Now really!! A thirteen foot bronze statue of a football player was put on display. But since the paper has used that word, we feel free to use another. "Idolatry."
In combination, Sections A and C of this morning’s paper give us about four full pages of text and pictures glorifying the persona and the career of Peyton Manning.
We’re told he helped turn Indianapolis into a "world class city." We are also given, without a trace of embarrassment or remorse, an admission by then governor Daniels that the city and state submitted to a three quarters of a billion dollar case of extortion.
Under threats by the billionaire owner to move the football team, the taxpayers were put on the hook for a new stadium - probably forever, based on the history of how this kind of debt was (mis)handled in the past. That owner is quoted as saying the stadium "...is an incredible facility that that man built." (Our emphasis.)
Even given the history of the outrageously favorable treatment that local government and media have handed professional sports, it is a little - but only a little - surprising that the words "tax" or "taxpayer" do not appear on those four pages.
Wouldn’t the statue be more realistic by showing Manning standing on the shoulders of an individual labeled "taxpayer?"
Except for the admission by the former governor as noted above, one might read the paper and think that the idol not only financed the building but even laid on the brick and mortar personally!!
We congratulate Mr. Manning on a wonderful career. We thank him for the many good things he has actually done for the city. But we should remember that all this was not a charitable operation. He was paid several million dollars over these same years, as opposed to the average taxpayer who could not afford to watch him perform in "his" building. Again, we thank him, and we wish him well in the future.
For the paper, we would hope for a truer, more realistic and less over-stated, saccharine approach to "news" reporting in the future. Including a truly objective study of municipal usage of tax dollars being handed to professional sports team owners.
By the way, who paid for the statue? Did we miss that?