Thursday, January 18, 2007

MacYapper Speaks: The Ravenstahl Rumors (Update)

"The appealing thing about the blogosphere is that you can raise questions... and that's what i did."
-John McIntire

t's the post that rocked Pittsburgh's blogosphere.

Talk show host/MacYapper blogger John McIntire set off shockwaves when he went public with rumors about Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's 2005 encounter with a police officer that included sharp words and the clicking of handcuffs.

Now you can hear my entire interview with the MacYapper. I’ve posted the Q&A on my podcast page.

The Pittsburgh Channel has Channel 4 Action News coverage, including Jim Parsons' entire sit-down interview with the mayor giving his side of what happened. Click the links under “Video” on the Pittsburgh Channel stories.

The podcasts should work with any media player, though I imagine you'll get the best results with the latest version of QuickTime.

A note to those posting links: the earlier version of this entry was deleted when the update went online.


Matt H said...

Looks like McIntires rough version of the story was crap.

Anonymous said...

If I'm not mistaken, the City (after the Consent Decree) implemented rules and forms that require the completion of a search & seizure form anytime an officer searches or seizes. Handcuffing and restraining an individual for 15 minutes is a seizure. These forms have been in place for approximately 9 years.

Anonymous said...

Bob, Will the Citizen's Police Review Board be opening an investigation into Ravenstahl's allegations against Officer Hoehn? If what the interim mayor says is true, this officer engaged in a host of violations: illegal seizure, verbal abuse, conduct unbecoming, for starters, and also the failure to complete the requisite report (as described by Chief McNeilly and Director Pittinger). Has the Mayor filed any formal complaint against the Officer, as is his duty as a public official?

Bob Mayo said...

To anonymous #1 & anonymous #2,

It appears that neither the Mayor nor the officer are formally complaining about the other's conduct. If you listen to the two new podcasts with McNeilly and Malloy, you'll hear their differing views on filing paperwork in such incidents.

Anonymous said...

This story is a great example of a non-story being made a story. Macyapper threw out some "fresh meat," freely admitting he did not have facts, and the news media in the city jumped on it like hungry lions. Every time the news media mentions this incident, they lower themselves to the same gutter level as the blogger. Now that he knows he can create interest in the city, and draw attention to his self-serving motives for other gigs (e.g. comedy club), what will the next non-story be from this blog? Has the media learned a lesson to let this stuff lay along the roadside, and do objective news reporting? Huge demerits for the Pittsburgh news media for their work on this matter.

Anonymous said...

How can the local news media (TV, specificially) which has covered "Opiegate" lower themselves to the same "gutter level as the blogger," when they where the ones who *dug* the gutter in the first place? ....[edited]*

* Click here for more information.

Bob Mayo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Mayo said...

As I noted in my Channel 4 Action News report, the "blog forced Mayor Ravenstahl to go public with his answer to those rumors. It was the mayor's response (emphasis added) that triggered mainstream media coverage and a spotlight on those claims."

(The video link, "Blogging Causes Ravenstahl Incident to Escalate", is on this page.)

Respectfully, Anonymous 3 & Anonymous 4, I must point out that what the media reported was an incident involving a public official and a police officer that happened in a public place. The media did so only after the mayor summoned reporters, one-by-one, into his office because he had now chosen to comment on the incident.

The afternoon the story broke, the mayor's spokesman, Dick Skrinjar, phoned me and asked, "Did you read John McIntyre's blog? Would you like a one-on-one interview with the mayor to get his response?" Are you suggesting the media should have refused the mayor his request to be interviewed?

While journalists' investigations of this incident had been under way for some time, I know of no media outlet that aired any aspect of this story until the mayor chose to go on the record.

Anonymous said...


I'm not sure if you've seen comments on some of the blogs about a possible connection between the Mayor's Heinz Field incident and the fact that Luke/Denny pulled the plug on the new secondary employment/private detail program shortly after Luke became Mayor. I think this incident has unveiled some REAL issues that the MSM and investigative reporters should focus on --- luke/denny basically killed the initiative which had been initiated in 2005, was being worked on during the O'Connor administration, and which is included in the City's financial plan. I wonder what the ICA and Act 47 members think about the administration unilaterally killing the program.

Bram Reichbaum said...

The morning the story broke, Skrinjar offered you an exclusive with the Mayor? Did you decline? Why?

Bob Mayo said...


On the afternoon the story broke, he offered what he described as a "one-on-one"--not an exclusive*. Of course, I immediately accepted on behalf of Channel 4. From the standpoint of "team coverage" planning, our news director assigned Jim Parsons--who was already working the story--to interview Mayor Ravenstahl. I was assigned to interview John McIntire and cover the blogosphere angle.

*(I specifically asked Dick Skrinjar if the interview was exclusive; he declined to answer either way. It soon became apparent that it was one of a series of non-exclusive one-on-one interviews, as had been arranged for George Specter earlier that week.)

Bram Reichbaum said...

That's what you get, I guess, for making yourself "the guy with the blog"...

And I need to thank you, or your intern that day, for featuring The Comet so lovingly in that background footage! I hope it makes the permanent B-roll for "shady local blogs."