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The Nose

Point, PowerPoint

Posted 7/11/2007

On July 2 Tony DeFranco--tireless flack for mayoral hopeful and City Councilman Keiffer Mitchell (D-11th)--sent the media a press release. Nothing new there, as it was yet another in a seemingly endless stream of press releases coming from the campaign; the Nose has received at least 16 of them in the past month. But this one was billed as a status report for Mayor Sheila Dixon's (or, as Mitchell likes to call her, "Interim-Mayor Dixon") crime plan.

Mitchell doesn't hold back when it comes to his opinions about what he perceives to be Dixon's failures and shortcomings, but this latest missive struck the Nose as almost joyfully meanspirited. The status report points out that there had been 90 murders in the first 120 days of the year before Dixon unveiled her crime plan and that since then, the murder tally had risen to 157--making for an average of more than one murder per day.

Mitchell's report goes on to point out inconsistencies in Dixon's policies, using a time line. For example, it reads: "5/1/07 Dixon outlines city crime-fighting plan. No to overtime, yes to foot patrols. 5/25/07 Dixon says yes to overtime. 6/15/07 Dixon limits foot patrols."

The report also lists crime-related stories with headlines like "Losing the Streets" and "City Needs to Reverse a Culture of Death" that have appeared in The Sun over the past two months since Dixon's crime plan has been in the news. It also presents a series of quotes made by the mayor, none of which is particularly flattering.

But what really caught the Nose's attention was the mode in which Mitchell chose to attack: He presented his findings in an eight-slide PowerPoint presentation. Meanwhile, just weeks ago, Mitchell and others criticized Dixon for releasing her crime plan as a seven-slide PowerPoint presentation with no real substance. So Mitchell is not only stealing her medium of choice--he's raising her a slide to boot.

The Nose kind of hopes that Dixon comes back with nine-slide PowerPoint presentation on why her crime plan kicks ass--though considering the rise in homicides lately, she'll have a lot less material to work with.

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