During my live chat on Thursday, a reader asked me what The News was working on related to the strange tale of State Sen. Mark Grisanti and the brawl at the Seneca Niagara Casino last weekend. I gave a vague answer, but now I can talk more concretely about it.
First off, see today's News editorial, titled "Do the public a favor," in which the Editorial Board calls for the casino to make its security video public. The editorial says, in part: "The question involves the character of the individuals involved, particularly a man elected to a high state office. The public has a compelling interest in understanding what happened in the casino a week ago, and casino officials could help that understanding. All they have to do is release the security video."
Also, on the editorial page, coming on Monday, is a strongly worded "Another Voice" piece by Seneca President Robert Odawi Porter, deploring the disparagement and racism toward his people that has resulted from the incident. Media portrayals of "Indians on the Warpath" and "Indian Whomp-'em" are, he says, "salacious stereotypes."
As for our news coverage, at least two stories are in the works for tomorrow's paper. One, an analysis by political columnist Robert J. McCarthy, assesses the damage to Grisanti's reputation and his political prospects. The first-term Republican runs for re-election this November, and Democrats hope to take full advantage of what happened. In the second, reporters Dan Herbeck and Maki Becker do their best to reconstruct the events of last Friday night on a minute-by-minute (if not blow-by-blow) basis. Many questions remain unanswered, but these stories should help.