Black words Columbus Media Insider with the M looking like broken  glass

Most of us believe what we read, especially when it comes from a reliable source. What we often miss is the real meaning of the news item. In this month's column, I am going to help you, dear readers, to understand what is behind several recent stories.

WHAT WAS REPORTED: Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats will field a woman candidate for governor in 2018, a year when female candidates and female activism are surging. Connie Pillich, the last Democratic woman standing, quit the race, and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor is facing a one-sided defeat in the Republican primary.

WHAT IT REALLY MEANS:Constance Gadell-Newton, the Green Party nominee, now has 51 percent of the electorate, the women's vote, all to herself. The noted Columbus attorney, inspirational speaker, and social justice activist could be a threat to the major party candidates if she gets the coverage she deserves.

REPORT:Ohio House Republicans proposed a major reform of education that would combine governance of K-12, higher and vocational education into one agency.

MEANING:The state GOP is being clobbered by bad publicity about the $80 million of taxpayers' money blown on the ECOT online high school with little to show for it. Republicans need a publicity distraction so they don't get thrown out of office in the fall and they want to punish the current educational leadership for pointing the finger at ECOT and the GOP.

REPORT:Ohio Democrats are rubbing their hands together ready to use the ECOT failure to defeat the Republicans in the fall.

MEANING:The Democrats want to distract the faithful from the fact that they have thousands to spend on the elections in the Buckeye State in the fall while the Republicans have millions.

REPORT:One of Democratic Secretary of State candidate Kathleen Clyde's fund-raisers had a domestic violence conviction more than two decades ago, Republicans  revealed.

MEANING:Clyde, the best statewide candidate for any office for either major party in my opinion, is so far ahead of her Republican competition that the latter is grasping for straws.

REPORT:Ohio Governor Kasich wants to run for president in 2020 and he is at odds with the Trump Administration, this time over criticizing the FBI and gun control.

MEANING:Absent John wants us to believe that he is still a national political force, not to mention one in Ohio, when, in fact, Mr. Lame Duck Republican is rapidly becoming a nobody. He missed his chance to run for the U.S. Senate against Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown and renew his power base for 2020.

REPORT:Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman once employed Trump inner circle bad boy Rob Porter, who was forced to quit the administration after allegations surfaced of domestic abuse against his two former wives. No further details of Porter's employment with Portman were reported.

MEANING:Ohio news media are soft on Portman. You remember Portman, the one who had $50 million spent on TV ads to promote the lie that Ted Strickland was a bad governor. Turns out that Porter worked for Portman for six months in 2013. Further turns out that Porter's second wife filed a protection order against Porter for violating a separation agreement in 2010. In other words, Portman employed a man with a record of alleged domestic abuse. Shame on the Dispatch and other Ohio news media for pooh-poohing this.

REPORT:"Watchdogs of newsroom looking out for readers" proclaimed the headline on Dispatch editor Alan Miller's recent column. He goes on to equate the busting of the Columbus board of education's secret superintendent search with reporting on the ECOT mess.

MEANING:Miller does not want to admit that Ohio taxpayers apparently were ripped off for $80 million by ECOT right under his newspaper's nose.

REPORT:Miller's subsequent column lauded a reporter who fights government secrecy.

MEANING:  The Dispatch editor wants us to forget that the paper continues to look the other way regarding the secrecy at JobsOhio and to hold the Dispatch blameless for the still unreported spending of $1 million-plus of tax money to pay Gov. Kasich's presidential campaign's travel and security expenses.

REPORT:OSU hired Gail Marsh, an OSU medical center executive, to a newly created job as vice president and chief strategy officer at $400,000-plus a year, a 20 percent pay raise.

MEANING:It appears that OSU President Michael Drake is not getting the job done because a university president's major responsibility is to strategize for the future.


OSU patrons must be livid at the hemorrhage of top researchers, doctors and executives from the medical center under Drake's regime. Most have gone to West Virginia University, where the president, formerly atop OSU, now reportedly dons a coonskin cap to complement his bow tie. Meanwhile, OSU trustees can't decide what to do with the proceeds from the misguided energy management sell-off and might like to sell Drake off.

Please send your comments and suggestions for future columns to John K. Hartman,

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