Biggest stories of 2008 — Obama wins presidency and Osama bin Laden is dead — FBI investigations of Gov. Richardson of New Mexico, Cleveland Democrats — Death Spiral of the New York Times and Chicago Sun Times

The No. 1 story for 2008 is the great campaign and election of Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the U.S. That is historic and the  obvious top story. But why isn’t there an investigation into the death of Osama bin Laden? That my friends is the biggest coverup since the JFK assassination. 

A story as big as Hitler shooting himself in his bunker, has been buried. In the one-party Democrat system, what is bad for the party will not be published. There is mounting evidence that Osama bin Laden is dead, in fact he was most likely blown to bits and covered in tons of rubble on Feb. 4, 2002. Special Forces have detailed reports on Osama’s cave complex which was destroyed on that date early in the war on terror.

FBI investigations of “pay for play” and political corruption in New Mexico, Chicago, Cleveland — all Democrat Party officials. Death threats and a very unusual death at Christmas of Democrat Rosemary Vinci. 

Very little coverage of the most widespread political corruption in perhaps 150 years. All the investigations began before the November elections. Yet, no interest from major media until after the election. Is that how a free press works in 2008?

If you live outside Ohio, I’ll wager you don’t know anything about this story:

Rosemary Vinci, the mysterious former strip club manager and close ally of Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora and Auditor Frank Russo, was found dead in her near West Side home Monday evening, said a spokesman for the county coroner.

Vinci was 50, was in good health, an autopsy to determine the cause of death is scheduled for Dec. 23 but had been put off. Police responded to Vinci’s home about 5 p.m. and found no signs of suspicious activity, a police spokesman said.

“We are very saddened by the recent passing of our employee, Rosemary Vinci,” said Destin Ramsey, a top Russo aide. “Our deepest sympathy goes out to all her friends and family, especially at this time, as we are sure she will be missed.”

Dimora and Russo are focuses of a federal corruption probe of county government. During a raid of Russo’s home and office, investigators sought pictures of Dimora and Vinci and documents related to Vinci, records show.

 

For years, Vinci managed the now-closed Tiffany’s, a high-end strip club on the west bank of the Flats. She recently pursued plans to open a social club at a property she owned in the Flats, but the project stalled because of zoning issues.

She had been active in the local Democratic Party, which Dimora leads.

Three months before the FBI raids, Vinci was at the center of a political storm when The Plain Dealer asked about her job on the county payroll. She made $48,000 a year, but officials gave varying accounts of who her boss was and what her duties were. Dimora ejected two reporters from a public meeting after refusing to answer questions about her.

Russo said Vinci worked for his office only, as a liaison to Cleveland City Hall. But several county employees, including one in the auditor’s office, told the newspaper at the time that Vinci also did work for the commissioners. Vinci said she worked for Russo and Dimora and spoke for both on behalf of the county to City Council members.

Back to Osama…

Osama, like all ego maniacs, couldn’t stay away from the camera or his followers. Reporting his death would not only make a hero out of the U.S. armed forces, but also President George W. Bush.

That was not going to happen in this day of the media/Democrat party alliance. It’s a double-edged sword. By hiding the fact that Osama was killed, the war effort continues to get full funding. That’s best, for there will be nothing left of al-Qaeda to speak of. 

Can you imagine the press keeping quiet about Hitler’s demise during WWII?

Special Forces and CIA specialist Billy Waugh has compelling evidence on the fate of Osama. Google him. 

Then ask yourself why you didn’t read this in the Washington Post, New York Times or San Francisco Chronicle.

That’s because it is hard to report on your own demise. 

by Michael Hirschorn

End Times
Virtually all the predictions about the death of old media have assumed a comfortingly long time frame for the end of print—the moment when, amid a panoply of flashing lights, press conferences, and elegiac reminiscences, the newspaper presses stop rolling and news goes entirely digital. Most of these scenarios assume a gradual crossing-over, almost like the migration of dunes, as behaviors change, paradigms shift, and the digital future heaves fully into view. The thinking goes that the existing brands—The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal—will be the ones making that transition, challenged but still dominant as sources of original reporting.

But what if the old media dies much more quickly? What if a hurricane comes along and obliterates the dunes entirely? Specifically, what if TheNew York Times goes out of business—like, this May?

It’s certainly plausible. Earnings reports released by the New York Times Company in October indicate that drastic measures will have to be taken over the next five months or the paper will default on some $400million in debt. With more than $1billion in debt already on the books, only $46million in cash reserves as of October, and no clear way to tap into the capital markets (the company’s debt was recently reduced to junk status), the paper’s future doesn’t look good.

“As part of our analysis of our uses of cash, we are evaluating future financing arrangements,” the Times Company announced blandly in October, referring to the crunch it will face in May. “Based on the conversations we have had with lenders, we expect that we will be able to manage our debt and credit obligations as they mature.” This prompted Henry Blodget, whose Web site, Silicon Alley Insider, has offered the smartest ongoing analysis of the company’s travails, to write: “‘We expect that we will be able to manage’? Translation: There’s a possibility that we won’t be able to manage.”

The paper’s credit crisis comes against a backdrop of ongoing and accelerating drops in circulation, massive cutbacks in advertising revenue, and the worst economic climate in almost 80 years. As of December, its stock had fallen so far that the entire company could theoretically be had for about $1 billion. The former Times executive editor Abe Rosenthal often said he couldn’t imagine a world without The Times. Perhaps we should start.

Granted, the odds that The Times will cease to exist entirely come May are relatively slim. Many steps could be taken to prolong its existence. The Times Company has already slashed its dividend, a major source of income for the paper’s owners, the Sulzberger family, but one that starved the company at precisely the moment it needed significant investments in new media. The company could sell its share of the brilliant Renzo Piano–designed headquarters—which cost the company about $600million to build and was completed in 2007, years after the digital threat to The Times’ core business had become clear. (It’s already borrowing money against the building’s value.) It could sell The Boston Globe—or shutter it entirely, given what the company itself has acknowledged is a challenging time for the sale of media properties. It could sell its share in the Boston Red Sox, close or sell various smaller properties, or off-load About.com, the resolutely unglamorous Web purchase that has been virtually the only source of earnings growth in the Times Company’s portfolio. With these steps, or after them, would come mass staffing cuts, no matter that the executive editor, Bill Keller, promised otherwise.

It’s possible that a David Geffen, Michael Bloomberg, or Carlos Slim would purchase The Times as a trophy property and spare the company some of this pain. Even Rupert Murdoch, after overpaying wildly for The Wall Street Journal, seems to be tempted by the prospect of adding The Times to his portfolio. But the experiences of Sam Zell, who must be ruing the day he waded into the waking nightmare that is the now-bankrupt Tribune Company, would surely temper the enthusiasm of all but the most arrogant of plutocrats. (And as global economies tumble around them, the plutocrats aren’t as plutocratic as they used to be.) Alternatively, Google or Microsoft or even CBS could purchase The Times on the cheap, strip it for parts, and turn it into a content mill to goose its own page views.

Regardless of what happens over the next few months, The Times is destined for significant and traumatic change. At some point soon—sooner than most of us think—the print edition, and with it The Times as we know it, will no longer exist. And it will likely have plenty of company. In December, the Fitch Ratings service, which monitors the health of media companies, predicted a widespread newspaper die-off: “Fitch believes more newspapers and news­paper groups will default, be shut down and be liquidated in 2009 and several cities could go without a daily print newspaper by 2010.”  — Michael Hirschorn

8 thoughts on “Biggest stories of 2008 — Obama wins presidency and Osama bin Laden is dead — FBI investigations of Gov. Richardson of New Mexico, Cleveland Democrats — Death Spiral of the New York Times and Chicago Sun Times

  1. The unreported items:
    Here are the facts.

    The last intelligence intercept of Osama bin Laden was on December 14 of 2001. He has not been heard from since.
    President Bush and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld hinted in late December of 2001 that they knew Osama bin Laden was dead.
    President Musharraf of Pakistan announced in January of 2002 that Osama bin Laden was probably dead of kidney disease.
    President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan was quoted in October of 2002 as saying, “The more we don’t hear of him, and the more time passes, there is the likelihood that he probably is either dead or seriously wounded somewhere.”
    But the actions of the US Military are the most telling. There isn’t a single soldier, sailor or Marine tasked with chasing down Osama bin Laden, dead or alive. Because we know exactly where he is. He’s dead. So the US military is either totally or absolutely incompetent or Osama bin Laden died years ago and we’ve been fighting the boogieman.
    As early as July of 2002, even the FBI’s counterterrorism chief was quoted as saying; Osama bin Laden is “probably” dead.

  2. Thanks to George W Bush we were not invaded after 911..bless Laura for her wonderful/compassionate works…{wonder if Michelle will follow in her footsteps?}.
    Watched every interview with Obama..he was just like Clinton…DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING..certainly can’t accuse him of “faulting on promises”…he didn’t make any!

  3. Al Quada’s #2 guy, Dr. Zawari (sp) occasionally releases high qulaity video that leaves no doubt as to it’s authenticty. Bin Landen does not. We’ve gotten audio only, a fuzzy picture of a man in a fake beard, and old tape footage with mis-matched audio on it. This is more than enough reason to doubt the authenticity of the newest tape.

    Since it is everyone’s interest to keep the myth of a living bin Laden alive, both the US Government, muslim extremists and much of the media play along.

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