I was going to apologize, I was.
You see, a few days ago, a reader came to me and said, “I heard Luke is going to Mardi Gras.” To which I responded, “YOU LIE! No way.” Problem was, this reader is well-connected and told me about your separation from your wife THREE WEEKS before it hit the news. So I took a wait and see approach. Today rolled around and I said, “Gee. I wonder if the Mayor is around or if he really did leave town.”
I emailed the Dread Lord a day or so ago and asked him if you were leaving town to head to New Orleans. The Dread Lord never responded, and he ALWAYS responds to my emails. That gave me pause. So I emailed around to some media and other connected people. Some had heard the rumor too and couldn’t find you. Council was looking for you to sign something and THEY couldn’t find you. I asked twitter. “HAS ANYONE SEEN THE MAYOR IN PITTSBURGH?!”
No one had. Even Yarone wasn’t around and your press secretary claimed to the media that she didn’t know where you were but that she knew you were in Pittsburgh.
This is all happening at about 10:30 this morning, but the media started asking questions about your whereabouts last night around 6:00 p.m.!
This goes on until 4:00 p.m today. That was about 22 hours that the word was out that Council was looking for you and no one knew where you were. You’re mayor. You don’t just disappear like that. Seemed fishy. And keep in mind, Mr. Mayor, that the reason these questions were being asked was due in part to the fact that you weren’t around during Snowmageddon. And now, here we are, one week later, and no one can find you. WHERE IS THE MAYOR NOW, the city and the media and the bloggers asked.
Finally, you called a press conference, popped your head out to say, “I’m here. I’ve been here. I’ve been working and I’m PISSED.”
If it had ended there, I’d be writing an apology to you because you were just out doing your job and were unreachable or just didn’t have time to respond to the media and council asking where you were.
But it didn’t end there. You said:
“I was here,” Mr. Ravenstahl said. “I did three things today. I responded to your ridiculous inquiries. I drove around the city of Pittsburgh and did an evaluation of the streets and how they looked. And I spent the majority of my time with the public safety director” discussing the death of a Hazelwood man whose companion repeatedly called for an ambulance during the snow emergency.
Asked why his staff did not disclose his whereabouts, the mayor said the information was withheld “just to kind of prove a point, that you all need to be more responsible.”
No, you DIDN’T respond to those ridiculous inquiries. All of this could have been avoided if you had just bothered to just let your press secretary say, “The Mayor is not available to sign the document because he is meeting with the public safety director.” End of story. See ya later, Mayor.
But that didn’t happen. She did not disclose your whereabouts. She lied and said she didn’t know where you were and the reason she said that is because you WERE INTENTIONALLY WITHHOLDING THAT INFORMATION FROM THE MEDIA.
“To kind of prove a point.”
You weren’t just out there working. You weren’t unreachable. You were aware that you were being sought. You did this on purpose. You could have made it all go away with one little phone call, but you didn’t. You decided you didn’t owe the media, or the people of Pittsburgh an answer as to where you were. You decided to just not tell them. You let the uproar build and build and build just so you could pop your head out and be all, “YOU PEOPLE ARE RIDICULOUS.”
What you did was kind of like a mother hiding in the closet from her children, watching as they get more scared by the minute, waiting until they start crying, and then poking her head out to YELL AT THEM FOR CRYING.
You’re the MAYOR. You have to show up and when you don’t show up you have to actually give a reason for it when the media asks where you were in lieu of showing up. When you know there’s a rumor that you’re in New Orleans and you know people are looking for you, you pick up your stupid phone, you text your press secretary and you say, “Let them know where I’m at. Will answer questions shortly.”
Something, ANYTHING to quell the uproar and stop the questions.
You had that power. The power was in YOUR hands this entire time to put a stop to the questions of your whereabouts. It is because of YOUR actions that it got as bad as it did. It was your decisions. Your silence. You. All you.
You don’t get to be angry at people for reacting to a situation you MANUFACTURED on purpose all by yourself. You don’t get to lash out at the media for their “ridiculousness” in daring to ask where the elected Mayor has been all freaking day.
You decided to “prove a point.” What point you thought you were proving, I can never hope to know. That the media asks questions and when the questions aren’t answered they keep searching for answers? That you don’t answer to anyone? That you can do what you want and no one should question it?
I put forth, Mr. Mayor, that in light of your past issues with “showing up” and in light of you not being here for the blizzard and in light of how long you were off the radar, the media would have been IRRESPONSIBLE if they weren’t asking the questions they asked and continue to ask.
I put forth that the only point you really proved is that it’s not the media that acted irresponsibly here. It was you.