Anna Nicole Smith Is Dead at 39. Two years later, justice.

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.
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pantsuit1.jpgA 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.
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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?

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Chronicle’s chronic losses lead to major cuts at the Bay Area’s largest newspaper — papers coast-to-coast cutting staff

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

If the San Francisco Chronicle had to slash enough payroll to offset the more than $50 million operating loss threatening its future, nearly half of its 1,500 employees would be dismissed.

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.

Colleagues:

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.

Sacramento Guild bracing for job cuts

Woe is us, McClatchy warns

Media Workers Guild – 12 Feb 2009

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 wants $1.5 million cut from wages and benefits

 

California Media Workers Guild – 10 Feb 2009

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.

In solidarity,

Michelle Devera, Chronicle Unit chair, michelleatsfchronunit@gmail.com
Michael Cabanatuan, Local President, ctuan@aol.com
Alissa Van Cleave, Chronicle Unit secretary, vancelave44@hotmail.com
Wally Greenwell, Chronicle Unit vice chair
Gloria La Riva, president, Typographical Sector
Carl Hall, Local Representative

Most trusted media? Not newspapers.

Besides skiing, wine gulping and dining 24/7, there are some presentations at Davos. I know, it is hard to believe.

Two thirds of people in the Western world don’t trust newspaper articles.

Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times, began a session saying that trust is an issue for the press as well as government and big business. Edelman found that trust in business magazines and analysts fell from 57% to 44% and from 56% to 47% respectively. Trust in TV news is down from 49% to 36% and in newspaper coverage from 47% to 34%.

The least trusted businesses: Banking and the auto business. In general the U.S., India, U.K., Poland and China, there is much more trust in business than in government. The French, Germans and most of Europe believe  in Big Brother over the private sector. The sad part, the U.S. is moving toward the French.

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

The Internet most trusted news source now

The Web Most Reliable Source of News according to Zogby

There is a backlash to the perceived (real or imagined) alliance between major media and the Democrat party. 

A Zogby Poll, commissioned by IFC, found 37.6% of those asked consider the Internet the most reliable source of news. 20.3% consider national TV news most reliable and 16% say radio is the most reliable source.

• 39.3% of those surveyed trust FOX News most for the issues they consider most important, followed by CNN with 16% and MSNBC with just 15%.

• 72.6% believe the news they read and see is biased.

• 88.7% Republican and 57.5% Democrat respondents describe the news media as biased.

 Theodore Roosevelt

    I Like this quote I dislike this quote“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

–Teddy Roosevelt

 

Impeccable timing for Ann Coulter’s new book, “Guilty.”

Set for release first week of January, the book exposes in documented detail, the media’s love affair with all things Democrat and Obama. Coulter presents all the details that have been covered up. It mocks  and rocks professional jounalism to its core.

“GUILTY is a much-needed reality check on a Left gone wild,” declares the book’s jacket.

“When it comes to bullying, no one outdoes the Left. Citing case after case, ranging from the hilariously absurd to the shockingly vicious, Coulter dissects so-called victims who are invariably the oppressors. For instance: While Barack Hussein Obama piously condemned attacks on candidates’ families, his media and campaign surrogates ripped open the court-sealed divorce records of his two principal opponents in his Senate race in Illinois.”

 

The leftist blogs are reporting that Ms. Coulter had her jaw wired shut. If so, she can still write best sellers. 

 

 

The age of objectivity and fair reporting in America is over — MSNBC is disgraced

Who is a Democrat PR talking head and who is a journalist on MSNBC, NBC or CNN? Why stop there? The Washington Post, New York Times, LA Times and SF Chronicle are not investigating economic issues and massive bailouts. What kind of balanced journalism do you think the media performed during the two-year election?

First the gang journalists piled on Hillary, next they covered for Obama and attacked Palin.

MSNBC was the victim of a hoax when it reported that an adviser to John McCain had identified himself as the source of an embarrassing story about former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the network said Wednesday.

The New York TImes had a reporter rewrite an AP story on the hoax and they spun the story to blame FOX News first with the hoax.  This is called journalism?

MSNBC was the victim of a hoax when it reported that an adviser to John McCain had identified himself as the source of an embarrassing story about former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the network said Wednesday.

David Shuster, an anchor for the cable news network, said on air Monday that Martin Eisenstadt, “a McCain policy adviser,” had come forth and identified himself as the source of a story saying Palin had mistakenly believed Africa was a country instead of a continent.

Eisenstadt identifies himself on a blog as a senior fellow at the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy and “a contributor to FOX News.” Yet neither he nor the institute exist; each is part of a hoax dreamed up by a filmmaker named Eitan Gorlin and his partner, Dan Mirvish, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

The Eisenstadt claim had mistakenly been delivered to Shuster by a producer and was used in a political discussion Monday afternoon, MSNBC said.

“The story was not properly vetted and should not have made air,” said Jeremy Gaines, network spokesman. “We recognized the error almost immediately and ran a correction on air within minutes.”

Gaines told the Times that someone in the network’s newsroom had presumed the information solid because it was passed along in an e-mail from a colleague.

The hoax was limited to the identity of the source in the story about Palin—not the Fox News story itself. While Palin has denied that she mistook Africa for a country, the veracity of that report was not put in question by the revelation that Eisenstadt is a phony.

Eisenstadt’s “work” had been quoted and debunked before. The Huffington Post said it had cited Eisenstadt in July on a story regarding the Hilton family and McCain.

Among the other victims were political blogs for the Los Angeles Times and The New Republic, each of which referenced false material from Eisenstadt’s blog.

“The story was not properly vetted and should not have made air,” said Jeremy Gaines, MSNBC spokesman.

There are plenty of questions that are not asked.

How did Minnesota Democrat Party election officials come up with 500 more votes for the Democrat senate candidate days after the polls closed and none for the Republican candidate?

Why was there a crisis over $150,000 spent on Sarah Palin’s campaign clothing, but no comparison with Hillary’s warehouse of pantsuits or Obama’s Greek columns and semi-truck of suits?

Newspaper and news magazine circulation is dropping. Layoffs continue. (Wait until after January).

Let’s start redistributing the wealth of Barbra Streisand, Michael Moore and Opra

Barack Obama has plans to redistribute the wealth of Joe the Plumber — that’s chump change and the guy has to work with broken pipes and human waste for his money.

How about going after the big fish — liberal Hollywood Democrats like Barbara Streisand, Michael  Moore, Opra Winfrey, Rosie ODonnel, Rob Rhiner, Alec Baldwin, John Travolta and friends?

How about Ted Kennedy, John and Teressa Kerry, even Bill and Hillary Clinton now that they’ve skimmed millions from the system.

What’s so funny about redistributing the wealth? What kind of jokes are they telling in New York and Malibu about McCain and Sarah Palin?

Bill Ayers was out lecturing an adoring crowd of admirers, expressing displeasure that he’s become an issue in the Presidential campaign. The Daily News reports:

The former member of the Weather Underground beamed at the attention paid by the audience of about 60 people, many of whom were decked out in Obama gear. The crowd gave Ayers a warm welcome, guffawed at jokes about “redistributing the wealth” and nodded at his complaints about the “Republican revolution.” After the talk was over, event organizers attempted to sneak Ayers out a back door to avoid the media. Waiting reporters gave chase, but Ayers sputtered, “No comment,” and darted into a cab.

One wonders what that redistributing the wealth joke was — those “property is theft” gags are a hoot, no doubt. Yes, I’m sure with the website and the  new edition of his book coming out, his real hope is to remain far from the limelight.

If you find it odd that sixty people would choose to spend their time with a former terrorist yucking it up about the Reagan Revolution, you might consider how utterly bizarre it would be to enjoy a fulsome political and personal relationship with such a person. It is not something an average voter, I’d suggest, could in his wildest dreams imagine doing.

Once again, you are left to conclude that Obama simply doesn’t hold the same values as ordinary voters. He’s giving a good imitation. But that’s not the same. It really isn’t. –Jennifer Rubin