Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Let's Get This Out of the Way Real Quick
As of post time, this tightly edited, borderline doctored video of Doug Shields questioning city personnel director Barbara Trant (above) has been viewed 318 times.
Somehow the City Paper staff named it one of the Top Five Pittsburgh Viral Videos of 2008, despite the fact that a video of even greater civic import, presented far more even-handedly, has been viewed a whopping 1,345 times!!
Be that as it may, I think the CP #4 Viral Video does tell us something of importance: that Doug Shields tells it like it is, and there's often no mystery as to where Doug Shields stands. That would be nice for a change in the city's number one official.
Sure you can flag him for yelling at a woman or for failing to maintain a courtly demeanor on that occasion -- but given the choice I'd prefer leaders capable of getting the truth across to the public, particularly on matters that will help move city government forward. Pittsburgh might never have funded that Equity Study if it weren't for Doug's tirade -- not that we know that it's being followed-through upon even now.
I mention this to illustrate a general point. It is a tactic of machine candidates to repeat certain things about their opponents (I speak not only of city-wide races) again and again and again until it sounds true.
This person can't win.
This person is mentally unfit.
You'll never believe what this person did once when you weren't there.
This person can never raise the money.
This person never makes it out of his or her own neighborhood.
This person is tied to that person.
And again and again and again, until like a POW, you submit to the brainwashing: This person can't win. This person isn't going to win. This person can't win.
Know the signs, Pittsburgh. Gird yourselves against the pre-endorsement whisper campaigns. Gossip to your heart's content, but in the end judge your candidates based on what you feel and know to be true.
If there's a legitimate issue with Doug Shields, it's this:
The problem is that each time something is dangled in front of Doug for his personal benefit (e.g. the promise of the machine endorsement or council presidency), he completely loses his mind and dives into shark infested waters head first, abandoning his sense of what's right.
Anonymous, on the Burgh Report, about Councilman Shields (Comet, 5/26/07)
Personally, I think it's high time we let Mr. Shields off his parole on this charge. As I've printed in this space before, and as has been demonstrated on a multitude of occasions over the past two years, Doug Shields is flat-out awesome and Pittsburgh is fortunate to have him as a servant.
Would he make a good choice for mayor? That's the sort of thing only campaigns can tell us.