On WKYC’s Between the Lines this morning, Bill Mason showed up with assistant prosecutor Dan Kasaris (weird. why?), and called the Scene story about his impending resignation “embarrassing”, saying there are no facts to support it. Not really a denial there, Bill. On the FBI investigation into the coroner’s office hiring of Strongsville councilman Pat Coyne, Mason sold his buddy Coyne down the river, threw him under the bus, ran over him in forward and then reverse, you name it, telling Tom Beres that all those other losers are “responsible for their own conduct.” Mason and Kasaris repeatedly defended their hiring practices at the prosecutor’s office. Mason also announced he is not running for re-election in 2012.
Dennis Eckart, a regular on Beres’ Sunday morning show, and a major supporter of the Issue 6 county reform campaign, might as well have been Mason’s press secretary. Eckart’s first “question” was an apologia for Mason’s own ignorance of the corruption in county government, feeding Mason a line about how the feds take over an investigation and there’s no role for local prosecutors anyway, right Bill?? Right? Pathetic, Dennis. Why don’t you ask Joe Roman to put “flak services” in the memo line of your next GCP paycheck?
The segment was bizarre. Everyone dancing around questions that haven’t been asked in years, were never asked in the Issue 6 campaign, and now all of a sudden seem impossible to ignore. Take the fact that the new county charter leaves Mason’s own prosecutor’s office as the sole remaining elected office countywide. Eckart treated it like….uh….a weird sorta…..thingy, oh, this whole notion about you being the only one left, is that, you know, kinda, um, whatever, Bill?
This is what passes for media accountability in Cleveland. Beres does a fine job swimming upstream, surrounded by Mason and 2 apologists, but inclusion of a self-interested party, Eckart, was a very bad idea, and allowing Mason to bring another prosecutor onto the set was really unprofessional, bordering on laughable. Would Tim Russert have allowed the US attorney general onto Meet The Press with his deputy? For any reason?
I don’t think this appearance helps Mason at all. And his weird dismissal of constant rumors and reports of his impending departure was completely undercut by his announcement that he will not seek re-election. As for Dennis Eckart….this is par for his course. It’s in his highlight reel.