Archive: March, 2009
Pennsylvania Congressman Jack Murtha (note to commenters: Not a Republican :-) ) releases his own version of O.J.'s "If I did it." If he did it -- it was all for you and not for those friends with their lucrative lobbying deals on the side. Look, sometimes it does take hardball on the floor of Congress to get real economic development dollars for your district, but maybe I've naive to think there's a way to do that without purchasing the "friends and family plan" at the same time.
A lot of liberals fell head over heels for Murtha in 2005 when the one-time war hero took a principled stand againt the war in Iraq. This is why I always say love the idea, not the politician. Most pols aren't all good or all evil -- which is why former Gov. George Ryan of Illinois was heroic in shutting down Death Row even though he was also on the take (heck, even Blago was fighting on the right side for locked out factory workers the day before he was arrested), and the same is true of Murtha. But on the whole his corrupt practices are an anchor that's sinking whatever good he's accomplished. And it's time for the Dems and everyone else to abandon this ship.
There's been so much talk in the last few weeks about which major American city will be the first without a newspaper, with a lot of the focus on San Francisco or maybe now in Chicago where both papers are now in Chapter 11. just like here but with two owners instead of one. What would No-Newspaper Town USA look like? No one knows, but here in Philadelphia we've seen a couple of peeks:
The bad: This is kind of stale now, so I won't dwell on it, but a couple of weeks ago did you see how see how Eagles' coach Andy Reid came to break his long silence on the departure of defensive stalwart Brian Dawkins? He submitted himself to a probing interview...on the Eagles own team web site. Frankly, the interview could have been worse, but you see where this is heading. Sports teams, big corporations like Comcast, City Hall or even the White House -- all of these people are going to be getting their story out directly to you, without the jaundiced eye of a skeptical journalist as a middleman trying to cut through the spin (even though that often goes bad: See Iraq, 2002-03). Even so, these pseudo-stories like the Reid interview will be 100 percent spin, and nothing but.
I realize that the dire predicaments faced by the American auto industry and by Wall Street are complex and not easy to compare to each other, but you have to think the Obama administration could have done a lot more to convince America that its hard-nosed approach to Detroit and its masses of blue-collar workers doesn't prove that by contrast Washington is in the tank for the financial sector.
I think Philly blogger Susie Madrak did a good job summarizing how many folks feel:
They say that you can judge someone by the company they keep. If so, we now have pretty clear evidence why the New York Mets have been such utter frauds on the playing field these last few seasons, blowing a clear shot at the 2006 World Series followed by two epic September collapses in the face of the hard-charging Phillies.
It turns out that fraud is hard-wired into the Mets' DNA, that the team's 2000s partial revival has been paid for heavily on the backs of Wall Street's ill-gotten gains. We've already told you about the travesty that is Citi Field, the team's glistening new ballpark in Queens.
As we've noted here before, the Daily News and intrepid reporters Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker have not backed down in their agressive reporting on police corruption in Philadelphia, despite enourmous pressure from the cop union and others to do exactly that.
Today, thanks to their persistence, they take the story to a higher level:
Tomorrow's New York Times features a lengthy profile of right-wing pseudo-populist talker Glenn Beck. While it half-heartedly takes some obligatory -- and when I say obligatory, I mean they feel exactly like that -- potshots, on the whole it could have been crafted by the PR department at the Fox News Channel, which must be doing some back-flips this evening. The tenor of this predominantly puff piece is captured in the headline: "He's Mad. Apocalyptic, Tearful, and a Rising Star on Fox News."
This is not to say that Beck isn't newsworthy -- his huge jump in popularity since he was shown the door by CNN's Headline News and moved to his rightful home at FNC, and his so-real-it-may-even-be-ilegal calls for an anti-Obama insurrection merit some kind of coverage -- but this article by Brian Stetler and Bill Carter feels in the midst of March Madness like a giant airball. My biggest complaint is that the article reads like Beck landed on Planet Fox in a flying saucer a couple of short months ago to save American Jesusland -- without the much-needed context that this is just the latest act for an "entertainer" who is a clown at his best and spews hate at his worst.
Obama to GM's CEO: You're fired! Who knew he could even do that?
It's a bad week to be a CEO.