Gooooood morning everybody!
Bob Kelly checking in, not on FOX 29’s Good Day Philadelphia, but from his Twitter account instead.
The affable traffic anchor doesn’t sling a lot of takes, nor does he share many opinions at all, but he dropped one today, questioning why the City of Philadelphia would go overboard to prevent tailgating at Sunday’s Eagles game while turning a blind eye to the homeless encampment on the Parkway.
This topic actually is in Bob’s wheelhouse, since he reports daily on regional road closures and traffic patterns:
Bob is saying what a lot of people are thinking, but it means more coming from a public figure, one who is well-liked and typically doesn’t wade into these types of ‘controversial’ disputes and debates. Maybe FOX 29’s “we go there” slogan is literally seeping into his bloodstream via osmosis.
Long story short, the city delayed before finally issuing a deadline for the clearing of the Parkway encampment, which came and went because they stopped short of physically removing the people there and clearing the tents and other makeshift structures. Everybody has their thoughts on that situation and we don’t want to downplay the seriousness of the homeless crisis in this city, but I think the focal point for Bob and other people is that the OPTICS look really bad here.
The question truly is this –
How are you going to go down to the stadium and block everything off and take extra measures to stifle law-abiding, tax-paying city residents, while failing to come up with any sort of tenable Parkway plan?
When you juxtapose these two situations it makes it look like the city is enforcing laws with total inconsistency, as if they’re just making shit up on the fly (spoiler – they are). Local officials will go above and beyond to limit Sports Complex access but there are no rules for people in the encampment, who have illegally occupied the baseball fields across the street from the Whole Foods and rejected all efforts at a compromise.
If you go to Bob’s Twitter post, you’ll see myriad responses, some calling him a privileged white guy and others saying that he’s spot on. My takeaway is that you don’t necessarily see local television folks jumping into these kinds of discussions, which creates a figurative double jelly-donut jammo. John Clark and Ukee Washington aren’t jumping on Twitter and slinging political takes, right? Local TV personalities are among the most sanitized and cautious folks in any media ecosystem, so to see these types get involved is perhaps a perfect indicator of how stressed out and fractured the entire country is right now.
Disclosure: I used to work with Bob at Eyewitness News.