These Readers Have Other Fish to Fry

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I know

You think

You understand What you thought I said. But I'm not sure You are aware That what you heard Is not what I meant. - Author Unknown READERS, THIS IS your column today for the simple reason that when it comes to the mayor's race, you're still doing your Rhett Butler thing: "Frankly, Chuck, we don't give a damn." Last week, out of 51 calls, one commented on the mayor's race. Out of 29 letters and 16 e-mail messages, only three commented on the mayor's race. Before turning the column over to you, I have a couple of comments. With only nine days to the general election on April 1, three candidates are going strong. The campaign was made demographically more interesting by the tortured - and tortuous - endorsement of the Council of Black Elected Officials of St. Louis for independent candidate Marit Clark. A supporter of Republican mayoral candidate Jay Dearing called to complain that the Post-Dispatch "is reverting to its old tricks by denying coverage to the Republican candidate. "There were stories about Harmon and Clark," said Michael Chance, "but none about Dearing (in Friday's editions). "This is typical of the Post-Dispatch's attempt to disenfranchise Republicans." There is a lesson proved by the media's national reporting of Perot's campaign. It's futile to give equal coverage to other candidates whose chances fail the Muhammad Ali test: slim and none - and slim left town last week. The Muhammad Ali test applies to all Republican candidates in St. Louis. As a result, my readers and callers yawn because they know the winner of the mayor's race will be a Democrat. Ironically, the only excitement in this post-primary campaign has been generated by embarrassed black election officials desperately repolishing their tarnished crowns of power-broker credibility. Given these political variables, the paper's reporting is neatly balanced (inches, pictures, headlines and page position). Especially commendable is its "Schedule of Campaign Events." I haven't seen that feature in many of the major dailies. It's first-class journalism. But incumbent Comptroller Darlene Green doesn't benefit from a publis hed schedule. That's because her opponent is a Republican and the city voters are obsessed Democrats. So, readers, back to you. "Where's Jerry Berger's column?" inquired several callers. He has been on vacation. …


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