Saturday, May 31, 2008


UP FRONT News May 27, 2008
Published by Tom Weiss
Editorial Advisor: Willard Whittingham
"The paper that can't be bought and can't be sold."


By Tom Weiss

Some months ago well known Staten Island African-American political activist expressed to me the view that the Staten Island Advance is "the most racist daily paper in New York." At the time, and in a number of UP FRONT News articles, I expressed my disagreement with that assessment, indicating that in my opinion that honor should go to Rupert Murdoch's New York Post.

It appears that may have been wrong and that the multibillionaire Donald Newhouse-owned Advance wins the gold medal not only for racism but for some of the most persistent and blatant political censorship and slanted journalism I've ever experienced.

While the entertainment and crime coverage in the Advance is not bad and while, as I have suggested previously, the supermarket and other advertising may be of Puliltzer Prize quality, the political reporting is really, really bad. (As reported in UP FRONT News, aside from all their other censorship, the Advance has covered up for Vito Fossella, et. al. for years.)

Those responsible are primarily an editorial staff that includes political editor Tom ("Wrong- leski") Wrobleski, Marjorie Mack, Ken Paulsen, Dean Balsamini and, near the top of the censorship hierarchy, editor Brian J. Laline, Managing Editor William A. Huus and Deputy Editorial Page Editor Stevie Lacy-Pendleton.

Since a good deal, but not all, of the history of Advance censorship and slanted reporting with regard to me, as been covered in UP FRONT News, I won't go into all the details again here.

It is a fact that, in early 2005 after I announced my candidacy as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate against the Republicrat Hillary Clinton I met for over an hour with Tom Wrobleski in his office conveniently located in the Staten Island Borough Hall. I answered all his questions and gave him a wealth of previous news stories on me in various newspapers going back to 1978, when I was on the front page of the Queens Edition of Newsday for having blown the whistle on a Koch Administration coverup of budget cut-caused patient deaths at City operated Queens Hospital Center, a story that was also, albeit less thoroughly, covered in other mainstream media. I gave Mr. Wrobleski the facts on Bill and Hillary Clinton's direct involvement in the coverup of the racist Chinese Communist Genocide in Tibet as well as the details of the Clintons' Chinese Communist corporate connections that explain their participation in that coverup. I gave him the details of Mrs. Clinton's anti-tenants rights and generally anti-poor and anti-human rights record. I gave him the names and contact information for a number of prominent leaders (e.g. Rev. Dr. Timothy P. Mitchell, a Martin Luther King friend and associate and Pastor of the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church in Flushing, Queens, of which I have been a member for years), and a number of elected officials and various activists who could be contacted about me.

I have also advised the Advance of the papework-provable history of threats against me by Hillary Clinton, not to speak of all sort of criminal harassments me by surrogates of mega-fascist political extremists Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. and Lenora Fulani, including the Staten Island-connected multiple offender and demagogue from Queens Geoffrey Blank.

At the end of the interview Mr. Wrobleski became very evasive as to coverage of my campaign. He said he would see how my campaign "develops" and asked me to stay in touch with him by telephone and e-mail.

I did so and I am again reporting that Tom Wrobleski should have his fare to the Olympic Games (no matter where the Games are played) paid by the Advance since he is a favorite for the Olympic gold medal in not responding to calls and e-mails.

The first call I got from Wrobleski occurred in late August, 2005 when my UP FRONT News associate Willard Whittingham received a rather desperate call from Wrobleski regarding the matter of NYC Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum having made a defamatory reference to me in a televised campaign debate. I've been personally acquainted with the apparently increasingly paranoid Gotbaum via a family member of mine since 1979. Ms. Gotbaum is not happy about my status as a very free lance investigative reporter because she has a closetful of political skeletons, some involving her (at least marital) ties to the CIA. And, when it comes to adultery, she may have served as something of a role model for people like Bill Clinton and Vito Fossella.

And so Ms. Gotbaum once tried to have me arrested at her office some years ago when I was there for my scheduled appointment with her Chief of Staff at the time, Scott Coccaro, to discuss staff abuse of homeless people in drop-in centers and shelters. Fortunately the police officer called to bust me, Sgt. Al Fiore, of the NYPD's Intelligence Division, is considerably more psychologically stable and competent than mayoral wannabe Gotbuam and handled the situation appropriately.

Gotbaum made things worse when, as retribution for my decision to support NYC Public Advocate Norman Siegel over her, she contacted Mr. Siegel and complained that I was "stalking" her. Mr. Siegel later brought that to my attention and we had something of a mutual chuckle over that. My response to that Gotbaum delusion has always been the same as I cite one of my favorite country songs by Dwight Yoakum, "I Ain't That Lonely Yet." I've never stalked anyone and, if Gotbaum were the last woman on earth and I was desperate, I would do everything possible to revert to celibacy.

In any event, Gotbaum, in refusing her opponents' insistences that she reveal the contents of her past appointment schedules, claimed that she was being "stalked" by a homeless person. That was clear reference to me since, in part thanks to some of her political friends, I had been homeless and also tacitly acknowledged the fact that I was one of the people in her appointment book since the appointment had been made with her secretary.

On August 26, 2005 NYC Newsday's Dan Janison - then the City Hall reporter and now a major ("Spin Cycle") columnist at Newsday - reported my side of the Gotbaum vs. Weiss story and took care to report the fact of my U.S. Senate candidacy as well as my history as a whistleblower.

That's when Wrobleski, trying to catch up, since he had allowed his newspaper to get scooped by a Long Island/Queens-based paper, called Mr. Whittingham - asking for an "exclusive." Any notion of an "exclusive" was wishful thinking on Wrobleski's part since I had already spoken to Mr. Janison. In any event, Wrobleski interviewed me over the phone - and then esentially blew the story.

Wrobleski's story, appearing with a front page lead on August 27, 2005, was filled with willful errors and was as slanted as some of the stuff that appears about Tibet in the Communist Chinese media.

He misquoted me and printed a defamatory comment about me made by Gotbaum and Hillary Clinton pal State Senator Diane Savino. He had no choice however to report my U.S. Senate candidacy and even mentioned my complaints about Sen. Clinton as regards the Genocide in Tibet.

I complained to the paper and Editor Dean Balsamini promised me that the necessary cor- rections would be printed. He reneged. I spoke to Stevie Lacy-Pendleton - at the time a shill for Mrs. Clinton (I think she is now for Obama). Ms. Lacy-Pendleton suggested that I write a ltter to the editor. I wrote two. When, after the usual non-response, I called an asked her if either or both of them would be printed she said, "No." When I asked why, the silence at the other end of the line was proverbially deafening.

Wrobleski and the Advance hardly felt any better when far more accurate accounts of the Gotbaum vs. Weiss matter appeared in the Daily News (Celeste Katz) and The New York Times (Jonathan Hicks) both on August 27.

Wrobleski then reverted to his Dick Cheney impersonation and stopped communicating entirely. I wrote a campaign article at which circulated widely that reported censorship and slanted reporting at the Advance and (re)-Christened Wrobleski as "Wrongleski."

I then talked to Balsamini by phone. As we talked he read my article on his computer and complained that I was "trashing" his reporter. I not only agreed with Balsamini but advised him that my reporting along those lines would have to continue as long as Wrobleski censored and/or wrote trash about me.

Not too long after that I got a communication from Wrobleski asking for an interview. The
interview was, at his request, done by phone. (Perhaps he has the same narcisstic anxieties manifested by his insecure political pals Gotbaum and Savino.) His front page story on my campaign appeared in the Advance on August 21, 2006 about 1 1/2 years after I announced my candidacy.

As I've written previously, an easy grader in journalism school would have charitably given Wrobleski a C+. Wrobleski spent most or the article reporting the technicalities of running as a write-in candidate and a miniscule percentage to my very heavy issues with the corrupt and anti-human rights Clinton. He again mentioned my complaints about the Genocide in Tibet.

The Staten Island Advance may well be the only newspaper anywhere to report a genocide and then not follow it up.

Last year Staten Island Advance reporter Tevah Platt did a story on a Jena 6 demonstration organized and led by my pastor Rev. Demetrius Carolina of the Stapleton-based First Central Baptist Church. I sent Ms. Platt an e-mail stating that her coverage of Rev. Carolina was good but advising her of the fact of serious censorship and slanted reporting at her paper and providing some specifics.

To my surprise Ms. Platt sent me an e-mail expressing some difference of opinion with respect to my claim of censorhip and asking me for some more information on my issues. She even wrote that she would not work for a paper that practices censorship. I think that, if Ms. Platt meant what she wrote, she should strongly consider looking for work elsewhere.

I replied to Ms. Platt and, in response to several e-mails, she referred me to a number of Advance editors, all whom whom at Ms. Platt's suggestions I called and sent e-mails to. Not one of them responded.

The only "response" I got came after I called the paper and ended up speaking by phone with editor Marjorie Hack. She asked me for an e-mail to her; I sent it to her. No response. I called again and she responded asking for more information, including references to local angles.
I sent her an e-mail with a wealth of information of a local nature involving Tibet and the NYC Council and even more information regarding major (and possiblly criminal) negligence by my State Assemblyman Matthew Titone, even advisng her that, among others, Rev. Carolina is very knowledgeable about the Titone matter. I never heard from her again.

I did manage to get quoted by Advance reporter Maura Yates in her story a few weeks ago about one of the rather insufferable and inconsiderate Ferry preachers. (I said he was creating a "boatload of atheists.")

A few weeks ago I spoke at some length by telephone with Stefhanie Boyd, the Executive Assistant to Advance owner Donald Newhouse at what was then his office at the Newhouse- owned Newark Star-Ledger. I descrbed the problems at his newspaper in Staten Island.
She asked that I send my e-mail to her since he does not have a direct e-mail address. I did. No response. I few weeks later I spoke by telephone with Ms. Boyd again, this time at Newhouse's new office at Conde Nast in Manhattan and, at her request, sent a second e-mail. No response.

The last time called, Ms. Boyd put me right through to Donald Newhouse. The "conversation" lasted perhaps three minutes. Referring to my quite detailed e-mails, which Ms., Boyd had given to him personally, I made reference to the censorship of the Tibet Genocide and the Titone matters. I also referred to the fact that the paper had covered up the local angle relating to the ties between the Independence Party, the racist Lenora Fulani (often reported on superficially by Wrobleski) and the political extremist Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.

Several times Donald Newhouse robotically repeated, "I have very confidence in my staff at the Staten Island Advance."

A few weeks ago, the media knowledgeable public relations professional Frank DeLuca, who has been serving as my Media Consultant on a pro bono basis, suggested, in light of LaRouche's long history of infiltration into the mainstream media (e.g. NBC News), that perhaps Newhouse is (journalistically of course) "in bed with LaRouche." Hmmm.

As far as Tevah Platt is concerned, she is now assigned to community reporting on the North Shore of Staten Island. In that capacity it appears that she is acting as a de facto shill for the developers and their political friends in City Hall, Borough Call, the NYC City Council and Staten Island Community Board 1 in what I have called in UP FRONT News the planned "Soho-ization" of the ethnically diverse St.George, Stapleton (where I live), Tompkinsville and Clifton communities of the North Shore of Staten Island. As far as I am concerned, the announced Downtown Staten Island Plan, which if implemented would displace African-Americans (and me) is racist.

And so, it seems, is the Staten Island Advance.
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