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Thanks to State Sen. Joe Schiavoni, the Columbus Dispatch stepped up its coverage of the ECOT scandal on April 24.

"Schiavoni wants criminal probe of ECOT attendance claims" the online headline screamed atop It did not make the front page of the early print edition, but was relegated to the first page of the second section.

It turns out that a whistleblower contacted both the state auditor and the Ohio Department of

Education nearly a year ago with evidence that ECOT apparently was falsifying attendance figures in order to collect millions of dollars of state subsidies.

Schiavoni, the longest-running Democratic candidate for governor, is locked in a three-way race for the nomination with Richard Cordray and Dennis Kucinich. He is making the case the he is best qualified to clean up the Republican corruption being revealed on an almost daily basis.

By the way, the state auditor who was informed in May 2017 about the whistleblower's complaint is none other than Dave Yost, the erstwhile Republican candidate for attorney general and poster child for Dispatch favoritism. Keep reading.

No Apology To Readers Over Favoritism Toward Yost

We revealed last month that the Dispatch had written 21 articles about the Republican attorney general candidate Dave Yost and only one article about his opponent, Democrat Steve Dettelbach, during a three-week period.

It was such important news that it was picked up by Ohio's leading liberal website,

Nonetheless, the Dispatch ignored the charge and has kept over covering Yost, whose spokesperson is former Dispatch editor Ben Marrison, and under covering Dettelbach.

Dispatcheditor Alan Miller devoted his April 15 column to heralding the paper's "fair coverage." He wrote that the Dispatch is seen as so "fair" that Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger first told a Dispatch reporter that Rosenberger was resigning in the wake of an FBI investigation.

Miller violates the trust of the paper's readers with biased reporting and then tries to cover it up with PR window dressing, just like his predecessor Marrison did. Keep reading. It gets "better."

Dettelbach was featured in a PBS documentary about human trafficking in agriculture that aired April 24 because of his former role as U.S. attorney for northern Ohio.

The Dispatch carried an article about the program and mentioned Dettelbach's appearance in the last paragraph. It noted that Dettelbach was running for attorney general and, by the way, his opponent was Yost.

In the 21 articles mentioned earlier featuring Yost performing his duties as auditor, Dettelbach is customarily omitted, but when Dettelbach is mentioned once for performing his duties, Yost gets included.

Keep reading. It gets "even better."

In the April 25 Dispatch, Dettelbach severely criticizes Yost for not pushing the investigation of ECOT wrong-doing fast enough and hard enough. Yost's apologist Marrison accuses Dettelbach of a "political stunt." In deference to their former boss, the Dispatch headline reads "ECOT tip becomes political football," downplaying the significance of Dettelbach's criticism of Yost.

Is Marrison ever identified in Dispatch coverage as the "former Dispatch editor?" Not a chance. Marrison hides behind his cover and connections.

Dispatchreaders get a one-sided Republican-favoring view of what is going on and Democrat Dettelbach, who dares criticize the Dispatch's favored candidate Yost, gets the shaft.

Ohio Political Ranker Primary Predictions

Democrat for Governor: State Sen. Joe Schiavoni. Long game pays off.

Republican for Governor: Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor. Women rise to her defense.

Democrat for OH 12: John Russell. Builds a movement with shoe leather.

Republican for OH 12: Tim Kane. Only one unscathed after attack ads.


  • With Rosenberger's apparent scandal leading the way, Ohio Republicans are in disarray. The problem is that even a divided Republican party will have a ton more money than the Democrats and that is not counting all the dark money that will flood into the state for the GOP.
  • The Dispatch eliminated its Monday business section a few weeks ago. In fact, the daily newspaper cut out its business coverage altogether on Mondays. So if you want to read business news in print on Mondays, you will have to pick up a copy of Columbus Business First.
  • One must look no further than OH 12, where a GOP resignation from Congress has set off a dogfight that will begin to be resolved at the May 8 Primary. Republican interests are flooding the district with cash. $5 million will be spent on the primary when all is said and done. The Democrats will be lucky to top $1 million.
  • JobsOhio blows $2,000-$3,000 of secret public money on a full-page ad in the Dispatch April 23 congratulating Columbus on some honor. What a waste!

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

(ColumbusMediaInsider, copyright, 2018, John K. Hartman, All Rights Reserved) 

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