Drowning Sorrows


First off, let’s start with the caveat that WKRN works in mysterious ways.  Several of their moves of late elicit either puzzlement or admiration.  We generally aren’t privvy to what goes on behind the scenes, so watching the personnel shuffling going on has become eerily reminiscent of trying to figure out what was up with the Politburo back in the Eighties.

I like WKRN, they try not to dumb down the news like the other two stations.  Channels 4 and 5 tend to pitch their newscasts like they are talking to an Alzheimer’s patient with Down’s Syndrome.  However, they also seem to be on the local and breaking news items in a way that leaves ‘KRN in the dust.  I don’t get everything that Mike Sechrist is up to, yet.  But, he gets the benefit of the doubt for now. 

One reporter that has jumped ship is Brent Frazier.  He did good work at Channel 2 and is now doing a great job at Channel 5.  (Speaking of 5, they should start calling themselves The Perry March Channel.  The only way WTVF could have it any better right now is if Perry shot both the Levines live on NewsChannel 5+.)  Getting back to Frazier, he worked the story about Councilwoman Brenda Gilmore is heading up efforts to teach low-income black kids how to swim in the wake of the latest tragedy. 

Now, pardon me for thinking the worst, but at first I thought the tragedy to which they referred was the murder of the homeless girl at Riverfront Park.  It struck me as wrong and darkly funny,  that the response of Councilwoman Gilmore was to teach black kids to swim, as a response to some poor girl getting thrown in the river.  Only later was it made clear that the story was about the two year olds who drowned in a local pool.  Never mind that the problem was adult supervision, not swimming aptitude among two year olds.  Either way, it reinforces the whole "Black People Can’t Swim" stereotype.  Anytime you can get a well-meaning politician to inadvertently reinforce negative stereotypes, that’s humor you can’t buy.

The other interesting thing that Frazier’s piece brought to light, was that they never showed what was wrong with the pool at the Northwest YMCA other than the dearth of swimmers.  Yes, the pool is old.  But does it have cracks or is the sidewalk around the pool conducive to trip hazards?  We didn’t see evidence of that.  The report mentioned the old-style sand filters used.  But, no mention of why those filters are not sufficient.  Just saying that the pool is unacceptable because it is old, is like saying that Doug Henry is unacceptable as State Senator because he’s been around since Linbergh crossed the Atlantic.  (Note to self:  contact Krumm about campaign manager job).

The shocking part of the report was that the new pool will cost millions of dollars.  Say what?  The problem isn’t the pool.  The problem is that kids aren’t learning how to swim.  The problem is that no one comes to the pool you have.  How will spending millions of dollars to build a pool motivate parents to get their kids in for lessons, when they aren’t utilizing the facilities you have? 

It better be a big damn pool.  An Olympic-sized pool costs between $500,000 to $1,000,000.  Where is the other million dollars going to be spent?

Meanwhile, if you want to swim at a big, empty pool and live in North Nashville, get to the Northwest Y. 


2 Responses to “Drowning Sorrows”

  1. W Says:

    I never knew black people couldn’t swim until you and Gilmore told me. Thank you for enlightening me.

  2. SistaSmiff Says:

    I kinda feel sorry for John Dwyer. There, they’ve tried to make a newsguy out of him and he…just….isn’t. This morning, he was really having a time trying to talk to the soldier in Iraq and every morning he just has the look of "Please let me do sports again." Kinda unfair of them.

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