Ed Rendell Media Mogul Has Problem

Ed Rendell Media Mogul Has Problem

By Chris Freind

Famed political strategist James Carville once referred to Pennsylvania as two major cities with Alabama in between. What an insult to Alabama.

The folks in the nation’s fifth-largest state – all of them – are the backwards ones, the sad result of refusing to hold their leaders accountable for broken campaign promises and abject failures. All the while, their neighboring states – AKA “the competition” – continue to make gains at Pennsylvania’s expense.

Ohio and West Virginia are successfully courting natural
gas and oil companies, which are beginning to exit Pennsylvania.
Indiana is thriving after enacting comprehensive statewide school choice
and becoming a Right To Work state, where compulsory unionism is no
required as a condition of employment.

New Jersey (yes, Jersey!)
can woo companies across the river because of faith that a real leader,
Chris Christie, is righting the ship. Everyone else on the planet can
buy liquor easier and cheaper than Pennsylvanians. And corruption, both
criminal and institutionalized, remains rampant, killing optimism and
trampling the hope that you can beat City Hall.

From Ed Rendell
to Tom Corbett (is there a difference?), a lack of leadership has left
Pennsylvania on the precipice, its citizens staring into the abyss of
permanent mediocrity, paralyzed by fear to take the risks necessary to
forge ahead. Such a malaise is anathema to employers looking for
economic stability, a less hostile atmosphere and a better educational
system.

While that lack of leadership is inexcusable, there is
another, even more important factor as to why the state finds itself in
such a precarious situation: a media that has sold its soul, forsaking
its most basic mission of holding everyone accountable, with a “no
sacred cows” approach. For far too long, stories that needed to be told
were relegated to the dustbin. And unsavory politicians and business
leaders counted on that. Without an aggressive press, it was, and
remains, the Wild West where bad guys operate with impunity.

There is no better example of the media’s fall from grace than that of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Once a paper of national significance that took a bulldog approach to
its reporting, it has since become a shell of its former self, an
also-ran full of AP feeds and local fluff stories of virtually no
interest.

The Inky really jumped the tracks  when it was “led”
by Brian Tierney, who, along with investors, paid over half a billion
for the paper (and the Daily News) in 2006.

Mired in debt,
Tierney did the unthinkable – he approached then-Gov. Rendell for a
taxpayer-funded bailout to keep the papers afloat in 2009, a story that
Freindly Fire broke ( http://freindlyfirezone.com/home/item/43-possible-inquirer-bailout-draws-ire
) and was picked up by the Wall Street Journal in its harshly-worded
editorial “Bad News In Philadelphia – The Worst Bailout Idea So Far:
Newspapers.”

WSJ Link

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123353263226537457.html

Predictably,
Rendell was ready and willing to lend that helping hand. But as
negative fallout for the bailout plan grew, the deal fell apart and the
papers filed for bankruptcy.

Despite what common sense
unquestionably tells us – that a taxpayer-funded newspaper would in fact
be an “adjunct of the state,” as the WSJ so adroitly described it – the
players in that ill-fated bailout attempt saw nothing wrong with their
actions.

Thankfully, Tierney is out of the picture, having lost
the papers to an investor group who held much of the original debt. But
incomprehensibly, the situation has come full circle. Now the current
owners want out, and it has been reported that none other than Ed
Rendell has been approached to put together an investor group to
possibly buy the papers.

Really? Ed Rendell? How is that even remotely possible?

Where
is the journalistic integrity in working with the very man who stood
cocked, ready to unleash millions in taxpayer funds to bail out an
“independent” media entity? It’s no secret that it has become
increasingly difficult for papers to make a profit in the age of The New
Media, but having Rendell as your “Go-To” man underscores just how
desperate the situation has become.

Taking marching orders from elected officials destroys the very essence of being a journalist and jeopardizes the unique constitutional protections afforded to media members. Sure, Ed Rendell is a private citizen now, but his mentality – how he sees the role of the government working hand-in-hand with the media – has undoubtedly not changed.

The last thing the region
needs is an investor group led by political insiders and
ideologically-supercharged individuals with aggressive personal agendas.
As painful as it would be for the thousands of hard-working folks at
the those newspapers, it would be better for the entire entity to close
its doors than be associated with folks who may, at any given time, make
a pitch for public financing.

And while past performance is not indicative of future results, it’s a damn good bet.

Better
to have no paper at all than one that prostrates itself at the feet of
the very people it purports to objectively cover. And since the
Philadelphia newspapers have been anything but a watchdog over the last
six years, churning out less than a handful of quality investigations,
the bad guys would see virtually no difference, since they’re not
exactly sweating investigative reporters knocking on their doors.

But the behavior of the Inquirer’s
ownership should come as no surprise, given that it recently accepted a
$2.9 million loan from the City of Philadelphia to assist the company
move to a new headquarters. Yes, the same city, the same Mayor and the
same City Council that the newspapers are supposed to be objectively
covering. Is nothing scared anymore?

Where The Media Went Wrong

The
sad reality is that The Fourth Estate has abdicated its sacred
responsibility of keeping American institutions honest and true. No
longer respected as the entity which holds feet to the fire and follows
investigations wherever they may lead, the American media has instead
become part and parcel of the Establishment. Too many journalists play
the “go-along, get-along” game – some because it’s easy, others because
they want to be liked, still others who are afraid they will lose
“access” if they ask the tough questions.

These people have
forgotten that their profession does not lend itself to having
“friends,” since nothing and no one should ever be off the table. The
result of these close alliances is blatant conflicts of interest, both
personal and professional. Once that line is crossed, it is nearly
impossible to return.

No medium is immune from this malady. Those
in television, radio, newspaper and internet are all complicit. As an
entity, the media has fallen down on its most basic journalistic
responsibilities, losing its integrity, and ultimately its credibility,
along the way.

Consequently, the public’s view of the media is at
an historic low. And while complaints abound that the media is biased,
which to a certain extent it is, this is but a symptom of a much greater
illness. A slant towards liberalism or conservatism is wrong, to be
sure, but inherent laziness and, by extension, incompetence, are the
first problems that must be rectified. Competence and vision will trump
bias every time.

Resurrecting the media’s image is a Herculean
task. And when the free press reaches the point where it is no longer
believed, it stands on the edge of becoming completely irrelevant.

Whether
it is nauseating nonstop coverage of Anna Nicole Smith’s funeral
procession or feel-good fluff stories in our nation’s pre-eminent
newspapers, the lack of hard-hitting investigative reporting and
aggressive interviews with top national and international leaders is
appalling. Producers and editors are constantly looking over their
shoulders at the competition, choosing to push out content to be like
“every other station,” passing on golden opportunities to be different,
to be journalists – to be leaders.

These people spend more time trying to keep their jobs than actually doing them.

There
is a certain irony here. If media executives produced the quality work
that the American people expect, their ratings would skyrocket, and
advertisers would pay a premium. The biggest myth being propagated about
the bankruptcy of media companies is that they are victims of the
economy. Nothing could be further from the truth.

They are victims of their own ineptitude.

Americans
still have an unquenchable thirst for the news, but they are
increasingly tuning out the mainstream media because the content is
utterly lacking of substance.

The solution is simple – it’s just
not easy. Nothing and no one should be off the table. Not politicians,
government officials, businessmen, media personalities, sports stars,
nor celebrities. With no agenda except the truth, the media should
pursue stories with no boundaries and no restrictions.

Americans
don’t gravitate to question marks, but exclamation points. It’s time to
put the exclamation point back in the American press, not through new
technologies and gimmicks, but by pursuing the only thing that matters:
the truth.

As the voice in the classic baseball movie Field Of
Dreams commanded, “Build it and they will come.” In the same way, if the
media gets off its duff and starts producing content worthy of the
world’s best press, readers and viewers will come – in unprecedented
numbers.

Unfortunately, if Ed Rendell takes over Philadelphia’s newspapers, the ballpark will be empty before the new game even begins.

 

Ed Rendell Media Mogul Has Problem

Rendell Inquirer Rescue Attempt

Rendell Inquirer Rescue Attempt — The denizens of the Philadelphia Inquirer are wishin’ and hopin’ and, well not prayin’ of course, that their sinking ship is purchased by a group of city business leaders organized by famous Philadelphia sports fan Ed Rendell who one-time chaired the Democrat National Committee and was once our governor.

Well, I’m praying for their success! Democrat money should be thrown down Democrat rat holes!

Of course, one kind of wonders why Ed Snider is allegedly a party to this. Maybe it’s a Francisco Anconia-type of ploy.

Rendell Inquirer Rescue Attempt

Goodbye Rendell Rant On 60 Minutes

Goodbye Rendell Rant On 60 Minutes — Ed Rendell wound down his disastrous eight years as Pennsylvania’s governor with a remarkable rant at CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl in defense of the casino gambling he brought to the state.

The promotional clip which can be found here shows him angrily calling those who run her show “simpletons” and “idiots”.

Judging by the a released transcript he was frustrated as to why she couldn’t understand how it was better for blue-collar Pennsylvanians to lose their paychecks in state rather than Delaware or New Jersey.

The show will air Sunday.

Hat tips to Philly.Com and Capitol Ideas.

Below is a transcript of some of Fast Eddie’s rage:

RENDELL: “The biggest downside is that some people lose their
paychecks. But understand, Lesley, they’re not losing their paychecks
because Pennsylvania instituted gaming. These people were losing their
paychecks in Atlantic City, in Delaware at the racetracks, or in West
Virginia.”

STAHL: “So why not lose it here . . .”

Rendell: “Well, if they were going to lose it anyway, let’s get the
upside. We were getting all the downside and none of the upside.”

STAHL: “The counter-argument is that you’re creating new gamblers. And lots of new gamblers.”

RENDELL: “We’re not creating new gamblers.”

STAHL: “Well, ’cause it’s down the street.”

RENDELL: “Those people play the lottery. They bet on football. How much money is bet on the Super Bowl.”

STAHL: “People are losing money for the state to get its revenue. They’re losing money.”

RENDELL: “Let me answer this. You . . . you’ve . . . I’ve always . . .
I’ve known, uh, for two or three decades, you’re a very smart person.”

STAHL: “But not now.”

RENDELL: “But you’re not getting it.”

STAHL: “I’m dumb now.”

RENDELL: “You’re not getting it. Those people would lose that money
anyway. Don’t you understand? You guys don’t get that. You’re
simpletons. You’re idiots if you don’t get that . . . That’s the answer
and it’s the right answer.”

Goodbye Rendell Rant On 60 Minutes

Rendell Vetos Castle Doctrine

As expected, Gov. Ed Rendell today vetoed HB 1926 , a bill which would have greatly expanded the grounds on which one could used deadly force to defend oneself. The bill would have ended significant requirements to retreat from a potential assailant before employing protective force and would  have expanded the “Castle Doctrine”  to matters outside the home and workplace.

The Castle Doctrine, as specifically described in HB 1926, is a “Common Law doctrine of ancient origins which declares that a home is a person’s castle.”

The bill passed the State House 61-35 and the State Senate 45-4 which are easily enough to overturn a veto. The legislative session, however, has ended for the year and so the bill will have to be introduced in the next one. Incoming Gov. Tom Corbett is expected to be willing to sign such a bill.

Rendell also vetoed HB 1231, which
would define cancer as an occupational disease for firefighters making
it easier for them to get workers’ compensation. He also vetoed a bill that would have restricted public access to autopsy reports.

 

Pa. Becomes Top Beggar Under Rendell

The dynamic leadership of Gov. Rendell has lead Pennsylania to a number one ranking in each year of his administration in the category of money spent on lobbying Washington. In other words, Pennsylvania had dedicated more state taxpayer money to attempting to leech off the federal taxpayer than any other state.

Pa. snatched the crown in 2003 walloping second-place New Jersey $890,000  to $400,000.

By 2009, the winning streak was John-Woodenesque with Pennsylvania outspending second-place Nevada more than 5 to 1 at $1.48 million to $280,000.

“We’ve done awesome in getting funds from Washington both under the BushAdministration and the Obama Administration,” said Rendell.

Hat tip to Pennsylvania Independent and GrassrootsPa.Com

Famous Philadelphia Sports Fans

Matthew Clemmens and Ed Rendell

Philadelphia sports fans took another black eye  when 21-year-old Matthew Clemmens reportedly purposely vomited on an 11-year-old girl at the April 14 Phillies-Nationals game. In this case the black eye was literal as can be seen from Young Mr. Clemmens mug shot  and, with a nod to the presumption of innocence, well -deserved if the reports are accurate.

At least Mr. Clemmens had the excuse of being fat, drunk and stupid.

Clemmens, however, has inspired retrospectives of notable moments in Philadelphia sports fan history that should give some pause. Here is one from NBCPhiladelphia.

The second item describes an incident at the Dec. 10, 1989 Eagles-Cowboys game at Veterans Stadium in which the Dallas players were pelted with ice-balls made from snow the city never managed to get around to cleaning up from a storm several days earlier. Then District Attorney Ed Rendell bet a young fan $20 he couldn’t reach the field with one of the ice balls. Rendell lost the bet but he would go on to become the city’s mayor, the state’s governor and chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

So, Mr. Clemmens take heart. Dean Wormer’s  famous bit advice may not apply to you and your future might be bright after all.

Pennsylvanians, please note. Mr. Clemmens is a resident of Cherry Hill, N. J. while Gov. Rendell is a native of New York City.

 

Rendell Praises Dubya


Gov. Ed Rendell speaking on the Sean Hannity show about five minutes ago  — IOW about 6:10 p.m., March 10 — praised President George W. Bush for being courageous and correct.

Rendell, who chaired the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 election,  said Bush and the Republicans heroically went against popular opinion in instituting the surge in Iraq and the policy was a resounding success.

And while speaking of the Republicans, the Governor said “we have to be a big tent”.

Yo Eddie, what’s up with this?

Rendell Wants KSM Tried By Military In Gitmo

Pennsylvania’s Bush-bashing, Obama-supporting governor may have changed his tune, at least with regard to the wisdom of military trials for terrorist and the closing of the detention facilities in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Gov. Ed Rendell, on Fred Thompson’s radio show today said Khalid Sheikh Mohammed should be tried before a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay.

“Let him plead guilty before a military tribunal in Gitmo,” Rendell said.

 
There had been talk about holding the trial in Wester Pennsylvania after New York politicians started rebelling against the plan to have it in The Big Apple.
 
Thompson is a conservative as is Sean Hannity whose show the governor has also been gracing with his presence.
Rendell Wants KSM Tried By Military In Gitmo
Rendell Wants KSM Tried By Military In Gitmo

Rendell Haitian Trip Hot Blonde Glory Grab

Rendell Haitian Trip Hot Blonde Glory Grab —  Jason Altmire had been a lobbyist for, and former acting vice president at, UPMC, an integrated global health enterprise headquartered in Pittsburgh that is affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh.

In 2006, he was elected to Congress to represent Pennsylvania’s Fourth District as a Democrat.

Rendell Haitian Trip Hot Blonde Glory Grab
Gov. Rendell with Leslie Merrill McCombs at a 2007 Pittsburgh Pirates game.

Mary Beth Buchanan, a Republican former U.S. attorney for Western Pennsylvania  who had announced she was considering a run against Altmire this November, began organizing a mission two days after the Jan. 12 Haitian earthquake to render aid to Jamie and Ali McMutrie, Pittsburgh-area sisters who were running a orphanage in Port-au-Prince and rescue the orphans.

She enlisted Valerie May, a Pittsburgh immigration lawyer, to smooth the way for the children’s entrance and contacted Dr. Mary Carrasco, an old friend who was director of A Child’s Place, based at UPMC Mercy hospital who connected her with Kathy McCauley, a grants consultant, who began gathering supplies.

By the end of the day she had received permission from Joseph Klaus, U.S. Customs port director for Pittsburgh, for the children to enter the country  humanitarian parole.

It was then that Leslie Merrill McCombs appeared on scene.

Mrs. McCombs is the hot blonde senior consultant for government relations at UPMC who developed a close working relationship with Gov. X-Man Rendell while successfully lobbying on behalf of Lions Gate Entertainment for the $75 million 2007 Pennsylvania Film Tax Credit program.

Mrs McCombs never disclosed the relationship — with Lions Gate that is albeit she vociferously denied having one with X-Man– and wound up being fined $5,025 in July 2009 for failing to reveal being a lobbyist.

Anyway, Mrs. McCombs told Mrs. Buchanan that UPMC would be the sole handler of the rescue mission, a mission that would eventually include Gov. Rendell, Congressman Altmire, but not Mrs. Buchanan.

Wonder what Congressman Altmire and Gov. Rendell have in mind to pay her and UPMC back?

Rendell Haitian Trip Hot Blonde Glory Grab

Was Rendell’s Haitian Rescue A Glory-Grab, After All?

PaWaterCooler.Com is reporting that Gov. Rendell flew to Haiti to deliver medical supplies and rescue 54 orphans after a woman who is a former U.S. attorney for Western Pennsylvania did  the work in organizing the effort.

Mary Beth Buchanan spent four days, according to PaWaterCooler, obtaining clearance for the children to enter the United States, medical supplies,  physicians to escort the children and  an airplane cleared to land in Haiti.

The only thing she failed to get was the airplane, in lieu of which came an interrogation from a senior consultant for UPMC — a major health facility headquartered in Pittsburgh — regarding the details  of her mission. The supplies Ms. Buchanan had gathered were the ones carried to Haiti by Rendell.

Ms. Buchanan is openly mulling a challenge to incumbent Congressman Jason Altmire (D-Pa4). Altmire is an ally of Rendell and has close connections with UPMC where he was a former acting vice president.