On Sunday evening, the Washington Post published another report in its continuing investigation of the Bransfield scandal. (See previous post.) This article examined the controversies surrounding the Diocese of West Virginia’s sale of the former bishop’s home in Wheeling. The article appeared in the Post’s Monday edition. Additionally, the Charleston Gazette-Mail published the Post article on Monday. As of today, our local Wheeling “newspapers” have still not run the article or even a summary of it. Why? Permit me to speculate.
Is it because there is no local angle?
No, the diocese’s offices are in Wheeling. Bransfield’s home was in Wheeling. The sale of the property took place in Wheeling. The buyer, the son of the area’s local congressman (David McKinley), lives and has a business in Wheeling.
Wasn’t this a routine sale of property?
No, given the circumstances, this was far from routine. As the Post points out:
The diocese did not hire a real estate agent, advertise the property’s sale online or hold an open house.
It was a private sale.
But the diocese still got its moneys-worth?
Ah, maybe not. The Post’s headline summarizes:
Disgraced bishop spent $4.6 million on mansion that sold for only $1.2 million
If the home was never listed publicly, how did the congressman’s son become the owner?
The article explains:
“My wife and I had been looking for a home for several years,” McKinley said in an interview. “The truth is, there are not a lot of homes of this size and with such characteristics in the Wheeling area. We happened to be in the right place at the right time.”
How is this connected to his father the congressman?
The article further explains:
McKinley also knew something about the home. The architectural and engineering firm founded by his father, David B. McKinley (R-W.Va.), a congressman, had designed and managed the renovations. The younger McKinley was not affiliated with the company then but now serves as chairman of the board.
The locals have printed, summarized, and plagiarized previous Post stories. Why didn’t our local “newspapers” print this Post story?
Our local congressman, David B. McKinley, is an Ogden favorite. (Perhaps, most-favored of the local favorites.) I have yet to see, in the almost six years I’ve been doing this blog, a criticism or even a negative word from the papers about the congressman. While the Post article does not criticize the congressman, it’s not a particularly flattering account of his family’s influence in the area. So, despite the local interest in this topic, the locals did not ask any questions or pursue the story when the sale was first announced, and now they ignore what the Washington Post has found.
Aren’t we due for another Ogden self-congratulatory editorial about how they are fair/balanced and don’t play favorites?
Yes, we are. Perhaps it could be like this one:
We do not slant our reports to favor anyone. We let the chips fall where they may.
Our responsibility is to our communities and states, to what is good for them. We are obliged to no individual, organization, political party or ideology.
Of course! Who knows, maybe this post will prompt them to run the most recent WP article about the sale of Bransfield's home.