Don’t help us

Democratic Senate candidate Shelley Berkley last week issued a statement attacking the New York Times and Los Angeles Times for bad-mouthing Reno, presumably in the expectation that locals resented two articles published by the newspapers that portrayed Reno in a poor light.

“Recent articles on the demise of Reno from the Los Angeles Times and New York Times couldn’t be more wrong,” Berkley said in a prepared statement. “Many in Nevada are struggling, and much work remains to be done in order to get the economy back on track. However, out-of-state organizations parachuting in and labeling Reno a dying city is offensive and inaccurate. Not only will Reno come back, it will come back stronger than ever if we start putting middle-class families first and prioritize job creation.”

As it happened, though, many Renoites were pleased to see the out-of-state articles, which resonated with a lot of residents who wanted the issues of city failings raised. Isles Teashop owner Terry McCormick Fegan wrote on the Reno Gazette-Journal website, “I have been reading all the articles, and I didn’t find them to be overtly negative.”

“We have the necessary stage venues available in Reno, let’s get to work and stop the ‘woe is me’ attitude of so many businesses,” read a reader comment on the News & Review website. The Reno Gazette-Journal editorialized, “We in the Truckee Meadows get it.”

Berkley also faced skepticism for her comments in National Journal, an influential Washington, D.C., publication widely read in power circles. In an article headlined, “When Campaigns Make Newspapers Their Enemies,” the Journal bracketed Berkley with GOP U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, whose campaign recently picked a fight with the Tampa Bay Times over the newspaper’s endorsement of another candidate in the Republican primary.

On the Reno news coverage dispute, the Journal observed, “Neither [article] is a hit piece. Both explore revitalization efforts in the city. … But it’s not just Reno that was likely on Berkley’s mind.” This last referred to the fact that it was the New York Times that published a report on Berkley’s alleged conflicts of interest, prompting an ethics probe of her.