The Clintons make in one day what the average American makes in a year. Hillary Clinton’s ill-gotten gains from speeches, ‘cattle futures’ and ‘White Water’ are fine, only their campaign funds were wiped out. She is $20 million in debt in regard to her campaign. So? There is more money where that came from.

Why did it take seven years for us to see the Clinton’s taxes?

By Mick Gregory

I’m wondering how “working class” families feel about writing a $20 check to the Clinton’s campaign? The Democrat power couple made more money than any other to leave the White House.

The old guard, uneducated, unskilled union workers who gave to her campaign over the past two years lost their bet. Did they know that she spent it all? Worse yet, did they know that the Clinton’s made over $109 million since leaving the White House? They made $41,000 every 24 four hours while the Average American makes $48,000 a year.

How about the “jobs” they did. What did the Progressive couple do for the money?

Bill Clinton has earned $15.4 million from billionaire Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos. investment firm since 2003, according to tax documents released by his wife, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The earnings represent 20 percent of the approximately $75 million Bill Clinton earned during the same period, according to the documents. That may raise new questions about what services he performed for Los Angeles-based Yucaipa, whose investors include the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al- Maktoum — acording to Bloomberg.

Tax lawyers said the Yucaipa partnership income for Bill Clinton looks to be a form of salary because it was in round numbers for most years.

Why did the Clinton machine finally release these numbers? I think it was to show they have the money to win the election, and Obama can’t win. We will see how it is reported.

“Most people who make that much money work for it,” said Yale University tax law professor Michael Graetz, a former Treasury Department official. “What are they being paid for, and if it’s the Sheikh of Dubai paying the husband of somebody who might be the next president of the United States, what do they think they’re paying for?”

How does that make the “poor folk” feel? Please write and tell us.

How does that make those life-long Democrats feel who were always told that the Clintons “feel their pain.”

She owes businesses $20,000,000 from the last gasp of her two-year campaign. She has told African-Americans that they are second class citizens after winning 90 percent of their vote during her Democrat career.

It’s all come to the surface now. Hillary has brought the Democrat party back to their roots of the elitist tier system that America hasn’t seen since the Civil War.

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The Chicago Sun-Times stock price falls to $1. It’s now a penny stock.

Shares of Sun-Times Media Group Inc. stopped trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday after hitting a red flag, a rule that halts transactions when a stock falls below $1.05. The stock will soon be kicked out of the exchange. The smell of death is in the air of their rented offices.

Trading halted on the floor of the NYSE when the stock opened at $1, down 11 cents from Thursday’s close.

I predicted six months ago that the Chicago Sun-Times would be the next large metro daily to shutter its doors. They sold the roof over their heads just to pay the bills and pay for the penthouse for Mr. Black (who will be living in much more spartan quarters in a federal pen).

But what will happen to all the professional journos? Maybe there will be a few openings at the Hoffman Hearld? Chicken dinner news, obits, high school sports…

Day of the Dead — More newspaper journalists take low-level buyouts

Mick Gregory

A Day of Action by Newspaper Guild — More of a farce than show of force.

Like Ford workers, journalists have become a bottom-line problem, which is quite a comedown from being members of “The Fourth Estate,” lamented a former newspaper journalist.

Yesterday, journalists and others in the newspaper industry held a so-called “Day of Action.” In frigid Minneapolis/St. Paul, the event was coordinated by the merged union I’ve wrote about earlier, the Newspaper Guild/Communications Workers of America.

St. Paul Pioneer Press had 21 journalists quit the paper last week after accepting “chump change” buyouts from the paper’s new owner, MediaNews Group of Denver.

A rally Monday outside the Pioneer Press called attention to the danger that newspaper cuts are creating for democracy.
Both locally and nationally, journalism jobs are disappearing and newsroom staffs shrinking. That much has been widely reported.

Left unanswered is how downsizing of the news media, the so-called Fourth Estate of politics, will affect public life. Twin Cities media workers of all kinds raised precisely that point Dec. 11, when they gathered outside the Pioneer Press building downtown St. Paul. And we have a photo of a group of some 20 concerned newspaper employees hoding black balloons.

Black Balloons“Who is going to ask the questions if the newsroom is gutted, if we aren’t here?” asked Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter Chris Serres, one of a handful of speakers to address the crowd lined up along the sidewalk in front of the newspaper’s headquarters.

MediaNews ended up with the paper after San Jose-based Knight Ridder was purchased by Sacramento-based McClatchy, which purchased the Star Tribune from the Minneapolis-based Cowles family in 1998.

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Journalists and Unions — A Cause of Bias?

Newspaper journalists are union members at most of the top 20 newspapers. Wonder which political party gets the money?

Why isn’t the LA Times, NY Times or Washington Post reporting this major ethics question?

By Mick Gregory


Citizen journalists have found multi-millionaire Nancy Pelosi profits from non-union wineries, restaurants and resort hotels. Yet, she is among the top recipiants of union dues every year. It’s as if the peasants willingly handed over a portion of their potatoes every season to their overlords who in turn protect them. Or it’s like a New York shopkeeper handing over protection money to the Soprano boys.

With a little more digging, we find that union members don’t have control over where their dues are being spent. The union bosses make those “lofty” choices for the rank and file.

There is a new Web site named http://www.unionfacts.com
and it’s filled with facts and detailed research that the 12.5 million union leaders and hundreds of Democrats in congress don’t want you to know.

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Web use overtakes newspapers and magazines

Mark 2006 as the time that newspapers and magazines came in second to the Web. The Financial Times of London confirmed this in a report.

European consumers spend more time online, and has overtaken the hours they devote to newspapers and magazines, a study revealed. This takes in a market that is very well-read. So the habits of the US print media vs. online are most likely even more dramatic. There has been no major time-use study on American media consumption.

But there is a glimmer of hope, the growth of new media is expanding total media consumption rather than simply cannibalizing print and television.

Print consumption has remained static at three hours a week in the past two years, as time spent online has doubled from two to four hours. Viewers are also spending more time watching television, up from 10 hours to 12 a week.

The Jupiter Research survey of more than 5,000 people in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain shows that Europeans’ use of the internet is still behind the rates seen in the US. A similar study by Jupiter of US habits found that Americans now spend 14 hours a week online – as much time as they spend watching television – and just three hours reading print.
However, the rapid spread of fast broadband internet connections in Europe is likely to accelerate the trend. The average time spent online by broadband customers in Europe was seven hours a week, compared with two hours for those with dial-up connections.
In France, where 79 per cent of online households have broadband connections, the typical user is online for five hours a week, compared with only three hours a week in Germany, which has a broadband penetration rate of 42 per cent.
“The fact that internet consumption has passed print consumption is an important landmark for the establishment of the internet in Europe,” said Mark Mulligan, research director at Jupiter. “This shift in the balance of power will increasingly shape content distribution strategies, advertising spend allocation and communication strategies.”
By far most of the time Europeans spent online was devoted to e-mail and search activities. Entertainment content such as music and video still accounted for only 22 per cent of online activity.
The research found “a very clear new media/old media generational divide”, Mr Mulligan said. Under-25s now spend six hours a week online, half the time they spend watching television but three times the hours they devote to print. Those aged 15-24 are almost twice as likely as the average consumer “to consume music and video content online. Their habits are going to change the face of the web as they become more mainstream,” Mulligan said.

The Newspaper Dead Pool — LA Times Publisher Jeffrey Johnson out

Life is hard for pimps as well as publishers and editors in 2006.
Here at SadBastards, we reported the arrogant stand the editor-centric LA Times was making to it’s owners, about no more cuts.

The Tribune Co. forced out Los Angeles Times Publisher Jeffrey M. Johnson this morning, a little more than a month after he defied the media conglomerate’s demands for staff cuts that he suggested could damage the newspaper. This was reported today in the LA Times.

Tribune Publishing President Scott C. Smith met with top managers at the newspaper this morning and announced that David Hiller, publisher of the Chicago Tribune, would immediately replace Johnson as chief executive at the 125-year-old newspaper. Hiller is the 12th publisher of The Times.

“After a thorough review, Jeff and I agreed that he should resign at this time,” Smith said in a statement. “We do agree on many priorities to best serve our customers, communities and shareholders. The Times’ has also made great progress on many fronts in the face of intense marketplace challenges. However, this leadership change is necessary because of important differences on how best to shape our future.”

Hiller was expected to ask Times Editor Dean Baquet to stay on the job, despite the editor’s sharp protests against further job cuts by the Chicago-based parent corporation. Friends of Baquet said the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist had not yet decided to remain with the paper.

In an e-mail to The Times staff this morning Hiller said: “I read and love newspapers and have the highest regard for the Los Angeles Times, its great journalism and the special role it plays in Southern California.

“I believe in the future of newspapers as the most trusted source of news and information in the communities we serve. To achieve that future we have to continue to change because our readers, online users and advertising customers continue to change.”

Hiller, a nearly 20-year-long company veteran, has served as publisher of the Chicago Tribune since November 2004. He was previously senior vice president of Tribune Publishing and also served as president of Tribune Interactive.

Los Angeles Times newsrooms staffers, including many who had signed a petition just weeks ago supporting Publisher Jeff Johnson and Editor Dean Baquet’s stand against more budget cuts, greeted yesterday’s announcement of Johnson’s firing with sadness and concern.

Although some were waiting to see what incoming publisher David Hiller of the Chicago Tribune would do, most took Johnson’s forced resignation so shortly after his public stand as a sign that owner Tribune Co. would likely make the cuts that have been in the pipeline.

“The mood is pretty grim, as far as I can see,” said Bill Nottingham, a city and county bureau editor. “None of us know all of the back-and-forth between Jeff and Chicago. If he was removed for taking a stand, that does not bode well for our paper or our industry.”

Henry Weinstein, a 28-year Times reporter, agreed. “Obviously we are very distressed that our publisher has been forced to resign, we think that is a regrettable decision,” he said. “There is nobody here who is happy about this.”

Robert Salladay, who works out of the paper’s Sacramento bureau, said the firing was a clear move by Tribune to flex its muscles. “Most people today see this as a very significant shot across the bow from Tribune Co.,” he said. “It is never good when there is instability at the top. People are hoping this doesn’t lead to 120 people being laid off. I think the quality of the paper would suffer.”

William Rempel, who has spent more than 30 years at the Times, said “resentment runs deep and wide.” He added that the move has increased anger against Tribune Co.: “There is no one in the building who has any confidence in Tribune management to do what is right for our newspaper or for journalism. It is punishment for Jeff for speaking truth to management and doing it publicly.”

Weinstein and other were partially relieved with word that Baquet would stay on, at least for now. “That is good news,” he said. “The big issue is, what are the conditions? Hopefully they did not present him with any intolerable list of cuts that have to be made.”

And some of the LA Times staff have already given a Hiller a nick name, guess what it is…

Shares of newspaper companies headed downward this week after a Deutsche Bank analyst lowered his fourth-quarter and full-year 2007 earnings estimates on many of the companies. Of course, analyst Paul Ginocchio did his homework.

The analyst cut 2007 forecasts on Tribune, New York Times Co., McClatchy, Belo, Lee Enterprises, E.W. Scripps, Washington Post, Gannett and Media General due to weaker-than-expected third-quarter advertising trends. Tribune’s full-year earnings per share estimate fell to $1.99 from $2.01, while the New York Times dropped to $1.36 from $1.46. McClatchy’s estimate slipped to $2.52 from $2.62 and Media General sagged to $2.37 from $2.44. Belo declined to $1.10 from $1.13, Lee fell to $1.91 from $1.95, Scripps shed a penny to $2.40 and the Washington Post slumped to $42.27 from $43.91. Gannett dropped to $4.85 from $4.95 per share.

“The biggest change in ad growth over the next two to three quarters will be real estate and help wanted classified, both of which are showing weakening trends,” Ginocchio said in a Sunday client note. “We maintain our cautious view on newspaper publishers.”
He also reduced fourth-quarter earnings per share estimates on Belo, Gannett Co. and Medial General. Belo declined to 47 cents from 49 cents, Gannett, the best managed, sagged to $1.50 from $1.53 and Medial General declined to $1.33 from $1.35.
Ginocchio said next year could be difficult for the newspaper sector.
“Online will still be greater than 10 percent of ad revenue for most companies, and even if some publishers are successful in implementing a more innovative culture, the impact probably won’t be apparent financially until late 2007 or early 2008,” he said. In real world terms, 10 percent is chump change. There doesn’t appear to be any examples of newspapers able to make the switch.
Shares of Gannet fell 18 cents to $56.65, Lee slipped 36 cents to $24.88 and Media General lost 84 cents to $36.88 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange. McClatchy dropped 64 cents to $41.55, New York Times slumped 43 cents to $22.55 and Scripps declined 36 cents to $47.57 on the Big Board. Tribune dipped 6 cents to $32.66 and the Washington Post fell $4 to $733.

Kristie Landa said goodbye and good riddance in her letter to readers of Gannett’s Reno Gazette-Journal last week. The Reno paper is one of the most profitable in the “scrap yard dog” chain with revenues pouring in from high population growth, new housing, employment and gaming advertising.

Chris Anderson, CEO and president of Freedom Orange County Information, today announced that FOCI will reduce its workforce through a voluntary severance plan.

“Along with almost every other metropolitan newspaper, The Orange County Register has suffered declines in advertising revenues in recent months. Unfortunately, we don’t see a quick turnaround in the loss of this advertising in key categories,” said Anderson. “We are diversifying our product portfolio and showing some growth, but is not enough to overcome the revenue shortfalls. That means we must carefully reduce expenses, and one of the actions we are taking is the voluntary severance plan.”

The Orange County Register’s voluntary severance package is being offered to about a third of the newspaper’s full-time staff of 1,600.

There is no innovation going on, just cuts. What do analysts expect from an medium that delivers biproducts of dead trees to peoples driveways every day?

Which will be the next newspaper to fold? It will most likely be one of the small community papers, so it won’t make big news. But the time has come to set up a dead pool. There is one already for magazines, Google it at magazine death pool.

Thank heaven for bloggers’ reports on Citgo, 7-Eleven, Foley page setup, now elite media spying on journalists

——Mick Gregory

Now a blogger sheds light on the Foley gay outing story. The young man is 21, he was 18 at the time of the IM gross exchanges.

William Kerr, of Moore, Oklahoma is the author of the blog Passionate America, which is being credited with discovering the identity of the former House page who may have exchanged inappropriate instant messages with former Rep. Mark Foley, and that the former page now works for Oklahoma gubernatorial candidate Ernest Istook.

Kerr said he received e-mails and phone calls from national media outlets Wednesday, including the tabloid television program Inside Edition and Internet pundit Matt Drudge.

“I started thinking, ‘I’m not big enough to put this story out,’” Kerr said. “In the four days that we really worked on this, we just said to each other, ‘Do you know how big this is?’”

Kerr said he stumbled onto the former page’s AOL screen name when looking at transcripts of the instant messages on ABC’s Web site Saturday.

He said he typed a slightly-different Web address into his browser and found a version of the transcript with the screen name.

Kerr and another blogger spent several days researching on the Internet.

They had determined the page’s identity and were about to publish it when they found out he worked for Istook.

Kerr said he accidentally posted the story before he intended. Although he removed the post, the information already had spread.

He tried to verify the former page’s identity through Istook’s campaign office, but was turned away. Great work! This is turning out to be the Democrats’ October surprise.

Last week we learned on the network news about 7-Eleven dropping Venezuela-backed Citgo as its gasoline supplier after more than 20 years. This news has been posted on blogs for a month.

Management at 7-Eleven were worried anti-American comments made by Venezuelan President Hugo “Boss” Chavez might prompt motorists to fill up elsewhere. The 7-Eleven chain, which sells gasoline at 2,100 of its 5,300 U.S. stores, will now purchase fuel from several distributors, including Tower Energy of Torrance, Calif., Sinclair Oil of Salt Lake City and Houston-based Frontier Oil Corp. None of the gas will be from Venezuela.

Today we see that Citgo’s el presidente, Felix Rodriguez, appointed by Hugo Chavez, is making statements to Spanish television stations such as Univision that it was Citgo’s decision to drop 7-Eleven! That’s what 7-Eleven management gets for trying to downplay their decision.

The reality of the situation is that Hugo ‘the Hut’ Chavez signed a huge deal to sell oil to China and would like to keep the price per barrel as high as possible and try to ruin America’s economy. Hugo ‘the Hut’ would also like to be able to stop shipments of oil to America.
In another developing story, reporters attack HP for possibly spying on their managers and directors including the use of private investigators.
HP executives had to appear before a congressional hearing yesterday to explain themselves.

Yet, the San Francisco Examiner hired private investigators to follow reporters and used the evidence compiled to fire them. The Examiner staff, now merged with the San Francisco Chronicle, have their e-mails monitored and their Web use watched. The use of private eyes is most likely still in use. Those stories never see the light of day in the press.

Most IT companies monitor employee e-mails and Web use. Many use private investigators, but they are not the “high and holy” media. The media elite believe they are above the law.

And it’s The Chronicle editors telling the U.S. courts they have the right to leak (and profit from) grand jury content in the BALCO case.

Michael Rains is Bonds’ attorney. He pointed out in a rebuttle to The Chronicle reporters trying to use the courts to shield them, that Barry’s trainer and boyhood friend, Greg Anderson, has been found in contempt of court twice for refusing to testify and is in jail for a second term. Anderson, who earlier served three months after pleading guilty to steroid distribution and money laundering, has refused to tell the court whether he gave Bonds steroids. At issue is whether Bonds lied under oath when he told a grand jury in 2003 that he never knowingly took steroids.

Anderson’s testimony appears to be key to making a successful perjury case against Bonds.

They (the Chronicle reporters) need to be in jail,” Rains said of the reporters, whose work cast Bonds as a steroid-enhanced cheat.
“Other media people, of course, take exception with my attitude about that; but I say unless they go to jail, you make a complete mockery of the grand jury system. Since when can anybody declare that the purpose of our dealing with this issue has a larger purpose, and that is to educate the public?

“How can these guys sit there and say, ‘Oh, yeah, we’ve convinced kids in the Central Valley that they shouldn’t take steroids. And look at all the good that is coming.’

Come on, give me a break. This is all about money. It is all about a newspaper that was having financial problems. It is all about them making dough and how much they can make [from the book smearing baseball greatest players].”

Follow the money.