WFTV Channel 9 Failed To Investigate Commissioner Sam Ings. Why?

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by Lawrence A. Robinson
WFTV Channel 9 is known for their investigations of people and organizations and of private and nonprofit corporations. They have even done in-depth investigations on elected officials. Of course the job of a news organization is to hold leaders accountable. The freedom of the press amendment gives them leeway to assure they can do their jobs unfettered.

The first amendment, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or

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prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

With this amendment in hand, WFTV Channel 9 goes out and kinda-sorta do the right thing.

In order to keep their investigators busy, WFTV Channel 9 have formed particular intriguing relationships with advocacy groups and other entities in order to get tips and leeds on what and who to investigate. Fascinating, right?

One such entity is Michael Cantone. Michael Cantone said that he has one of those 'Special Relationships' with WFTV Channel 9 which I think is very interesting.

Certainly, you have heard of Michael Cantone, he ran for Mayor of Orlando and suffered a miserable loss and some say he hates Mayor Buddy Dyer because of this humiliating defeat. Mr. Cantone has since been a thorn in Buddy's side at every opportunity.

But for some unknown reason, Mr. Cantone has redirected his attention to Commissioner Regina Hill who he actually supported during her election campaign. Maybe he just has a 'thing' about fighting someone in city hall, who knows?

The problem is that Michael Cantone has that 'special access' to WFTV Channel 9 and he knows the workings of city hall. His newly redirected anger towards Commissioner Regina Hill is problematic for the investigative unit. Everything that he brings them is about her.

Michael Cantone spend hours and hours weekly looking for Commissioner Hill to hiccup. This obsession started before she took office.

That's right. WFTV Channel 9 actually started investigating the Commissioner before she got into office. They were looking for a mistake from the newbie.

Michael Cantone has asked for Public Records Request for everything imaginable for Commissioner Hill. Cantone will sometimes request records two, three, four times a week trying to find some error. Wanting to know how every penny is spent. Wanting to know does she bring her lunch or does someone buy it? How much time does she spend in the lady's room on the taxpayer's dime?

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The thing is that Commissioner Sam Ings cubicle is right next to Commissioner Hills. Cantone never request Ings records. I think that is kind of strange. What is Cantone's mission that he focuses on one commissioner and forget about the Mayor, whom he hates, and the ground contamination issue that he used to champion and the stolen street bricks issues?

No, it seems like he has put that on the back shelf. His focus now is on a commissioner's aide who used the city car to go over to the food bank. WHAT!

The sad thing is WFTV Channel 9 producers go along with the Cantone deal. They regularly meet with him to get the mud so that they can start slinging.

Cantone stopped throwing rocks at Mayor Dyer in order to focus on newly elected Commissioner Hill who is still learning the ropes. But wait, Commissioner Sam Ings is right there doing nothing for his constituents.

Sam Ings makes visitors of his District 6's Poppy Park, use a single Port-O-Let instead of building a real bathroom for the residents. Wonder why Cantone didn't give that information to WFTV Channel 9?

Maybe he can't throw rocks at Ings for the same reason that he stopped throwing boulders at Dyer. He'll lose his 'special relationship' status with WFTV Channel 9.

It is obvious to me that WFTV Channel 9 doesn't care about Black folk even though they have a lot of Black faces over there. Certainly, the management has been told of real issues in the Black community that can and should be investigated. Why won't they investigate something real?

Here are a few tips that 'Special Relationship agent' Cantone can give WFTV Channel 9 investigative producers that maybe they can investigate:

Why does the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida represent less than 4% of Black businesses in Central Florida? According to BBIF, there are over 14,000 Black businesses in Central Florida and AACCCF has about 450 members. Do the math.

How many unique Black Businesses in Central Florida have been helped by the Black Business Investment Fund (BBIF) in the last 10 years with business loans? The policies of the BBIF are not designed to help the average Black business owner. The average Black business person will probably fair no worst on his own.

Why would the city and county government give huge tax breaks and discounts to bring in national chain businesses but offer little or nothing to existing local Black businesses?

Now that the Tinker Field issue has been settled, can we finish the Wells Built Museum? Why is it so tough to get a few hundred thousand dollars to finish the job? Senator Geraldine Thompson, we are talking to you.

What does the Urban League of Central Florida do? When they had 3 offices they did nothing now they have 2 offices and they are doing less.

Why won't WFTV Channel 9 investigate something real in the Black community instead of preying on Commissioner Hill? Could it be that Commissioner Hill represents change. Commissioner Hill is the best commissioner in the Orlando City Council right now? Ask her constituents. She is quickly gaining rock star status in her community, deservedly so. She is always giving and doing for the community. She promised change for the better and she is doing it.

WFTV Channel 9, Commissioner Sam Ings and Michael Cantone have some things to think about.

Maybe the community should do some investigating.
Maybe Michael Cantone should reevaluate his mission.
Maybe Sam Ings should spend some time in his own district and do something there.
Maybe Black folk should find another source of news that doesn't include WFTV Channel 9.
Maybe we should all think about this.