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Thursday, August 07, 2014

In 24 Hours, ET Publishes 12 Stories About Shootings Near Musikfest

In the span of just 24 hours, The Express Times has published 12 stories about the shootings near Musikfest.

Center City Bethlehem shooting: Witnesses report hearing several gunshots

Your comments: Musikfest 2014 still fun, despite safety fears raised by a 'few dungheads'

Musikfest: Bethlehem shooting was off grounds, festival still safe

Has violent crime at or near Musikfest grounds made you reconsider going? (poll)

Bethlehem police presence strong, chief says as detainees released in Musikfest shooting that hurt two

Bethlehem mayor says more police will be deployed on Main Street, repeats Musikfest is safe

Bethlehem mayor says violent incidents won't go 'unanswered' but doesn't announce Musikfest policing changes

Bethlehem police on their way to disperse crowd when shooting starts, chief says

Bethlehem police chief 'evaluating' what could change in Musikfest policing in wake of shooting

Two face minor charges during Bethlehem police investigation into recent violence

Northampton County district attorney to talk to Bethlehem police chief about shootings, strategy

What do you think about recent violence in and around Musikfest in Bethlehem?

Over this same period, The Morning Call has had one report about the violence. I think it's safe to say that The Express is needlessly sensationalizing what happened. All too often, newspapers try to brush violent crime under the rug because they are fearful of upsetting the urban growth regime and losing ad revenue. But for some reason, the paper seems intent on scaring people away.

In an editorial criticism disguised as a news story, Lynn Olanoff writes, "Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez said this morning that recent violent incidents in the city won't go 'unanswered' but didn't announce any new Musikfest police staffing plans." When Mayor Bob Donchez did precisely that, just three hours later, she never bothered to update her original story, even though she is the reporter who wrote about the additional staffing.

It's unclear to me whether The Express Times is trying to make the mayor look bad, Musikfest look bad, or scare the shit out of everyone for shits and giggles. But it's more interested in confusing everyone than reporting facts.

Mable they should become bottom-feeding bloggers.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree completely, Bernie. The articles suck, too. Maybe if they concentrated all of them, they might have come up with one good one. Maybe.

"What do you think of the violence at Musikfest?" Oh - thanks for asking. A bottom feeding blogger was interviewing me, but he went off to get a beer and a steak sandwich. I think the violence is wonderful!

Inane.

Anonymous said...

I think more information is better. I'd rather see more stories so I can evaluate the situation and decide for myself whether to take my family out to the event.

I'll take openness over a typical Morning Call coverup any day.

Anonymous said...

Horses in riot gear #not safe

Anonymous said...

After ten years of coverups, this is finally getting out. No crime if the police can't write the incidents up. This "festivals" is a nightmare for residents who actually celebrate when it is over.

Fights, gunfire, property damage. It is Hell on Earth for most of us. Time to open the books on the clo90sed information policy of the past ten years.

Anonymous said...

Did the reported incidents actually happen? If so, they are news, as shootings aren't a regular occurrence in Bethlehem. WFMZ is reporting a shooting occurred last night. Did these incidents actually happen?

monkey momma said...

It is just a reflection of what people want to read. Personally, I am very interested in this story, and I appreciate the frequent updates.

What's outrageous isn't the ET - it's the shootings and the crime. I love Musikfest - it's a major reason why I moved to the Lehigh Valley. But crime can destroy this festival. It will deter folks from attending, or letting their children attend.

Artsquest and the City cannot let this festival continue in its current format if shootings are part of the package. It's a deal breaker. I predict major changes for next year.

Anonymous said...

This is just a practice round gearing up for the Great Allentown Fair and its shooting-fest!

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter where you are today, there is gun violence. Musikfest is great for Bethlehem and for the local businesses. I don't want to see anyone shot, but who is to say it would not have happened anyway. Fear is destroying our country and I am dammed if I am going to be afraid to go out of my house and enjoy myself at a festival or fair. My solution is, when you shoot someone, the same thing should happen to you. An eye for an eye and then lets see America clean up. They are cowards who don't have the brains to talk it out and find a solution so they shoot someone. Guns are not bad, it's some of the people who get them in their hands that are bad.

Anonymous said...

Fine line between good reporting and muckraking. Express probably over doing it a bit but crime is crime. Bethlehem and Easton are their target demographic area. Bad guys with guns are headline fodder no matter where you happen to be.

Anonymous said...

Three shootings in five days is news. Lynn Olanoff should have updated Donchez's statements. But she's the worst reporter on an otherwise excellent reporting staff.

Bernie O'Hare said...

There's a difference between saying something happened, and saying it 12 times in 24 hours. 12 stories in 24 hours about the same thing is not news, but sensationalizing, and tells me someone has an agenda. Olanoff, who did a RTK about me of all people for Karen Dolan, obviously has a political agenda. Her latest story tells us there are "mixed" concerns about the shootings from are merchants, and then quotes from three of them who tell us police coverage is excellent, without quoting from any who say it is not.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Three shootings in five days is news."

Agreed, and all too often swept under the rug. But 12 stories in 24 hours is overkill, don't you think?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I love Musikfest - it's a major reason why I moved to the Lehigh Valley."

I'm not much of a music fan, hate crowds and don't drink. I'd rather be on a trail or watch a local sports event away from everyone else. But I know lots of people who share your view. I do love Steelstacks.

Anonymous said...

With a million visitors to Bethlehem in 10 days, three shootings near the festival in five days is a big deal. Numerous stories on food and music accompany Musikfest each year. They are interesting. But they are not news. This level of violent crime is a big deal. While it's embarrassing to Bethlehem and Musikfest, I'm not certain 12 stories is enough. Last year or the year before, there was a stabbing during Musikfest. The violence seems to be escalating and a discussion about why and how to prevent further escalation is warranted.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I agree it's news and am glad it's not swept under the rug. But 12 stories in 24 hours is overkill, sensationalizes and ends up confusing people.

Anonymous said...

The incidents themselves are news. Social media comments or comments left in the article are not news. What is really sad in reading the articles is the lack of actual reporting. How about getting an actual interview with the police chief? Much easier to read somebody's FB comments and call that news I suppose. If there were 12 articles in 24 hours with a degree of actual journalistic coverage, I'd be impressed. As it is, I'm convinced the ET is simply lazy.

Anonymous said...

Well I remember a day when even one shooting was unheard of. Don't know what is happenning to this town but within a week we've had three shootings? Friday Night, Tuesday Night, and then the one after midnight? Im not saying Musikfest is to blame for this, but this just nuts. Hopefullly Donchez comes up with a more concrete plan to tackle these issues.

Anonymous said...

Jim Gregory's talents would be far better applied as sewer line cleaner and leak repairer. A convicted criminal won't be elected mayor.

This story interests me, but not the way ET has covered it. Write a decent story, well researched. Then update it if warranted. Not 12 stories in a day. They are designed to instill fear, based on what I have seen.

Anonymous said...

@3:17 There is no evidence Bernie "hates" the Nazareth police department. He likes police - he hates corruption. There is a very clear difference. Stay on topic - try to don't sharpen your axe using Bernie's back hair.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I got rid of 3:17 and a number of other anonymous personal attacks.

Anonymous said...

drunkfest should be done away with...period...it doesn't belong in bethlehem.. if a real riot would brak out ther would be alot of dead individuals and lwaenforcement know this...it is their biggest fear...guns & alchohol do not mix never did.......it's time to get smart and get rid of this monstrocity before we look back and say boy we should have shut it down....



Anonymous said...

I blame George Bush, as I am supposed to.

Anonymous said...

Lynn is a Callahan, Reynolds, puppet.

Anonymous said...

What does Lynn have to do with this?

Anonymous said...

The only one that needs to be held accountable is the mayor, the one paragraph statement was far from enough and neither was the later statement he released afterward. I'm guessing he had to confer with Morganelli, after all he's the real power behind the mayor's office.

Anonymous said...

The fest is and has been for some time an out of control monster. It is a drunkfest. Ask people who must live in the neighborhoods. Drop the alcohol but keep the music if you want.

the fact is this latest rash of violence is a sign of the times and has no place in Bethlehem. time to scale back or pull the plug.

As it is, is no longer acceptable.

Anonymous said...

Drop alcohol? that's not gonna happen. Lets face it, the main draw of the event is the alcohol, food and then the music.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I disagree. Lots of places for booze. Lots of great food everywhere, far less expensive. People go for the music and the ambience.

I am not a musical person or I'd be there.

Anonymous said...

This is only for competing for circulation to stay in bisiness for the gags hiding of news worthy stories that once sold papers that can no longer compete with the electronic age¿

redd
patent pending

Anonymous said...

Right on! I live on 2nd Ave. Musikfest is a 10 day help on Earth scenario. Total tourist disrespect: pissing in residential areas... morons skrewing in cars... I've seen it all.

Anonymous said...

Actually started as a "music" festival but has changed over the years into a "drunk" festival. Old volunteers have left due to the change of atmosphere and direction.

Things have changed in thirty years. Time to re-evaluate things. The pure profit at any cost is getting strained. the pom-pom waving Bethlehem officials are incurring more and more wrath from residents. At one time it was only urine and vomit but now it is getting worse in the neighborhoods.

The fest has changed. Time to cut it back a bit. Beer sales end at 9pm. All acts done by ten. Main Street closed at 9:30.

Time to make this thing more manageable and drop all the arrogant pretense.

The Moral Majority.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Nothing "moral" about posting a comment pretending to be holier than thou, but not saying who you are. Instead of moral majority, you are typical hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

anon 2:46 may not have a moral bone in his/her body but I tend to agree with the suggestions. Actually I have heard some people with musikfest say some of the same things.

Bernie I think part of the problem is two fold. Times have changed and so has thre area. Musikfest needs to be adaptable. It doesn't help when the new head of the fest states "We will change nothing" now that sounds pretty pompous. You also have the problem with the Bethlehem government. For years musikfest has made sure perks have been given to the city council and mayor and cabinet. In fact a few cabinet members enjoyed Sheryl Crow courtesy of free tickets. So with that incestuous relationship is it any wonder real reform may never happen. You saw how the Dolan issue was hidden for a some time and she is an idiot. The musikfest folks are pretty sharp and know how to cover all their bases.

With Parks leaving it is time a serious review of the "festival" take place.

Bernie O'Hare said...

There should be no comped tickets to anyone, with the possible exception of the Mayor. Your point is well taken.

Anonymous said...

I am a resident of Bethlehem. I live a block outside of the musikfest area on the north side and have for 15 years.

I love musikfest. I enjoy it and Celtic Classica and all of the other institutions that bring a sense of community to our town.

Sure its hard to park and loud, but it is in no way "Hell on Earth." Also, no records have been closed or anything of the sort. Violence was always reported if it occured.

12 stories about ANYTHING in a 24 hour period is overkill for sure.

But I don't think its an agenda to mess with musikfest as much as it is lazy reporting of the low hanging fruit. That's a day when the ET could just be lazy and put up stories that wrote themselves. I think that's all it is, unfortunately, they have caused some negative perceptions.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but the festival is a contributing factor whether you like it or not. Tine for a serious evaluation. ALL of Bethlehem is musikfest territory for ten days so let us not play any games.

Tell me how it doesn't affect me when 10 drunks roll out of the Lanta bus a block from my house many blocks form the "official fest" cursing, shooting firecrackers and arguing.

As to "closed records" you obviously have no idea. Talk to some city hall insiders. It has been going on for years.

Anonymous said...

Musikfest is over. thank God. The residents can come out of their bomb shelters and survey the damage.