Titillating Tidbits: Make Your Cleveland Mayoral Primary Voting Plan, Plus Conservative Radio's Role in the Pandemic

click to enlarge Basheer Jones speaks at mayoral forum in Jefferson Park, (7/8/21). - Sam Allard / Scene
Sam Allard / Scene
Basheer Jones speaks at mayoral forum in Jefferson Park, (7/8/21).

Our weekly roundup of interesting happenings, minor happenings, stuff you missed, stuff we missed, and assorted fun.

One of the most important elections in Cleveland's recent history is ten days away.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections is predicting a dismal 18% turnout for the Cleveland mayoral primary once all the votes are counted Sept. 14th.

Please vote.

Scene's primary primer, which lays out the strengths and weaknesses of all the candidates, is here as a refresher, and if you haven't been devouring Ideastream Public Media's 'After Jackson' podcast, it's essential listening as you prepare to cast your vote.

Early voting is still underway with plenty of opportunities between now and election day to make your voice heard.

Please vote.

- The latest on the candidates' fundraising efforts, from Nick Castele.

- As a fourth conservative talk show host succumbed to Covid-19, the Washington Post dug into the anti-vax, anti-mask, anti-public health disinformation that's spread from coast to coast on right-wing radio, and why the messages resonate with listeners.

While several nationally syndicated hosts, such as Hugh Hewitt and Ben Shapiro, have spoken out to advocate for vaccines, hosts at hundreds of local stations have offered messages similar to those of Valentine, Farrel and Bernier.

“The vaccine isn’t the problem. Talk radio is,” said Jerry Del Colliano, a professor at New York University and publisher and editor of Inside Music Media, which covers the radio industry. Radio companies, he said, “are risking the health of their audiences even as anti-vaxxer bloviators continue to die.”

Del Colliano faulted lax oversight by the Federal Communications Commission and indifference by major radio station owners, such as iHeartRadio and Cumulus Media, the two largest talk-station companies.


More broadly, the vaccine skepticism and outright defiance of public health mandates may have been baked into talk radio’s DNA ever since Limbaugh became a national force in the early 1990s, said Brian Rosenwald, a University of Pennsylvania scholar and the author of “Talk Radio’s America: How an Industry Took Over a Political Party That Took Over the United States.”

The medium is “perfectly suited” to questioning the medical establishment and the use of government power, even when doing so might contradict scientific knowledge and undermine public health, he said. Even as he was receiving state-of-the-art care for cancer last year, Limbaugh maintained a skeptical, conspiratorial pose, falsely dismissing the then-emerging coronavirus as “the common cold” and saying, without evidence, that it was being “weaponized” to attack President Donald Trump.

- Ohio has more schools with Native American mascots than any other state. When will that change? From the Columbus Dispatch.

- Cleveland was one of six cities (Boston, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver and Seattle being the others) that saw record home price appreciation over the past year.

- The Parma and Parma Heights fire departments each requested and received a piece of a beam from the World Trade Center to install as permanent memorials at their respective stations recently.

- Digit Widget:

100,000 — Tickets sold so far for the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit that debuts in Cleveland on Sept. 22.

$3,596 — Amount of bounced checks passed by the Bishop Sycamore "administration" for the football team's hotel rooms in Canton last weekend for the game on ESPN that put the "school" in the national spotlight and prodded Gov. DeWine to call for an investigation.

371,000,000 — Polyester-tipped swabs U.S. Cotton, which operates in Bellaire-Puritas, will be making come May next year as it ramps up production to meet demand for at-home Covid-19 testing kits.

9/1 - Date by which the Ohio Redistricting Commission was supposed to present to the public its planned redistricting map. It has so far failed to do so.

- What's Scene dining editor Doug Trattner eating this week?

- Vintage photo of the week:

- New local music of the week: "Singer Sings" by Joseph Allen Beltram

About The Author

Vince Grzegorek

Vince Grzegorek has been with Scene since 2007 and editor-in-chief since 2012. He previously worked at Discount Drug Mart and Texas Roadhouse.
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