Who benefits? That is the first question police ask. Jackie suspected that it was her husband’s successor who was the mastermind behind the pilot to murder JFK, says former Nixon advisor Roger Stone. Jackie said her husband believed strongly that Johnson shouldn’t become president and, int the months before his death on November 22, 1963.Jackie knew that Johnson and his cronies despised the Kennedy family and Johnson was jealous of the Camelot image of the family. Both the president and Bobby often shunned and ridiculed Johnson.
Today the newspaper industry bible–Editor & Publisher was shut down.
The 12-page 8×10 inch magazine was a joke inside the industry it covered. Not always, of course, or the trade mag covering mini-monopolies wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did. The past five years, E&P’s circulation was mainly online and didn’t earn the money to pay for postage or the paper it was printed on. Many blogs earn more in advertising revenue in one day than E&P did the past five years.
The same week with the earliest snowfall on record for Houston — the first wave of elite liberals fly to Denmark for the Global Warming Summit to drink Champagne.
Now another wave of layoffs begin at newspapers large newspapers. With more copy editor and page design jobs going to India at about 60 percent less, in the age of Web-based publishing.
Imagine if newspapers had been more balanced in their coverage and actually had moderate and conservative content? Would readers and advertisers be dropping off like they are? Or is it just the medium that is the problem?
Liberals at the Los Angeles Times and the vast Times-Mirror media holdings have long praised the legacy of an eccentric, big game hunter, millionaire, car collector and liberal Democrat, publisher Otis Chandler, the surfing heir to an empire that he knew nothing about. Otis set the liberal sharp turn left at the LA Times, which was immediately followed by the media giant’s other holdings: The Dallas-Times Herald, Denver Post, Houston Post, Baltimore Sun and New York’s Newsday, soon after the title was granted to him by his father.
Otis like many spoiled trust fund kids turned on dear old dad and granddad and imitated the New York Times leftist, socialist dogma. It started in the late ’60s and kept up the pace until the mid-’80s when the Times-Mirror board finally fired him. The board remained out of the public eye and sat on their hands watching the largest, most profitable media company attack the advertisers in Dallas, Denver and Houston who had a choice, they easily moved all their advertising and public event support to the more dominant papers in the markets: then the Dallas Morning News, Denver Post and Houston Chronicle. Liberals hate business and economics with a passion.
The Chandler’s board got rid of the brat and some 15 years later sold out to Sam Zell of Chicago. They unloaded well before the death spiral of the industry.
Sam Zell is playing out a Clint Eastwood spaghetti Western on the bloated staff at the once glorious flagship, the LA Times.
“Sudden Sam” Zell fired more than 400 employees since assuming ownership of the paper a few years ago. You know there are some hearty laughs over fine cigars and California merlot in the the rolling ranch lands of Southern Cal.
Unlike Otis Chandler, Zell has no regard for the Pulitzer Prize committee, the supreme soviets of mainstream journalism, who only bestow honors on the most progressive and liberal newspapers left in the land. Zell made it clear right off the bat, that he found the paper’s New-York-Times-of-the-West pretensions, worthless and boring. He has said openly that he doesn’t even bother to read the paper unless he happens to be passing through L.A.
In a New Yorker Magazine profile, Zell described himself as an “economic conservative” and confessed that he likes the columns of Charles Krauthammer and David Brooks but thought the “rest of the New York Times’s columnists are preposterous.” He had no use for Hillary Clinton either, according to the piece: “At a recent dinner party, the mention of Hillary Clinton’s name prompted him to use a four-letter obscenity to describe her.”
Times staffers must have shivered when they read in the New Yorker profile that Zell once sent a music box as a gift to friends and colleagues that played a song deriding the Sarbanes-Oxley Act: “Sarbanes-Oxley/ They’ve got moxie/ But for businesses/ Their act is toxic/ It’s not rocket science/ We’re killing profits with compliance.”
Addressing a University of Hawaii business class a few years back, Zell said: “The idea that somehow or other the business community is full of all these greedy characters — you should see the greed in teachers’ unions! You should see the greed in any political organization!”
Chandler’s era was “hyperpartisan,” biased and “parochial” in support of Jimmy Carter and on constant attack mode against California Republicans Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. That was the final straw for Otis.
Otis went on to killing real elephants and lions on extravagant safaris. Did you know that? Google it, there may be some bits and pieces on the web.
Chandler and his liberal successor, Tom Johnson, (who was publisher at the Dallas Times-Herald) focused on winning the approval of East Coast socialites/socialists, had endlessly commissioned left-wing articles, boring local readers who dropped their papers in droves for the more moderate Orange County Register and in Dallas, the more conservative Dallas Morning News. In Houston, the readers left the Post and went with the Houston Chronicle. (The Post is long gone and the Houston Chronicle is among the most profitable major newspapers in America).
The LA Times acquired a reputation as the “velvet coffin,” a place where liberal reporters could leisurely cover topics of interest to them, (smear energy companies, HMOs, etc.) and paint beautiful portraits of their elite friends, but of little interest to the paper’s readers and local businesses.
I know plenty of stories abut the velvet coffin. I was young bastard who worked tirelessly for the honor of being in the inner court of the Times-Mirror estate. I stood shoulder to shoulder with the powers that were. They were a smug group, flying off to Davos every year with Pinchy of the NY Times and George Soros.
I admire the intelligent courage of the Chandlers for giving Otis the boot and later dumping the media mess he left behind. They could see that the entire industry was following the liberal lead of Otis. There are better investments to be made such as in Apple, HP, or any number of consumer products.
Citizen journalists exposed ACORN on camera. Now the Obama/Democrat politicians have to sever their ties with the socialist group famous for ballot stuffing, voter registrations by the tens of thousands and illegal loans by the thousands (helping fuel the financial meltdown). The two citizen journalists asked for tax advice on opening up a house of prostitution and got some good tips from ACORN staff members.
The interview was taped and now Obama has some explaining to do. Why did he pick 9-11 for the first annual day of service? Now ACORN will forever be tied to a tragic day in American history. ACORN is a brownshirt political activist group hired to rig local elections and beef up poor and illegal numbers for federal aid. What a shitty organization? My god!
Two employees at the Baltimore, Maryland, branch of the liberal community organizing group ACORN were caught on tape allegedly offering advice to a pair posing as a pimp and prostitute on setting up a prostitution ring and evading the IRS.
The video was recorded and and posted online Thursday by James O’Keefe, a conservative activist. He was joined on the video by another conservative, Hannah Giles, who posed as the prostitute in the filmmakers’ undercover sting.
Wonder why the New York Times or Washington Post didn’t think of doing this kind of real journalism? I think you know the answer.
The video shows the pair approaching two women working at the ACORN Baltimore office and asking them for advice on how to set up a prostitution ring involving more than a dozen underage girls from El Salvador. One of the ACORN workers suggests that Giles refer to herself as a “performing artist” on tax forms and declare some of the girls as dependents to receive child tax credits.
“Stop saying prostitution,” the woman, identified by the filmmaker as an ACORN tax expert, tells Giles. The other woman tells them, “You want to keep them clean … make sure they go to school.”
Both woman appear enthusiastic to help. The tape is on YOUTUBE. Google it.
James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles visited one of ACORN’s New York offices in August, where they picked up handy tips on how to lie on housing forms to cover up a prostitution business (”Honesty is not going to get you the house,” one ACORN official advises) and how to hide cash from their illicit business (”When you buy the house with the backyard, you get a tin…and you bury it down in there…cover it…and put the grass over it…”).
Watch the whole thing at Big Government. This is now the third videotaped sting exposing the ACORN racket’s law-undermining, truth-sabotaging counseling sessions.
If the Census Bureau no longer trusts ACORN to collect data as a result of these videotapes, why is Congress still allowing taxpayer money to be funneled to the ACORN Housing Corporation?
AHC has received an estimated $16 million in taxpayer funds between 1997-2007, according to the Employment Policies Institute.
ACORN is now managing apartments in Bedford-Stuyvesant for the newly completed Atlantic Avenue Apartments.
The video footage — which has been edited and goes to black in some areas — was recorded and posted online Thursday by James O’Keefe, a conservative activist. He was joined on the video by another conservative, Hannah Giles, who posed as the prostitute in the filmmakers’ undercover sting.
The video shows the pair approaching two women working at the ACORN Baltimore office and asking them for advice on how to set up a prostitution ring involving more than a dozen underage girls from El Salvador.
One of the ACORN workers suggests that Giles refer to herself as a “performing artist” on tax forms and declare some of the girls as dependents to receive child tax credits.
Governor Sarah Palin, in her Wednesday night speech to 40 million Americans said, “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities.” Sarah hit a grand slam with that one.
But what exactly were Barack Obama’s actions as of community organizer in Chicago?
It’s been hidden from the news that Obama was a member of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, ACORN. Google ACORN and you may be surprised to find that it is a liberal/socialist organization involved in voter fraud. Look up the lawsuits ACORN is involved in.
Obama’s community organizing involved training grievance-mongers from ACORN.
Last week, Milwaukee’s top election official announced plans to seek criminal investigatioins of 37 ACORN employees accused voter registration fraud on a massive level.
Obama’s campaign apologized for failing to report $800,000 in campaign payments to ACORN. They were “accidently” filed with the Federal Election Committee as money sent to “get-out-the-vote” and “advance work.”
The New York Post has more quotes today from upset community organizers. Joshua Hoyt, executive director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, says: “I don’t like seeing the really hard work that goes on in really poor communities being demeaned by cheap politicians.”
Hard work such as signing up non U.S. citizens as Democrats with voter cards.
The Arkansas connection
You know Acorn. You know the grassroots organization, now a national power, got its start here, led by Wade Rathke (pictured), who spent the group’s formative years wheeling and dealing in Little Rock before moving to New Orleans. The local affiliate remains a powerful voice for poor people.
Depending on your point of view, you’ll be saddened or gladdened to learn this shocking news:
The New York Times reports today that founder Rathke’s brother embezzled $1 million from the organization eight years ago and the matter was handled internally.He stayed on the payroll until a month ago, when whistleblowers finally forced him out.
Wade Rathke said the organization had signed a restitution agreement with his brother in which his family agreed to repay the amount embezzled in exchange for confidentiality.
Wade Rathke stepped down as Acorn’s chief organizer on June 2, the same day his brother left, but he remains chief organizer for Acorn International L.L.C.
He said the decision to keep the matter secret was not made to protect his brother but because word of the embezzlement would have put a “weapon” into the hands of enemies of Acorn, a liberal group that is a frequent target of conservatives who object to its often strident advocacy on behalf of low- and moderate-income families and workers.
Wade Rathke said he learned of the problem when an employee of Citizens Consulting alerted him about suspicious credit card transactions. An internal investigation uncovered inappropriate charges on the cards that led back to his brother.
“Clearly, this was an uncomfortable, conflicting and humiliating situation as far as my family and I were concerned,” he said, “and so the real decisions on how to handle it had to be made by others.”
If one of the prosperous businesses or public officials Rathke and Acorn have bedeviled and humiliated over the years had offered this alibi for wrongdoing, they would be in Lompoc right now.
The Washington Post’s revenue plan of facilitating expensive meetings between lobbyists, Post writers and editors, Democrat and Obama administration officials has finally been outed. There was even a slick marketing piece promoting the deal that would cost big pharmacy, trial lawyers and “green” energy lobbyists up to $250,000 to dine and meet with the elite.
Sickening. But this has been going on “informally” at the New York Times, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Washington Post for years. Only the editorial elites didn’t charge for it.
More on media bias…
Know we know that the Washington Post and Kaiser (cheap health care) org were planning a July get together at the publisher’s elegant home. Any news in your daily newspaper about this?
Next, we find out that about 30 elite reporters went to an “off the record” party at the White House on July 4th.
US WEEKLY — I have a new name for the racist rag: PU-US Weekly or Puss Weekly. Note the magazine didn’t touch the John Edwards cheating on his dying wife scandal.
Babies lies and scandal for Sarah Palin. Love and apple pie for Michelle Obama.
With the pressure on from blogs, and falling respect for the mainstream media, the Washington Post’s Deborah Howell did a little research and admitted to the obvious. At the same time, Pew research reports falling ratings and trust in mainstream media. Only 30 percent trust CNN.
By Deborah Howell
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Democrat Barack Obama has had about a 3 to 1 advantage over Republican John McCain in Post Page 1 stories since Obama became his party’s presumptive nominee June 4. Obama has generated a lot of news by being the first African American nominee, and he is less well known than McCain — and therefore there’s more to report on. But the disparity is so wide that it doesn’t look good.
In overall political stories from June 4 to Friday, Obama dominated by 142 to 96. Obama has been featured in 35 stories on Page 1; McCain has been featured in 13, with three Page 1 references with photos to stories on inside pages. Fifteen stories featured both candidates and were about polls or issues such as terrorism, Social Security and the candidates’ agreement on what should be done in Afghanistan.
Yes, we knew. Thanks for coming forward. It’s a day late and a few dollars short.
The Media Research Center has been reporting the fall in credibility for a decade.
1. Media Credibility Plummets, Just 30% Believe ‘Most Trusted’ CNN
“Over the last 10 years,” the just-released biennial news consumption survey from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press determined, “virtually every news organization or program has seen its credibility marks decline” and “Democrats continue to give most news organizations much higher credibility ratings than do Republicans.” Based on past Pew polls, CNN touts itself as “the most trusted name in news,” but the percent who “believe all or most” of what CNN reports has fallen 12 points, to 30 percent, since Pew first posed the question in 1998. Yet, in a sign of how far the news media have fallen in the eyes of the public, that puts CNN at the top of the 12 television news outlets analyzed, as well as above all the newspapers and online sources. Believability for ABC News, CBS News and NBC News is down six points over the past ten years, to 24 percent for ABC and NBC, 22 percent for CBS, but that’s still better than the mere 18 percent who “believe all or most” of what they read in the New York Times. The extensive polling conducted in May also discovered that the audiences for CNN and MSNBC “which were heavily Democratic two years ago, have become even more so: fully 51 percent of CNN’s regular viewers are Democrats while only 18 percent are Republicans.” And “the regular audience for nightly network news also is now about two-to-one Democratic (45 percent vs. 22 percent Republican).”
By Mick Gregory
Did CNN or MSNBC report the details?
Hugo Chávez’s socialist-building efforts suffered a minor setback yesterday when the Honduran military were ordered by the Honduras Supreme Court to expell its leftist president Mel Zelaya for abusing the nation’s constitution.
Zeaya, with the help of Chavez wanted to hold an illegal special election last Sunday that would change the Honduran Constitution and allow him to remain “El Presidente” for life. That is a model set by Fidel Castro and followed by Hugo Chavez.
This report is from the Wall Street Journal:
El President l Zelaya miscalculated when he tried to emulate the success of his good friend Hugo Chavez in reshaping the Honduran Constitution to his liking.
But Honduras is not out of the Venezuelan woods yet. Yesterday the Central American country was being pressured to restore the authoritarian Mr. Zelaya by the likes of Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortega, Hillary Clinton and, of course, Hugo himself. The Organization of American States, having ignored Mr. Zelaya’s abuses, also wants him back in power. It will be a miracle if Honduran patriots can hold their ground.
That Mr. Zelaya acted as if he were above the law. While Honduran law allows for a constitutional rewrite, the power to open that door does not lie with the president. A constituent assembly can only be called through a national referendum approved by its Congress.
But Mr. Zelaya declared the vote on his own and had Mr. Chávez ship him the necessary ballots from Venezuela. The Supreme Court ruled his referendum unconstitutional, and it instructed the military not to carry out the logistics of the vote as it normally would do.
The top military commander, Gen. Romeo Vásquez Velásquez, told the president that he would have to comply. Mr. Zelaya promptly fired him. The Supreme Court ordered him reinstated. Mr. Zelaya refused.
Calculating that some critical mass of Hondurans would take his side, the president decided he would run the referendum himself. So on Thursday he led a mob that broke into the military installation where the ballots from Venezuela were being stored and then had his supporters distribute them in defiance of the Supreme Court’s order.
The attorney general had already made clear that the referendum was illegal, and he further announced that he would prosecute anyone involved in carrying it out. Yesterday, Mr. Zelaya was arrested by the military and is now in exile in Costa Rica.
It remains to be seen what Mr. Zelaya’s next move will be. It’s not surprising that chavistas throughout the region are claiming that he was victim of a military coup. They want to hide the fact that the military was acting on a court order to defend the rule of law and the constitution, and that the Congress asserted itself for that purpose, too.
Mrs. Clinton has piled on as well. Yesterday she accused Honduras of violating “the precepts of the Interamerican Democratic Charter” and said it “should be condemned by all.” Fidel Castro did just that. Mr. Chávez pledged to overthrow the new government.
Honduras is fighting back by strictly following the constitution. The Honduran Congress met in emergency session yesterday and designated its president as the interim executive as stipulated in Honduran law. It also said that presidential elections set for November will go forward. The Supreme Court later said that the military acted on its orders. It also said that when Mr. Zelaya realized that he was going to be prosecuted for his illegal behavior, he agreed to an offer to resign in exchange for safe passage out of the country. Mr. Zelaya denies it.
Many Hondurans are going to be celebrating Mr. Zelaya’s foreign excursion. Street protests against his heavy-handed tactics had already begun last week. On Friday a large number of military reservists took their turn. “We won’t go backwards,” one sign said. “We want to live in peace, freedom and development.”
Besides opposition from the Congress, the Supreme Court, the electoral tribunal and the attorney general, the president had also become persona non grata with the Catholic Church and numerous evangelical church leaders. On Thursday evening his own party in Congress sponsored a resolution to investigate whether he is mentally unfit to remain in office.
For Hondurans who still remember military dictatorship, Mr. Zelaya also has another strike against him: He keeps rotten company. Earlier this month he hosted an OAS general assembly and led the effort, along side OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, to bring Cuba back into the supposedly democratic organization.
The OAS response is no surprise. Former Argentine Ambassador to the U.N. Emilio Cárdenas told me on Saturday that he was concerned that “the OAS under Insulza has not taken seriously the so-called ‘democratic charter.’ It seems to believe that only military ‘coups’ can challenge democracy. The truth is that democracy can be challenged from within, as the experiences of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and now Honduras, prove.” A less-kind interpretation of Mr. Insulza’s judgment is that he doesn’t mind the Chávez-style coup.
The struggle against chavismo has never been about left-right politics. It is about defending the independence of institutions that keep presidents from becoming dictators. This crisis clearly delineates the problem. In failing to come to the aid of checks and balances, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Insulza expose their true colors.
Newt Gingrich has exposed the lies of Nancy Pelosi and is calling her actions the worst example of political power and damaging lies he has ever experienced in his lifetime. Watch the new Democrat one-party system ignor Pelosi’s poison and turn it on the few remaining Republicans.
Recent Pelosi items in the news
Chris Mathews of “Softball” calls Ms. Pelosi “a knockout.” She is amazing looking for a 68-year-old.
Update: Feb. 25, 2009 (Morning after Obama’s first State of the Union address).
Pelosi’s face- and eye-lifts are amazing, but her biggest makeover is her political image, from a progressive Democrat/socialist, atheist, wealthy resort owner, to a middle of the road, “working class” Catholic.
Quite a makeover for newly sworn House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as her national image morphed from leader of the San Francisco liberal elite to Italian Catholic mom from Baltimore.
There was her photo-op return to the Little Italy neighborhood where she grew up as Nancy D’Alesandro, the mayor’s daughter. There was the visit to St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, where they still recite Mass in Italian several times a year.
“It’s clear Republicans are reeling today based on her outreach to Italian Catholics who, as we know, have deserted the Democratic Party in the Midwest in droves,” said San Francisco power attorney Joe Cotchett, who was among those attending the Pelosi swearing in.
While the marathon events in the nation’s capital might have resembled a coronation, those most familiar with how Washington works said Pelosi’s time in the spotlight amounted to well-calculated politics that could help her move her agenda in her first 100 days.
“A lot of people don’t know much about her, so this is a chance to fill in her profile and biography so she doesn’t just become the San Francisco liberal,” said San Francisco consultant Chris Lehane, a veteran of the Clinton-Gore White House. “This is the one time when the press will be focusing on it.”
And it may be working.
According to the results of a Rasmussen Reports national phone survey of 800 likely voters, released Friday, Pelosi’s approval rating has jumped to 43 percent — up 19 points from November.
On the other hand, the same poll also found 39 percent of those surveyed still give Pelosi the thumbs-down.
Showing off: In politics as in movies, staging is all-important to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger — and his inaugural was no exception.
Produced by Schwarzenegger family friend Carl Bendix, who has done the Academy Awards Governors Ball and other Hollywood events, and emceed by former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, the Friday affair was Hollywood through and through — including a last-minute prop to help the gimpy governor.
–Matier & Ross, SF Chronicle
Keep a score card on the liberal mainstream media. Make note that there is never a word about:
Nancy Pelosi’s age.
The age of her children — in photo-ops it is Pelosi and her youngest, prettiest grand children
Her resort, Napa Valley vineyards, and high-end restaurants and use of non-union and illegal immigrant labor.
Her total support of partial birth abortion.
How she gained the votes from Democrats for first, minority leader and now majority leader.
Notice how the San Francisco reporters go with the spin, calling her a “mom” and not mentioning any of these items.
That’s why citizen journalists are filling the void.
A few years ago was when Freeman Dyson, one of the world’s leading physicists, began publicly stating his doubts about global warming and backing them up. Tip: The socialists have changed the term from global warming to “climate change.” Watch the tea parties around the counrty for political climate change.
Speaking at a summit on the future at Boston University, Dyson said that “all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated.” Since then he has only heated up his misgivings, declaring in a 2007 interview with Salon.com that “the fact that the climate is getting warmer doesn’t scare me at all” and writing in an essay for The New York Review of Books, the left-leaning publication, that climate change has become an “obsession” — the primary article of faith for “a worldwide secular religion” known as environmentalism.
Among those he considers to have been drinking the KoolAid, Dyson has been particularly dismissive of Al Gore, whom Dyson calls climate change’s “chief propagandist,” and James Hansen, a government (tax-payer funded) employee of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and an adviser to Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Dyson accuses them of relying too heavily on computer-generated climate models that foresee a Grand Guignol of imminent world devastation as icecaps melt, oceans rise and storms and plagues sweep the earth, and he blames the pair’s “lousy science” for “distracting public attention” from “more serious and more immediate dangers to the planet.”
William Gray, hurricane expert and head of the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University, in a 2005 interview with Discover magazine:
“I’m not disputing that there has been global warming. There was a lot of global warming in the 1930s and ’40s, and then there was a slight global cooling from the middle ’40s to the early ’70s. And there has been warming since the middle ’70s, especially in the last 10 years. But this is natural, due to ocean circulation changes and other factors. It is not human induced.
“Nearly all of my colleagues who have been around 40 or 50 years are skeptical as hell about this whole global-warming thing. But no one asks us. If you don’t know anything about how the atmosphere functions, you will of course say, ‘Look, greenhouse gases are going up, the globe is warming, they must be related.’ Well, just because there are two associations, changing with the same sign, doesn’t mean that one is causing the other.”
Richard Lindzen, professor of meteorology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in an editorial last April for The Wall Street Journal:
“To understand the misconceptions perpetuated about climate science and the climate of intimidation, one needs to grasp some of the complex underlying scientific issues. First, let’s start where there is agreement. The public, press and policy makers have been repeatedly told that three claims have widespread scientific support: Global temperature has risen about a degree since the late 19th century; levels of CO2 [carbon dioxide] in the atmosphere have increased by about 30 percent over the same period; and CO2 should contribute to future warming.
“These claims are true. However, what the public fails to grasp is that the claims neither constitute support for alarm nor establish man’s responsibility for the small amount of warming that has occurred. In fact, those who make the most outlandish claims of alarm are actually demonstrating skepticism of the very science they say supports them. It isn’t just that the alarmists are trumpeting model results that we know must be wrong. It is that they are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn’t happen even if the models were right as justifying costly policies to try to prevent global warming.”
‘New York Times’ Spiked Obama Donor Story
|The New York Times building is shown in New York on June 2008. The Times pulled a story about Barack Obama’s campaign ties to ACORN. (Frank Franklin II/Associated Press)|
Congressional Testimony: ‘Game-Changer’ Article Would Have Connected Campaign With ACORN
This story was published in the Philadelphia Bulletin. Did you see this in your local favorite newspaper?
By Michael P. Tremoglie, The Bulletin
Heather Heidelbaugh, who represented the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee in the lawsuit against the group, recounted for the ommittee what she had been told by a former ACORN worker who had worked in the group’s Washington, D.C. office. The former worker, Anita Moncrief, told Ms. Heidelbaugh last October, during the state committee’s litigation against ACORN, she had been a “confidential informant for several months to The New York Times reporter, Stephanie Strom.”
Ms. Moncrief had been providing Ms. Strom with information about ACORN’s election activities. Ms. Strom had written several stories based on information Ms. Moncrief had given her.
During her testimony, Ms. Heidelbaugh said Ms. Moncrief had told her The New York Times articles stopped when she revealed that the Obama presidential campaign had sent its maxed-out donor list to ACORN’s Washington, D.C. office.
Ms. Moncrief told Ms. Heidelbaugh the campaign had asked her and her boss to “reach out to the maxed-out donors and solicit donations from them for Get Out the Vote efforts to be run by ACORN.”
Ms. Heidelbaugh then told the congressional panel:
“Upon learning this information and receiving the list of donors from the Obama campaign, Ms. Strom reported to Ms. Moncrief that her editors at The New York Times wanted her to kill the story because, and I quote, “it was a game changer.”’
Ms. Moncrief made her first overture to Ms. Heidelbaugh after The New York Times allegedly spiked the story — on Oct. 21, 2008. Last fall, she testified under oath about what she had learned about ACORN from her years in its Washington, D.C. office. Although she was present at the congressional hearing, she did not testify.
U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., the ranking Republican on the committee, said the interactions between the Obama campaign and ACORN, as described by Ms. Moncrief, and attested to before the committee by Ms. Heidelbaugh, could possibly violate federal election law, and “ACORN has a pattern of getting in trouble for violating federal election laws.”
He also voiced criticism of The New York Times.
“If true, The New York Times is showing once again that it is a not an impartial observer of the political scene,” he said. “If they want to be a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party, they should put Barack Obama approves of this in their newspaper.”
Academicians and journalism experts expressed similar criticism of the Times.
This is the big one. Hillary is discussing how the Mexican border is our problem because so called “assault weapons” are flowing from the USA to Mexican drug lords.
Funny, I call them home defense weapons.
Here comes the government gun grab, take away Americans’ Second Amendment rights to own firearms and protect their family’s lives and do it for Mexico? How gullible do they think we are?
We all know that the Mexican drug gangs have military, fully automatic weapons from China and Eastern Europe and are exporting tons of drugs and scores of people every day over our borders. Why would banning modern home defense firearms from Americans stop or even slow the drug violence and human trafficing?
It’s “new speak” coming from the Obama/Orwellian Big Brother/Big Sis government.
The progressive Democrats are going to ignore a major tenant of the Constitution out of fear, I believe of a civilian backlash.
Tip of the day: Buy guns and bullets. They are the new gold.
The Obama administration didn’t waste more than a month to seek to reinstate “the assault weapons ban” (really the modern home defence firearm band) that expired in 2004 during the Bush administration, Attorney General Eric Holder said today.
(AP Photos/ABC News Graphic )
“As President Obama indicated during his campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons,” Holder told reporters.
Holder said that putting the ban back in place would not only be a positive move by the United States, it would help cut down on the flow of guns going across the border into Mexico, which is struggling with heavy violence among drug cartels along the border.
Really, why can’t we stop the flow of humans and drugs along the border?
“I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum.” Holder said at a news conference on the arrest of more than 700 people in a drug enforcement crackdown on Mexican drug cartels operating in the U.S.
How are Americans to defend themselves, with only 150-year old gun technology against Mexican drug runners and a well armed new U.S. socialist police state?
Imagine the government making a law that kept new computer or cell phone technology from the public?
Which country’s citizens is Obama concerned about?
California has turned into a high-tax, socialist state where the working middle class has to support millions of illegals and highly paid government employees. The state income tax has now broke the 10 percent barrier. The number of people leaving has for the first time in 70 years outpaced the incoming number, (including illegals).
Nevada, Arizona, California and Florida had the nation’s top foreclosure rates. In Nevada, one in every 70 homes received a foreclosure filing, while the number was one every 147 in Arizona. Rounding out the top 10 were Idaho, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia, Oregon and Ohio.
Among metro areas, Las Vegas was first, with one in every 60 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing. It was followed by the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area in Florida and five California metropolitan areas: Stockton, Modesto, Merced, Riverside-San Bernardino and Bakersfield.
The Scobleizer has written a good blog post on the subject. Scoble is an IT and social media guru in Silicon Valley who often visits Texas. He interviewed the Texas governor, Rick Perry and they Twitter each other. Even after the real estate bubble burst in 2005-06, and homes fell in price by 20 percent each of the last three years, homes are still overpriced and only 10 percent of California households can afford median-priced homes. Nationally, 50 percent can afford the median-priced home.
The state of California has lost it’s glamorous image. I think of it now as a congested, welfare state with the highest taxes in the United States and the largest “public” workforce to support. Did you know that most of the government employees retire at full pay after 20 years of service?
Joel Kotkin of the SF Chronicle wrote this piece in 2007.
California has been losing ground in the new millennium. In 2004-05, it fell to 17th, behind not only fast-growing Arizona and Nevada but also Oregon, Washington and rival “nation-state” Texas.
Job creation has been even less impressive. In the Bay Area and Los Angeles, it can only be considered mediocre or worse. If not for the strong performance of the interior counties of the state — what Bill Frey and I call the “Third California” — the state already would be rightly considered a laggard when it comes to creating employment.
More disturbing, as California’s population has grown — largely from immigration — per-capita income growth has weakened. From the 1930s to as late as the 1980s, Californians generally got richer faster than other Americans. In 1946, Gunther reported, Californians enjoyed the highest living standards and the third-highest per-capita income in the country.
Today, California ranks 12th in per-capita income. And it’s losing ground: Between 1999 and 2004, California’s per-capita income growth ranked a miserable 40th among the states.
This slow growth reflects a gradually widening chasm between social classes. Although the rest of the country has also experienced this trend, the gap between rich and poor has expanded more rapidly in California than in the rest of the country.
Today, notes a recent study by the Public Policy Institute of California, California has the 15th-highest rate of poverty of all American states. When cost of living adjustments are made, only New York and the District of Columbia fare worse. Tragically, many of California’s poor are working. Somehow, this does not seem the best road to the governor’s dream of a “harmonious” society.
How did this happen to our golden state? There are many causes.
Certainly poverty has been greatly exacerbated by huge waves of immigration, particularly from Mexico and other developing countries. But other states — including Texas and Arizona — have also absorbed many immigrants, as well as people from the rest of this country, and have not experienced similarly strong jumps in their poverty rates.
Changes in the economy are clearly suspect. From the 1930s to the 1980s, California created a broad spectrum of opportunities for white- and blue-collar workers alike. Even the 1990s expansion, suggests Debbie Reed of the policy institute, helped reduce poverty by expanding a wide range of employment opportunities.
Today, economic growth in California — like that in much of the Northeast — seems tilted largely toward elites. Once a state known for its relative social democracy, the Golden State is becoming what Citigroup strategist Ajay Kapur has dubbed a plutonomy, dominated largely by a small wealthy class and their spending.
For example, despite all the hype about the renewed Internet boom in Silicon Valley, there has been only modest expansion of employment, even in the past year. Undoubtedly lavish takings by a relative handful of engineers, managers and investors are boosting high-end restaurateurs in San Francisco and revving up BMW sales, but benefits don’t seem to accrue as much to assemblers, midlevel managers and other high-tech workers.
Similarly, the governor’s entertainment industry friends, as well as art and developer elites close to Mayors Antonio Villaraigosa and Gavin Newsom, may feel these are the best of times. But Los Angeles and San Francisco, along with Monterey, now suffer a poverty rate of more than 20 percent, among the highest level in the country.
Parallel to these developments, California is losing its once broad middle class, the traditional source of its political balance and much of its entrepreneurial genius. Outmigration from the state is growing and, contrary to the notions of some sophisticates, it’s not just the rubes and roughhouses who are leaving.
Indeed, an analysis of the most recent migration numbers shows a disturbing trend: an increasing out-migration of educated people from California’s largest metropolitan areas. Back in the 1990s, this was mostly a Los Angeles phenomena, but since 2000, the Bay Area appears to be suffering a high per-capita outflow of educated people.
This middle class flight is likely driven by two things: greater opportunities outside the state and the cost of housing in-state. Over the past 50 years, housing prices in coastal California in particular have grown much faster than elsewhere; the Bay Area’s rate of housing inflation over the past 50 years has been twice the national average.
Given the shrinking per-capita income advantage for being in California, moving elsewhere increasingly makes sense, particularly for those who do not already own homes and don’t have wealthy parents. In some parts of the state, barely 10 percent of households can now afford a median-price home; in the rest of the country that number is roughly 50 percent.
These trends suggest that California could be devolving toward an unappealing model of class stratification. As educated white-collar and skilled blue-collar workers leave, businesses in the state will be forced to truncate their operations — perhaps having an elite research lab, design office or marketing arm in California but shunting most midlevel jobs elsewhere.
Newspapers have not been blessed with the best and the brightest managers. Why? The executive editors sabotage real management and have purged MBAs from their ranks. Kill off the competition.
This is from the WSJ Deal Journal column, a Q&A with Mr. Knee, a highly respected investment consultant
DJ: What would be your advice to newspaper owners?
Knee: You have seen people outsource everything from printing to editorial and indeed, any kind of journalism where your scale in the local community does not provide you with an advantage should be gotten elsewhere. If you find out how many people the large papers sent to the national conventions, you would wonder whether that’s economically justified. You have to focus on your competitive advantage, which is local. When the smoke clears, the local newspaper, which may not be the sexiest part of the newspaper industry but is overwhelmingly the largest and most profitable part of the industry, will be a smaller and more-focused enterprise whose activities will be directed to those areas where their local presence gives them competitive advantage and they will continue to generate as a result better profits than the supersexy businesses in the media industry asking for government or nonprofit help like movies and music.
The newspaper industry has not been blessed with the best managers, and generations of monopoly profits do dull the senses. On the journalism side, I think many managers would rather have avoided a fight with journalists than actually force them to think harder about what their readers want, rather than what they want their readers to want. In the economic environment we’re in, newspapers can’t afford to do every six-part investigative series they could have done before.
Meanwhile, the rank and file newspaper reporters who were busy covering their beats, don’t make much compared to the executive editors.
Moma don’t let you’re kids grow up to be newspaper reporters. Have them study business, engineering, law or sales, even bar tending would earn them a better living. The executive editors who scratched their way to the top make big bucks for a while, until the host dies from bad management anyway.
Ever wonder what kind of money the nation’s top newspapers pay their best journalsits? The top rung of the latter is set by the Newspaper Guild. Once you’ve lasted five or six years after about four years at a small daily and tuition of at least $20,000 a year at a respected J-school, this is it.
New York Times pays the most, $1,675.28 a week after two years. But that’s where it stays fixed until the next Guild negotiations. Of course, New York City has the highest cost of living expenses in the U.S.
Reuters pays $1,587.93 a week after six years.
The San Francisco Chronicle pays $1202.24 a week for six years of journalist experience. I know that is top for the Guild scale, but many of the hard workers, who put in more than 38 hours a week get additional pay above scale.
Consumer Reports takes the No. 1 position with $1,80410 a week scale after four years of experience. The union-biased “non-profit” magazine pays more that the New York Times or San Francisco Chronicle for their pro-union advertorial reports on products.
Can new online newspapers chage for its content? Jeff Jarvis of the LA Times says “No!” And he explains himself very well:
How’s that for a direct answer? Every rule has its exceptions — this one only a few: The Wall Street Journal (paid by expense accounts), Consumer Reports (which serves reviews, not news), iTunes (we may play a unique performance over and over, but I don’t read even my articles more than once) and porn (which is suffering the same problem newspapers are thanks to free competition from, uh, amateurs). But the rule of the new, post-scarcity economy is clear: Charging for news online is dangerous folly. Why? Let me count the reasons if not the dollars:
Once news is known, that knowledge is a commodity and it doesn’t matter who first reported it. There’s no fencing off information, especially today, when the conversation that spreads it moves at the speed of links.
There will be no limit to competitors. Readers, like water, will follow the path of least inconvenience. It’s impossible to compete against free. Have papers learned nothing from Craigslist?
In the old-content economy, one could make much money selling many copies of a product. In today’s link economy online, we need only one copy, and it is the links to it that give it value. So rather than complaining that Google should pay them for aggregating their headlines, news organizations should be grateful that Google does not charge for the links it gives and the readers it sends. Indeed, we should be spending our effort figuring out how to get more links to original reporting to support it.
Putting your content behind a wall cuts it off from the conversation and robs it of influence. Just ask New York Times columnists how much they disliked the pay wall the paper finally demolished.
Not all newspapers are going bankrupt. Many, in small monopoly markets are among the most profitable businesses in America with profit margins much higher than oil companies, Apple, EBay, Cisco, Sprint, AT&T, Google or Microsoft. Gannett has the lion’s share of these markets. And also the highest ratio of MBAs in the media business.
The Orwellian “Fairness Doctrine” is about to be forced on America by the Democratic party.
It is a throw back to FDR when Democrats (America’s socialists) were in complete power in the government and the Fairnes Doctrine is anything but fair. Look for a name change here.
President Reagan ended the “Fairness Doctrine”
As heard on the Bill Press Radio Show on Thursday, February 5, 2009:
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) spoke with Bill about the possible return of the Fairness Doctrine in some form.
BILL PRESS: So, is it time to bring back the Fairness Doctrine?
SENATOR DEBBIE STABENOW (D-MI): I think it’s absolutely time to pass a standard. Now, whether it’s called the Fairness Standard, whether it’s called something else — I absolutely think it’s time to be bringing accountability to the airwaves. I mean, our new president has talked rightly about accountability and transparency. You know, that we all have to step up and be responsible. And, I think in this case, there needs to be some accountability and standards put in place.
BILL PRESS: Can we count on you to push for some hearings in the United States Senate this year, to bring these owners in and hold them accountable?
SENATOR DEBBIE STABENOW (D-MI): I have already had some discussions with colleagues and, you know, I feel like that’s gonna happen. Yep.
Last week: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has told employees they “might” lose their jobs as soon as next week after a deadline for Hearst Corp to sell the newspaper passed last Monday.
The news is out, the 146-year-old Seattle Post-Intelligencer prints its last edition tomorrow.
The P-I will continue to “live” on the Internet with a much smaller staff.
I like it. It’s a mix of current and archival. Mikey likes it!
Owner, the Hearst Corp. reports it has failed to find a buyer for the newspaper, which it put up for sale in January after nine years of financial losses. There are no more suckers left with enough trust fund money to waste.
The end of the print edition leaves The Seattle Times as the only major daily newspaper in the city.
The TV stations will be there tonight and tomorrow capturing the historic day.
Seattle has been counting TV, and now the internet as their favorite news sources. Do you think people will wait for the Seattle Times to find out?
Read between the lines: Boxes for removing personal items and shredding bins are scheduled to be delivered to the PI floors this week.
The New York Times sold off the majority of its new sky scraper in New York and has a long-term rent agreement. The company no longer owns the roof over its head.
Next, McClatchy announced massive layoffs, and Hearst’s Seattle PI is about to turn into a shadow, online only edition. Meanwhile, back at Hearst’s figurative flagship, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Media Guild has accepted big cuts just to keep most jobs. The Denver Rocky Mountain News shut down a week or so ago.
McClatchy Co. is shearing another 1,600 jobs in a cost-cutting spree that has clipped nearly one-third of the newspaper publisher’s work force in less than a year.
The latest reduction in payroll announced Monday follows through on the Sacramento-based company’s previously disclosed plans to lower its expenses by as much as $110 million over the next year as its revenue evaporates amid a devastating recession.
The layoffs will start before April. No fooling.
Several of McClatchy’s 30 daily newspapers, including The Sacramento Bee and The Kansas City Star, already have decided how many workers will be shown the door. Close to 2,000.
Just 43 percent of Americans say that losing their local newspaper would hurt civic life in their community “a lot,” according to a Pew Research poll. And even fewer, only 33 percent say they will miss their local newspaper if it folds.
Back to the West Coast
Negotiators for the Guild and the San Francisco Chronicle reached a tentative agreement Monday night changes to the collective bargaining agreement in line with cost cuts planned by Hearst.
The agreement will require approval by Chronicle Unit Guild members. (They will approve or lose their jobs wholesale).
A ratification meeting will be scheduled as early as Thursday of this week. Time and place will be announced on Tuesday as soon as a large enough facility can be secured.
In view of the latest terms agreed today, the Guild Negotiating Committee recommends membership approval.
The terms reached late Monday include expanded management ability to lay off employees without regard to seniority. All employees who are discharged in a layoff or who accept voluntary buyouts are guaranteed two weeks’ pay per year of service up to a maximum of one year, plus company-paid health care for the severance term, even in the event of a shutdown – which today’s agreement is designed to avoid.
Guild membership will remain a condition of continued employment for all employees. However, new hires in certain advertising sales positions will be given the option of membership, even though they will retain Guild protection under the contract.
On-callers will be limited to no more than 10 percent in any classification or department.
Pension changes are not part of this agreement, but are being discussed by pension authorities and must be implemented under terms of the Pension Protection Act, due to the recent declines in investment markets. Because those changes may affect the decisions of many members concerning buyouts, we are attempting to reach some key understandings now as to the nature of the changes and when they will take effect.
A lunch-hour meeting on Wednesday March 11, with our pension plan’s lawyer will be held at the Guild Office, 433 Natoma, Third Floor Conference Room.
A bulletin summarizing all the proposed contract changes will be issued Tuesday. A set of the complete proposed amendments will be available on the Guild’s Web site (mediaworkers.org) as soon as possible.
Management is seeking to change the union contract as part of an attempt to cut costs and keep the paper operating under the ownership of the Hearst Corp.
The company said Feb. 24 it would sell or close the paper unless the Guild agreed to changes in the labor agreement in effect through June 2010.
The leaders in the former cash cow industry thought they could just transform to their pages of expensive advertising to Web pages. Sorry. The Web is very competitive and readers will not put up with page after page of ads to follow the news.
McClatchy is down for the count. The stock is hovering below $1 and will soon be kicked out of the New York Stock Exchange.
The The Sun of Myrtle Beach and the Macon Telegraph — McClatchy papers, announced last week that they were outsourcing printing, they joined what one experts are calling the last stage of the dying industry.
Chuck Moozakis, editor-in-chief of Newspapers & Technology, found in a December survey piece that the flight from printing includes mid-sized papers like the two last week, small papers, but also very big ones like the San Francisco Chronicle. Dow Jones has already closed plants in Denver and Chicago and could shutter 10 of the 17 around the country that have printed The Wall Street Journal.
By Mick Gregory
Killer good looks. Now her doctors and former lawyer and “boyfriend” charged with criminal intent. Finally, justice may come to punish the monsters behind Anna’s death.
Howard K. Stern, her lawyer-turned-confidant, and Drs. Sandeep Kapoor and Khristine Eroshevich were charged in an 11-count felony complaint on Thursday, including conspiracy, unlawfully prescribing a controlled substance and prescribing, administering or dispensing a controlled substance to an addict.
“These individuals repeatedly and excessively furnished thousands of prescription pills to Anna Nicole Smith, often for no legitimate medical purpose,” California Attorney General Jerry Brown said in a statement. His office is expected to release more details about the case at a news conference Friday.
Anna Nicole’s fame and tragic end were all thanks to the mass media, and perhaps her fantasy of becoming Marilyn Monroe (another victim of mass media). Print and TV sold copies and advertising off her life. The tabloids especially made a lot of money off of her dramatic ups and downs. You can’t help but feel pity for her.
The Houston blonde bombshell, Anna Nicole Smith died in Hollywood, Florida this afternoon at the Hard Rock Cafe and Casino. The former model and Playboy Playmate collapsed at the South Florida casino and couldn’t be revived.
A tragic ending to a People Magazine life. The past year she experienced the birth of her daughter and death of her son. She was 39 years old. Anna Nicole Smith used her good looks to leap from trailer park trash to super stardom.
The media chased her around, like Princess Diana. It’s very similar to what the San Francisco Chronicle is trying to do to Barry Bonds. Some reporters even made money on a book written from illegal grand jury testimony. But Bonds has much more self control, talent and intelligence than Anna Nicole. He understands the way the media works. He hasn’t given interviews in a decade. His grand jury testimony has his statements made under oath, that he never knowingly took illegal steroid drugs.
And he’s about to be the all-time home run king.
Ask yourself this, which is harming and killing more young people? Bulimia and diet pills that girls take to just try and fit the model look? Or performance enhancing herbal remedies and vitamins that athletes may use to heal injuries and extend their careers?
Why isn’t the Chronicle looking into Nancy Pelosi’s carbon footprint? Or her hiring of non-union, illegal workers? Or, why not look at the monopoly that Shorenstien has on parking fees and downtown office space?
What do you think?
Venezuelan El Presidente, Hugo Chavez, on Friday called upon US President Barack Obama to follow the path to socialism, which he termed as the “only” way out of the global recession. “Come with us, align yourself, come with us on the road to socialism. This is the only path. Imagine a socialist revolution in the United States,” Chavez told a group of workers in the southern Venezuelan state of Bolivar.
Note to Hugo, Obama is a socialist, you are preaching to a follower of Big Brother overseeing all the good workers paying half or more of their earnings to the government.
Even a New York Times reporter asked Obama to speak up on his socialist “progressive” political views.
The controversial Venezuelan leader, who taunted the United States as a source of capitalistic evil under former president George W Bush, added that the United States needs a leader who can take it to a “higher” destiny and bring it out of “the sad role that it has been given, as a murderous, attacking power that is hated all around the world.”
Chavez said that people are calling Obama a “socialist” for the measures of state intervention he is taking to counter the crisis, so it would not be too far-fetched to suggest that he might join the project of “21st century socialism” that the Venezuelan leader is heading.
Back in the USSA. We don’t know how lucky we are, eh! Back in the USSA!
Antonia Ferrier, a spokeswoman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), said Gibbs was trying to create a distraction by responding to Limbaugh.
“What we are seeing is a desperate attempt by Democrats to distract attention away from a multi-trillion dollar spending spree taking place in Washington,” Ferrier said. “Creating a boogeyman to change the subject does nothing to alter the fact that there are 9,000 earmarks in the omnibus spending bill, that the economic stimulus bill contained no Republican input or that their budget would increase taxes on all Americans.”
The EU is on the verge of crumbling as Obama and Gordy Brown use the banking crisis to nationalize and build more power for central government.
Historians will look back and say this was no ordinary time but a defining moment: an unprecedented period of global change, and a time when one chapter ended and another began.
The scale and the speed of the global banking crisis has at times been almost overwhelming, and I know that in countries everywhere people who rely on their banks for savings have been feeling powerless and afraid. But it is when times become harder and challenges greater that across the world countries must show vision, leadership and courage – and, while we can do a great deal nationally, we can do even more working together internationally. — Gordy Brown, UK Prime Minister
Anyone who took Economics 101 remembers the root cause of inflation — the central government prints massive amounts of currency. Change is coming. Inflation is coming my friends. From near zero under Bush (the evil one) to what may rival Zimbabwa in about a year or two.
What will happen to the Democrat/Socialist Party’s plan to tax “only the rich?” We will all be the rich. Any two income household making over $210,000 will be taxed at the super high rates of Jimmy Carter, LBJ and FDR.
That is coming. Bet on it. We will be wards of the state with more than 50 percent of our wealth taxed by the Democrats. The home mortgage deduction has been taken away from those like Joe the Plumber. Welcome to the USSA. We don’t know how lucky we are, eh!
Back on Uncle Sam’s plantation
Star Parker – Syndicated Columnist – 2/9/2009 8:00:00 AM
Six years ago I wrote a book called Uncle Sam’s Plantation. I wrote the book to tell my own story of what I saw living inside thewelfare state and my own transformation out of it.
I said in that book that indeed there are two Americas — a poor America on socialism and a wealthy America on
I talked about government programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS), Emergency Assistance to Needy Families with Children (EANF), Section 8 Housing, and Food Stamps.
A vast sea of perhaps well-intentioned government programs, all initially set into motion in the 1960s, that were going to lift the nation’s poor out of poverty.
A benevolent Uncle Sam welcomed mostly poor black Americans onto the government plantation. Those who accepted the invitation switched mindsets from “How do I take care of myself?” to “What do I have to do to stay on the plantation?”
Instead of solving economic problems, government welfare socialism created monstrous moral and spiritual problems — the kind of problems that are inevitable when individuals turn responsibility for their lives over to others.
The legacy of American socialism is our blighted inner cities, dysfunctional inner city schools, and broke n black families.
Through God’s grace, I found my way out. It was then that I understood what freedom meant and how great this country is.
I had the privilege of working on welfare reform in 1996, passed by a Republican Congress and signed 50 percent.
I thought we were on the road to moving socialism out of our poor black communities and replacing it with wealth-producingAmerican capitalism.
But, incredibly, we are going in the opposite direction.
Instead of poor America on socialism becoming more like rich American on capitalism, rich America on capitalism is becoming like poor America on socialism.
Uncle Sam has welcomed our banks onto the plantation and they have said, “Thank you, Suh.”
Now, instead of thinking about what creative things need to be done to serve customers, they are thinking about what they have to tell Massah in order to get their cash.
There is some kind of irony that this is all happening under our first black president on the 200th anniversary of the birthday ofAbraham Lincoln.
Worse, socialism seems to be the element of our new young president. And maybe even more troubling, our corporate executives seem happy to move onto the plantation.
In an op-ed on the opinion page of the Washington Post, Mr. Obama is clear that the goal of his trillion dollar spending plan is much more than short term economic stimulus.
“This plan is more than a prescription for short-term spending — it’s a strategy for America ‘s long-term growth and opportunity in areas such as renewable energy, healthcare, and education.”
Perhaps more incredibly, Obama seems to think that government taking over an economy is a new idea. Or that massive growth in government can take place “with unprecedented transparency and accountability.”
Yes, sir, we heard it from Jimmy Carter when he created the Department of Energy, the Synfuels Corporation, and the Department of Education.
Or how about the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 — The War on Poverty — which President Johnson said “…does not merely expand old programs or improve what is already being done. It charts a new course. It strikes at the causes, not just the consequences of poverty.”
Trillions of dollars later, black poverty is the same. But black families are not, with triple the incidence of single-parent homes and out-of-wedlock births.
It’s not complicated. Americans can accept Barack Obama‘s invitation to move onto the plantation. Or they can choose personal responsibility and freedom.
Does anyone really need to think about what the choice should be?
Joe Mahoney © The Rocky
Share Your Thoughts
What do you think about Scripps’ decision to close the Rocky? We want to hear your thoughts. You can talk live with Mark Wolf by clicking here, or send a letter to the editor at email@example.com
The Rocky Mountain News publishes its last paper today (Friday).
Rich Boehne, chief executive officer of Rocky-owner Scripps, broke the news to the staff at noon today, ending nearly three months of speculation over the paper’s future.
“People are in grief,” Editor John Temple said a noon news conference.
But he was intent on making sure the Rocky’s final edition, which would include a 52-page wraparound section, was as special as the paper itself.
“This is our last shot at this,” Temple said at a second afternoon gathering at the newsroom. “This morning (someone) said it’s like playing music at your own funeral. It’s an opportunity to make really sweet sounds or blow it. I’d like to go out really proud.”
Boehne told staffers that the Rocky was the victim of a terrible economy and an upheaval in the newspaper industry.
“Denver can’t support two newspapers any longer,” Boehne told staffers, some of whom cried at the news. “It’s certainly not good news for you, and it’s certainly not good news for Denver.”
Tensions were higher at the second staff meeting, held to update additional employees who couldn¹t attend the hastily called noon press conference.
Several employees wanted to know about severance packages, or even if they could buy at discount their computers.
Others were critical of Scripps for not seeking wage concessions first or going online only.
But Mark Contreras, vice president of newspapers for Scripps, said the math simply didn’t work.
“If you cut both newsrooms in half, fired half the people in each newsroom, you’d be down to where other market newsrooms are today. And they’re struggling,” he said.
As for online revenues, he said if they were to grow 40 percent a year for the next five years, they still would be equal to the cost of one newsroom today.
“We’re sick that we’re here,” Contreras said. “We want you to know it’s not your fault. There’s no paper in Scripps that we hold dearer.”
But Boehne said Scripps intended to keep its other media, both print and in broadcast, running.
“Scripps has been around for 130 years. We intend to be around another 130 years,” Boehne said. “If you can’t make hard decisions, you won’t make it.”
After Friday, the Denver Post will be the only newspaper in town.
Asked if pubilsher Dean Singleton now walks away with the whole pie, Boehne was blunt.
“He walks away with an unprofitable paper, $130 million in debt and revenues that are down 15-20 percent every year,” Boehne said.
Asked if Singleton would have to pay for the presses now, Boehne added, “We had to kill a newspaper. He can pay for the presses.”
Reaction came from across the nation and around the block.
“The Rocky Mountain News has chronicled the storied, and at times tumultuous, history of Colorado for nearly 150 years. I am deeply saddened by this news, and my heart goes out to all the talented men and women at the Rocky,” U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet said in a statement. “I am grateful for their hard work and dedication to not only their profession, but the people of Colorado as well.”
At the Statehouse, Rep. Joe Rice (D-Littleton), said the paper would be missed.
“The Rocky Mountain News has been a valued institution in Denver,” he said.
“It’s a sad, sad day.”
Long-time Denver real estate agent Edie Marks called the Rocky a voice of reason, moderation and common sense.
“I think that it was the fairest newspaper, the most diverse, and am important part of my daily life,” she said. “I’m going to miss it tremendously.”
On Dec. 4, Boehne announced that Scripps was looking for a buyer for the Rocky and its 50 percent interest in the Denver Newspaper Agency, the company that handles business matters for the papers. The move came because of financial losses in Denver, including $16 million in 2008.
“This moment is nothing like any experience any of us have had,” Boehne said. “The industry is in serious, serious trouble.”
Didn’t Obama sign the trillion dollar stimulous bill in Denver? What did that do for the Rocky?
Updated Feb 26:
Note to “journalists:” Your socialist views promoted Obama and the Democrat Party take over of Colorado. Businesses small and large are the enemy of Democrats. They were your advertisers. Does Big Brother spend advertising in your newspaper?
The Denver Post announced the layoffs of six newsroom managers Wednesday as part of a cost-cutting effort. Big deal, you think? After hundreds have been “let go” over the past two years? Yes. It is big for them.
Dismissed, effective Friday, were Gary Clark, managing editor of news; Mark Cardwell, managing editor of online news; Erik Strom, assistant managing editor of technology; Ingrid Muller, creative director; Cynthia Pasquale, assistant city editor; and Stephen Keating, online special- projects editor. Keating will continue to work on a project for Post owner MediaNews Group.
The layoffs come as dozens of newspapers across the country are cutting staffs and budgets to deal with steep declines in advertising and circulation.
“These departures were forced by budget cuts I have to make,” Post editor Greg Moore said in a memo to staffers. “I think you all know the financial challenges facing this industry and this newspaper.”
MediaNews Group is negotiating with union-covered Post employees for $2 million in wage and benefit concessions.
Rocky Mountain News owner E.W. Scripps has put that newspaper up for sale, and may close it, because of mounting financial losses.
Scripps imposed companywide pay and benefit cuts Wednesday at its newspapers and television stations, although the Rocky Mountain News reported that the cuts will not apply to the News.
The reductions, announced in an e-mail from Scripps chief executive Rich Boehne, were reported in several Scripps newspapers. Scripps declined to publicly release what it described as an “internal employee memo.”
I wrote about Times Mirror pulling the plug on The Denver Post, Dallas Times-Herald, and Houston Post, some 13 years ago, next they sold the family jewels, the rest of Times Mirror to the Tribune Co., and we all know about Zell’s offer to take the company private.
This is what is in store for all the former Times Mirror papers:
Layoffs, cuts to the bone.
Memo from Denver Post editor Greg Moore
To The Staff:
On Monday, April 23, in the auditorium on the first floor, we will have two very important staff meetings. I don’t think there is any secret that our newspaper and others have been facing some challenging times.
Even though just a year ago we went through buyouts in an effort to reduce costs, the financial situation facing the paper and the Denver Newspaper Agency requires additional measures be taken. At meetings at 11 a.m. and again at 4 p.m., we will explain details of another round of buyouts in an effort to cut expenses without having to do layoffs. These buyouts will be offered to Guild and exempt employees. I really hope we are able to achieve the savings we need and every effort has been made to construct an offer that will help us get there. The meetings will give us a chance to share details of the offers with you and answer questions. I know this is tough and introduces more anxiety in already difficult times. But we will get through it.
See you then,
While the Chandlers live like royalty in California.
Singleton should be praised for saving the Denver Post. It very easily could have been the Post shutting down today instead of the weird, tabloid Rocky Mountain News.
The San Francisco Chronicle ready for some major “right sizing.”
After some more streamlining in addition to a new printing process off site, the largest newspaper in Northern California should begin to be profitable again.
In a posted statement, Hearst said if the savings cannot be accomplished “quickly” the company will seek a buyer, and if none comes forward, it will close the Chronicle. The Chronicle lost more than $50 million in 2008 and is on a pace to lose more than that this year, Hearst said.
Frank J. Vega, chairman and publisher of the Chronicle, said, “It’s just a fact of life that we need to live within our means as a newspaper – and we have not for years.”
Vega said plans remain on track for the June 29 transition to new presses owned and operated by Canadian-based Transcontinental Inc., which will give the Chronicle industry-leading color reproduction. That move will save a few million annually due to the reduction of highly paid pressmen.
If the reductions can be accomplished, Vega said, “We are optimistic that we can emerge from this tough cycle with a healthy and vibrant Chronicle.”
The company did not specify the size of the staff reductions or the nature of the other cost-savings measures it has in mind. The company said it will immediately seek discussions with the Northern California Media Workers Guild, Local 39521, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 853, which represent the majority of workers at the Chronicle.
“Because of the sea change newspapers everywhere are undergoing and these dire economic times, it is essential that our management and the local union leadership work together to implement the changes necessary to bring the cost of producing the Chronicle into line with available revenue,” Frank A. Bennack, Jr., Hearst vice chairman and chief executive, and Steven R. Swartz, president of Hearst Newspapers, said in a joint statement.
From the Newsosaur:
SF Chron cost-cut target equals 47% of staff
That’s the magnitude of the challenge facing the managers and union representatives who were tasked today by Hearst Corp. to find a way to cut the paper’s mushrooming deficit – or else.
After losing more than $1 billion without seeing a dime of profit since purchasing the paper in 2000, the Hearst Corp. today threatened to sell or close the Chronicle if sufficient savings were not identified to staunch operating losses surpassing $1 million a week. Without significant cost reductions, the losses would accelerate this year as a result of the ailing economy, said Michael Keith, a spokesman for the paper.
To wipe out a $50 million loss, let alone make a profit, the paper would have to eliminate 47% of its entire staff
Meanwhile, on the East Coast:
The latest Hartford Courant (former Times-Mirror newspaper) layoffs were announced last night – political reporter Mark Pazniokas is among those cut from the newspaper. We’ve been told these names as well – please correct us if we have anything wrong: Jesse Hamilton of the Washington bureau, Religion Reporter Elizabeth Hamilton, Business Reporter Robin Stansbury, Environment Reporter David Funkhouser, reporters Steve Grant and Anna Marie Somma, sportswriter Matt Eagan, itowns editor Loretta Waldman, itowns reporter Nancy Lastrina, administrative assistant Judy Prato, Marge Ruschau, Features copy editors Adele Angle and David Wakefield, and library staffer & researcher Owen Walker.
We’re told that editor/reporter Kate Farrish resigned earlier this week as did editor John Ferraro.
Denis Horgan is calling it the Mardi Gras Massacre.
Paul Bass has more in the New Haven Independent.
Now, back to Texas:
Memo from San Antonio Express-News’ editor
From: Rivard, Robert
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 10:44 AM
To: SAEN Editorial
Subject: We are canceling this morning’s news meeting for obvious reasons.
By now you have read Tom Stephenson’s message to all employees. Every division of the Express-News will be affected, including every department in the newsroom. Incremental staff and budget cuts, we are sorry to say, have proven inadequate amid changing social and market forces now compounded by this deepening recession.
It is not lost on us as journalists in this difficult moment that we have built an audience of readers, in print and online, that is larger and more diverse than at any time in our century and half of publishing. We have done that at the Express-News through a commitment to excellence and public service. Now we must find ways to maintain these high levels of journalistic distinction even as valued colleagues depart. It is an unfortunate but undeniable fact that declining advertising revenues are insufficient to support our operations at current levels. At the same time, more and more people have become accustomed to reading us at no cost on the Internet. As a result, we are reducing the newsroom staff by some 75 positions, counting layoffs and open positions we are eliminating.
As a first step to securing our future and continuing to serve the community, we are undergoing a fundamental and painful restructuring of the newsroom staff. We will have fewer departments and fewer managers, and yes, fewer of every class of journalist. After we reorganize and consolidate additional operations with the Houston Chronicle, we will then turn to finding new ways to create and present the journalism we know is vital to the city and the region. There is every indication the community we serve recognizes our importance and wants the Express-News to succeed.
The newsroom leadership team will begin now to meet with individuals whose jobs are being eliminated. Brett Thacker and I are working with these editors to carry out such notifications as swiftly and humanely as possible. No one is being asked to leave the Express-News today unless you so choose. March 20 will be the final day for those whose jobs are being cut, at which time they will then receive involuntary separation packages that include two weeks’ pay for each year of service up to one year’s pay, along with other benefits. Some production journalists involved in the consolidation project with the Houston Chronicle will be asked to stay on until that project is completed in the coming months. Those who do stay until the completion will receive their separation packages at that time.
We have worked to preserve the size and depth of our newsroom in every imaginable way these past months and years, but events beyond our control have overwhelmed those efforts. Newsrooms become like families, but companies in every industry reach a point where they face fundamental, sometimes harsh change in order to preserve their viability. We are at that point. Most of you read yesterday’s news regarding the San Francisco Chronicle and recently became aware of pending staff cuts at the Houston Chronicle. Our intention is to get through these difficult days and work to remain an indispensible source of news and information through the recession and beyond.
Hearst purchased the Chronicle in 2000, but soon afterward felt the impact of an economic downturn in the dot.com sector as well as the loss of classified advertising to Craigslist and other online sites. The problems have been exacerbated by the current recession.
In the news release, the privately-held, New York-based company said that the Chronicle has had “major losses” since 2001.
Back on the West Coast, there is no safe haven.
Woe is us, McClatchy warns
Sacramento Bee employees should expect a serious wave of layoffs in early March, as well as other cost-cutting measures now being considered, including wage cuts and mandatory furloughs as McClatchy Newspapers’ financial crisis worsens, company representatives told the Guild’s bargaining committee in a 90-minute session Thursday.
Mercury Bargaining Bulletin 9
Mercury News negotiators said Tuesday they need to find $1.5 million by cutting wages and benefits paid to Guild members annually in the face of the economic woes facing the company. The company’s announcement came at a bargaining session Tuesday that kicked off an effort by management and the Guild to expedite the process of reaching a new contract to replace the one that expired October 31.
“Given the losses the Chronicle continues to sustain, the time to implement these changes cannot be long. These changes are designed to give the Chronicle the best possible chance to survive this economic downturn and continue to serve the people of the Bay Area with distinction, as it has since 1865,” Bennack and Swartz said in their statement.
“Survival is the outcome we all want to achieve,” they added. “But without specific changes we are seeking across the entire Chronicle organization, we will have no choice but to quickly seek a buyer for the Chronicle, and, should a buyer not be found, to shut down the newspaper.”
The Hearst statement further said that cost reductions are part of a broader effort to restore the Chronicle to financial health. At the beginning of the year, the Chronicle raised its prices for home delivery and single-copy purchases.
Hearst owns 15 other newspapers including the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio News-Express and the Albany Times-Union in New York . Hearst announced Jan. 9 that in March that if a buyer is not found it will close Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which has lost money since 2000.
Vega said readers and advertisers will see no difference in the Chronicle during the discussions with the unions.
“Even with the reduction in workforce, our goal will be to retain our essential and well-read content,” Vega said. “We will continue to produce the very best newspaper for our readers and preserve one of San Francisco ‘s oldest and most important institutions.”
The Chronicle, the Bay Area’s largest and oldest newspaper, is read by more than 1.6 million people weekly. It also operates SFGate, among the nation’s 10 largest news Web sites. SFGate depends on the Chronicle’s print news staff for much its content.
The San Francisco Bay Area is home to 21 daily newspapers covering an 11-county area.
The Chronicle’s news staff of about 275, even after a series of reductions in recent years, is the largest of any newspaper in the Bay Area.
“While the reductions are an unfortunate sign of the times, the news staff has always been resilient in San Francisco ,” said Ward Bushee, editor and executive vice president. “We remain fully dedicated toward serving our readers with an outstanding newspaper. We are playing to win.”
The area’s other leading newspapers – the Bay Area Media News Group that includes the San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and Oakland Tribune – also have seen revenues decline sharply and cut staff.
These problems are a reflection of those faced by newspapers across America as they experience fundamental changes in their business model brought on by rapid growth in readership on free internet sites, a decline in paid circulation, the erosion of advertising and rising costs.
Advertising traditionally has offset the cost of producing and delivering a newspaper, which allowed publishers to charge readers substantially less than the actual cost of doing business. The loss of advertising has undermined that pricing model.
In the case of the Chronicle, Vega said the expense of producing and delivering the newspaper to a seven-day subscriber is more than double the $7.75 weekly cost to subscribe.
At the beginning of the year, in an effort to evolve its business model and offset its substantial losses, the Chronicle raised its subscription and newsstand prices, taking a cue from European papers that charge far more than their American counterparts.
“We know that people in this community care deeply about the Chronicle,” Vega said. “In today’s world, the Chronicle is still very inexpensive. This is a critical time and we deeply hope our readers will stick with us.”
The challenge the Chronicle faces, Vega said, is to bring its revenues from advertising and circulation into balance with its expenses so that the newspaper can at least break even financially.
“We are asking our unions to work with us as partners in making these difficult cost-cutting decisions and reduction in force to ensure the newspaper survives,” Vega said.
Michael Savage will have some candid comments on the layoffs. What about the content of the Chronicle’s “news?”
The union reps “negotiate” their fate:
Cost-Cutting Talks Begin –
Guild leaders met with representatives from The Chronicle and Hearst Corp. this morning to discuss the company’s cost-cutting proposal.
We opened the meeting by underscoring our commitment to our membership and the community to do all we can to reach an agreement that will keep The Chronicle open and return it to profitability.
The company seeks a combination of wide-ranging contractual concessions in addition to layoffs, the exact number of which the company said it did not yet have. For Guild-covered positions, the company did say the job cuts would at least number 50. Other proposals include removal of some advertising sales people from Guild coverage and protection, the right to outsource — specifically mentioning Ad Production — voluntary buyouts, layoffs and wage freezes.
We plan to closely analyze this proposal over the next few days and explore every possible alternative. Meetings will be held to discuss details with members of the bargaining unit. An informational membership meeting will be held from 5-7 p.m.tonight (Tuesday Feb. 25) at the Guild office, 3rd floor conference room.
Management reiterated its commitment to keeping The Chronicle open and to working with the Guild to secure a viable future. Despite the difficult economic environment, we are confident that by working together we can find solutions to any problems that confront us.
If you have any questions or suggestions, contact your shop steward or e-mail Unit Chair Michelle Devera, Local President Mike Cabanatuan or Unit Secretary Alissa Van Cleave.
Michelle Devera, Chronicle Unit chair, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Cabanatuan, Local President, email@example.com
Alissa Van Cleave, Chronicle Unit secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wally Greenwell, Chronicle Unit vice chair
Gloria La Riva, president, Typographical Sector
Carl Hall, Local Representative
Bankruptcy documents filed Sunday by Philadelphia Newspapers LLC, The Inquirer and Daily News and seven affiliated suburban publications report the newspaper group bought from McClatchy (the troubled chain that Knight-Ridder unloaded in 2005) is asking the court for bankruptcy protection. The Philly group paid McClatchy $562 million for the papers. The value of the assets is far lower than that just a few years later.
You have to admire the business knowledge of the Knight-Ridder family share holders who knew when to fold them and chuck them off before the business trends became obvious.
This report in Forbes Magazine is by Wm. P Barret, former Dallas Times Herald and Philly Inquirer reporter and editor. He has good sources.
The Inquirer and Daily News join a growing list of newspapers forced into bankruptcy after sharp declines in advertising destroyed their ability to service big debts taken on when they changed hands. A day earlier, Journal Register Co. (nyse: JRC – news – people ), parent of Connecticut’s New Haven Register and 178 other weekly and daily newspapers, sought bankruptcy-court protection. The same fate befell the Minneapolis Star Tribune last month. In December, Tribune Co., whose holdings include the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and Newsday, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. All newspapers have suffered sharp ad revenue declines due to Internet competition and the recession, but those that recently changed hands in leveraged deals are the most vulnerable.
The bankruptcy threatens to wipe out the $150 million equity investment made by Tierney’s Philly group, which included local labor unions and business interests. It also raises the prospect of big losses by the lenders that provided the balance of more than $400 million in debt financing. The list of largest unsecured creditors was topped by Royal Bank of Scotland (nyse: RBS – news – people ), which is owed $22 million. As of Jan. 31, the company said it still owed $395 million to lenders.
“The debtors’ assets and going concern value are worth less today than they were worth in 2006,” Thayer wrote. He added that Philadelphia Newspapers had 2008 free cash flow–before interest, taxes, depreciation or amortization–of $36 million. That is expected to drop 31% to $25 million this year, Thayer wrote. It is from cash flow that debt-servicing payments are made.
Thayer’s statement hints at hard-ball tactics on all sides as Tierney’s team fought to restructure its finances outside of court. A Tierney request in November for $20 million in equity investment from lenders was rejected. Then this month, Thayer wrote, lenders countered with a proposal that the money be a loan and demanded an answer to their proposal within 48 hours–and without providing a copy of the paperwork describing fees for their loans.
In a memo to employees, Tierney said the company has asked the hometown bankruptcy court to allow payments of benefits and pensions. A bankruptcy filing usually halts such payments, at least initially. In recent years, many employees of the Inquirer and Daily News have taken buyouts or have been laid off.
Thayer’s affidavit says Tierney’s management has “dramatically improved the operations.” But one thing not specified was print circulation numbers of the Inquirer and Daily News, both Pulitzer Prize-winning newspapers. Latest audited figures put their combined daily circulation at 398,000, on the order of half what it was when the papers’ main competition, The Philadelphia Bulletin, went out of business in 1982.