Ah, the Smell of the Fishwrapper: Bergeron’s Misleading Headlines Proclaiming Salisbury Improved Its Bond Ratings

Posted on March 9, 2017

Todd Paris, Staff Writer and Salisbury Attorney

♦ Ah, the sounds of old time newspaper plants. Pressmen struggling throughout the night, last minute hollers for “hold the presses”, and smell of trucks idling by the loading docks in the morning. Delivery boys standing by their bikes and bundling the morning news! I love the bygone smell of fresh newsprint almost as much as our cat “Kittah” who scratches and rubs his paws against the fresh smelling newsprint before he does his own “morning business.”

I can remember the time (long ago before the internet took command and closed down small city newspapers by the thousands) when local stock traders would go down to the loading docks and get the first “hot off the presses” stock reports and dash to their offices to place trades before the rest of the city awakened. Those were the days my friends!

In the wee hours of March 7, 2017, the local “Fishwrapper’s” delivery persons dutifully started tossing that morning’s papers onto its few remaining driveways in Salisbury and Rowan County. There on the front page in bold title print reading, and I quote, “Salisbury’s bond rating upgraded to AA+.” Great news! Perhaps David Post’s attempts to polish Fibrant’s limited saleability and convince potential buyers they are pet rocks may have come to the attention of Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s? Could the city dump this deadly albatross once and for all?

To those persons who actually read the article, confusion soon appeared as cub reporter (Did they make him an associate editor?) Josh Bergeron’s words reflected that it was Rowan County’s bond ratings and not the City of Salisbury’s bond ratings that improved and were “in play.” To those hapless individuals who merely scan the headlines and move on to the next sip of tea and bulging mouthfull of crumpets, it would appear that “our beloved Salisbury” received a “boon” and that all was right or becoming “righter” with the municipal world. WRONGO!

To those citizens who actually can afford the highly subsidized high-speed Fibrant or high-speed Spectrum, AT&T, and Windstream can provide, the correction soon became clear. Apparently a major gaff was made and it was actually Rowan County’s bond rating that was upgraded and not our Fibrant-wrecked the City of Salisbury.

To those aged citizens hunkering down in unsalable houses in formerly “nice” neighborhoods that do not “do internet” and do not think “too hard”, good news was heard and that might sway their vote in the coming fall city council election.

I presume a small correction will be posted tomorrow near the obituaries to correct this major headline typo. Of course, most folks will miss it. Meanwhile, those citizens not online and don’t catch that small correction and who may not have read the body of this article will be left with a false impression as to Salisbury’s bond rating status. Leaving arguments aside about the “Post’s” record of pimping city hall (One of their largest advertisers), and assuming this is a mere typo and not “fake news,” it is incumbent upon the “Post” to print this correction on the front page to make sure readers are not misled and to quickly report accurate info on Salisbury’s real bond rating and any changes that may have occurred, good or bad.

Todays “correction” on Page 2A of the March 9, 2017 Fishwrapper:

In 1854 the Reverend John Cumming, a Minister of the Scottish National Church, published a religious text that included a thematic statement:
“The order of God’s providence, and certainly the law of Christ’s Gospel, is, that wherever there is great power, lofty position, there is great responsibility, and a call to instant duty.”

Here’s to hoping that “Fishwrapper” is up to their “instant duty” and makes the effort to replace their erroneous headlines with the County’s bond rating improvement in bold print headlines.

Don’t wager on it.

The actual press release about the County’s Bond Rating:

Posted in: Articles