View of Downtown Columbus Ohio OH from North Bank Park Pavillion on Scioto River

Two weeks before the Ohio primary, OSU head football coach Urban Meyer was having none of that endorsement stuff. He said he was not going to run that play.

Coach Meyer had been burned in 2013 when he apparently was pressured by Columbus' big money dilberts to endorse the Columbus school levy. The tax measure went down in the flames.

Bad play. Don't run it again, coach.

Meyer may have stuck to that playbook until Donald Trump said at a rally in early March that Meyer had “said good things about him (Trump).” Trump did not claim an endorsement but the implication that Ohio's most popular public figure was in Trump's corner was inescapable.

That was back when the pride of central Ohio's big money dilberts, Gov. John Kasich, was scrambling to keep what was left of his loss-ridden presidential campaign alive by winning Ohio. But Kasich was trailing Trump in public opinion polls in advance of the state's March 15 GOP primary.

Kasich promised to drop out if he did not win Ohio's primary so the pressure was great on Ohio's absentee governor to win his home state.

Rich OSU somebodies and a desperate Kasich may have gotten to Coach Meyer, who apparently temporarily forgot he was Ohio's most revered public figure and did not have to bow to anybody.

A week before the primary, a PR puke-fest was staged where Coach Meyer feted the Kasich clan and offered some football homily that sounded like an endorsement.

Fortunately for Meyer, this time he was on the winning side of an election as Kasich defeated Trump 47-36 percent.

Endorsement damages Meyer's reputation

But damage has been done to Meyer's reputation. Democrats and those of any partisan persuasion who do not believe the OSU head football coach should be messing around in partisan politics have been offended and may think less of the coach.

Ohioans who are Buckeye Nuts but who do not care for Kasich have been doubly offended by Meyer's double reverse.

Fans of Ohio State football may not be pleased that Meyer is paying attention to something other than winning national championships. Meyer's football success is the source of his popularity and $6 million a year pay.

Buckeye Nuts are concerned that Meyer has lost two of the last three games against Mark Dantonio's Michigan State University team and thus missed out on Big Ten and NCAA championship competition.

The arrival of Jim Harbaugh at the University of Michigan may pose an even greater threat to Meyer as Harbaugh displays the “crazy” that college football recruits and players like.

History may show that the Kasich endorsement represents the moment when Coach Meyer “jumped the shark,” this is began his fall from the top.

Hard to believe that Kasich and the big-money dilberts believed that Kasich's presidential ambitions were more important than OSU's football fortunes and Urban Meyer's career trajectory.

I feel the love when I bring up the hate

I got a chance to ask The Columbus Dispatch executives “why the Obama hate?” over lunch at the Columbus Metropolitan Club March 23.

You may recall my column in the December 2015 issue of The Columbus Free Press titled “Hate of Obama costs Dispatch.”

I wrote that the Dispatch editorial page policy of denigrating President Barack Obama at every turn was hurting its business prospects and economic viability, not to mention depressing the readership of the Dispatch print and web products.

Obama carried Franklin County with 60 percent of the vote in 2012 and still remains popular with a majority of Columbus and county residents, I noted. Obama supporters could hardly be faulted for not subscribing to and not reading the Dispatch, whose circulation had dropped 9 percent from the previous year.

I noted that the news coverage of Obama by the Dispatch had become more balanced under the new owners, GateHouse Media, but that the editorial page still had a hard-right taint left behind by the previous owners, the Kasich-loving Wolfe family.

At the Metro Club, after WOSU media chief Mike Thompson thoroughly grilled GateHouse CEO Kirk Davis; Dispatch newspaper publisher and President Brad Harmon and Dispatch magazines publisher Ray Paprocki, the floor was opened for questions.

After identifying myself, I simply suggested that the trio of execs look at the matter of editorial page Obama hate from a marketing perspective. Was it good business to vilify the President who got three-fifths of the vote in Franklin County in the 2012 election and remains highly regarded by the majority of county citizens?

To my surprise, audience members clapped in support when I finished.

Not to my surprise, the executives provided a non-answer answer. It was so obtuse, that I had to bring up the previous day's local cartoon that depicted a mini-Obama as a puppet in the hand of Cuba's leader.

Following the event, several members of the audience came up to congratulate me and offer support for my theses. One was a leading citizen of Columbus who will remain anonymous. The attaboys continued as I exited the Athletic Club.

We will soon find out whether or not the new owners of the Dispatch want it to have an even-handed editorial page respected by all or to continue its right-wing rag reputation.

Marrison fulfills destiny as PR hack for Yost

In my maiden column for the Free Press last August, I predicted that Ben Marrison, who resigned as editor of the Dispatch when GateHouse took over last June, would resurface eventually either at the Wolfe-owned channel 10 or “as a PR hack in Columbus.”

The latter is the case as Ohio Auditor Dave Yost announced that Marrison will become his communication director in April with a six-figure salary.
Once a brilliant journalist and statehouse correspondent, Marrison appeared to become more of a flack for Wolfe-favored Republicans and less of a journalist in his later years at the Dispatch.

Other local media not to be ignored

Since I began the Columbus Media Insider column, I have stuck mostly to writing and commenting about the machinations at the Dispatch in the wake the cuts and changes by its new owners.

It always has been my intention to cover all local media in central Ohio, including local television stations, radio channels, websites and specialty publications.

In that spirit, I learned that radio station WQTT, 1270 AM, out of Marysville, which casts a strong daytime signal into Columbus, has a new show from 3-6 p.m. weekdays that plays “the best rock and roll from the past 60 years.” It is hosted by Ian Graham.

Give it a listen and tell me what you think.

Email me the name and time of your favorite local radio show in the Columbus market and why it is your favorite. Does anybody like Archie? A shout-out may follow.

If I did a local talk show (hint, hint), what would I call it?

The Diss Patch.


Please send your thoughts and suggestions for future columns to

(ColumbusMediaInsider, copyright, 2016, John K. Hartman, All Rights Reserved)aHar

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