled bumper-to-bumper traffic.  Traffic and congestion have become a way of life in Broad Ripple and this project will make that worse.  Yet does Tully say a word about traffic and congestion?  Nope.

If Tully were honestly doing his job, he would acknowledge the arguments of the other side and explain why those arguments are invalid.   Tully though is obviously not interested in sparking an honest discussion of the issue.

I get it that a columnist like Tully is supposed to express his opinion. That doesn't mean the columnist should disingenuously omit facts that he knows are critical to the public's decision as to whether the columnist is correct in the opinion he expresses.  Yet that is exactly what Matt Tully does...once again.


Flogger said...

The Star has never been known IMHO to providing all the facts when Crony-Capitalism and Corporate Welfare enter the picture. The usual tactic in their News Stories (re-worded Press Releases) is to bury any mention of Government Subsidies deep in the article. The word subsidy is not used.

You are correct Tully should be free to express his opinion, but he should not be free to leave out the facts.

The Star would not be the source you would go to for all the facts.

Walkr said...

Wouldn't wrap a fish on that rag...

Pete Boggs said...

Investigative reporting is a blog possibility; beyond scope or attention span of the daily pulp.

The Scar is more grave marker or epitaph than news. Professional commitment to, or abiding comprehension of, balance, are concepts limited to personal / self interests like yoga.

Narrative impairment of pulp pushers has resulted in declining market share proportionate to paper thin, thinned & thinning, content.

Don't tell the self-image scarred Republican Party, their record skips on notions that the old media is still doing "news."

Anonymous said...

Of course, Tully doesn't mention that it appears Browning is going to ask for TIF funding in the form of its own taxes, as opposed to a tax abatement. If the TIF request is less that 100% of the taxes generated, it would allow money to flow into the TIF for other developments, where an abatement wouldn't. That's probably because Browning hasn't made a formal proposal and the issue before the MDC is simply the zoning.

Of Course, Tully neglects to mention that the project's physical size is basically within the new Broad Ripple Plan's guidelines.

Of course Tully doesn't mention either the City's traffic studies, nor the proposed new stop light at the entrance to the parking structure.

Fortunately, you're there to mention all of that.

Downtown Indy said...

The Star has mixed editorial content with advertising ("advertorials" is the trade term for this).

They likely don't even understand the difference between the two anymore.

Polytical said...

Nice job Paul. The Tully article sounded like a commercial far more than anything newsworthy. I have no idea whether or not integrity or laziness is the issue. For me it's the money. You pointed that out. Appreciated.