Mayor Weighs in on Tucson Shootings, Dumb Questions

Jan 17, 2011 at 8:00 am

Mayor Slay didn't directly call out the St. Louis Business Journal for asking an idiotic question last week, but he hinted as much.

In the wake of the Tucson tragedy, the Biz Journal polled its readers by asking: "Given the Arizona shootings, will you stop attending political rallies?" In his blog, the mayor responded by saying, "As the sponsor of a weekly poll on my own website, I am not unfamiliar with dumb questions."

The comment was refreshingly self-deprecating and uncharacteristically snarky. The mayor went on to say that the question wasn't "a big deal," but he also suggested that the Journal should have focused on more appropriate questions and been clearer about the facts:

"What [the Arizona shootings] really do not readily bring to mind is a question about political rallies, particularly since the event at which this tragedy occurred wasn't political and it wasn't a rally."

Mayor Francis Slay, media critic. Who knew?

Slay isn't the only one to put the Tucson tragedy in context. Yesterday, the public editor of the New York Times chastised the media, including his own publication, for rushing into a debate about ideological extremism following the massacre, rather than focusing on more appropriate issues like gun control, mental illness and why Jared Loughner was able to get his hands on a 9-millimeter glock in the first place.

These are good debates to have, and we've tussled over the gun-law issues ourselves in past blogs. If anyone has any thoughts on the matter, feel free to voice them here.