Monday, October 12, 2015


UP FRONT News    October 5, 2015                     
"The paper that won't be bought and can't be sold."
Published by Tom Weiss
Andrew Mazzone - Medias Representative and Economics Advisor
Steven Gradman - Political Consultant
Allen Smith - Economics Reporter
    The views expressed in UP FRONT News are those of the publisher or of the contributing writer and do not necessarily represent the views of staff.
   Among the first cover-ups in recorded history was Cain's post-murder "Am I my brother's keeper?" response to God's query as to what happen to Abel.  Lies and cover-ups of course abound in the Bible - both Testaments. History's worst crimes are of course covered up by the perpetrators and those,  e.g. in government and the media, who cover up for them.
  When reports of the mass murders of Jews by the Nazis began trickling out and some reporters showed up in the Third Reich, Hitler was ready and the journalists at the doors of the concentration camps were greeted by smiling Jews, some playing classical music, who said that everything's okay and the Nazis are treating us nicely.
   The fact that Communist China has turned illegally occupied formerly independent Tibet into a virtual concentration camp in which over a million Tibetans have died since the Chinese invasion of 1951 goes essentially unreported in both the mainstream and so-called "alternative" media - although reports of self-immolations by protesting Tibetan monks and various atrocities committed by the Chinese military and police do leak out and make their way into some media.  The Chinese Communist-aided and abetted Khmer Rouge genocide that resulted in the deaths of a 1.7 Cambodians went unreported until Dith Pran and Sydney Shanberg wrote about "The Killing Fields."
   More domestically and less lethally, Richard Nixon's involvement in the Watergate crime was successfully covered up for awhile until a couple of reporters at the Washington Post met "Deep Throat." Bill Cosby has prospered via the cover-up as, no doubt, have oodles of (political and entertainment) celebrities-
   John Gotti benefited from the art of the cover-up to the point where he achieved the status of the "Teflon Don." And while numerous mobsters have wound up with long prison terms, the fact remains that the political mob continues to be protected by at least some of the media. And so we turn to the multi-billionaire Donald Newhouse-owned Staten Island Advance, arguably the most politically corrupt newspaper in New York - and perhaps America.
   My first dealings with the Staten Island Advance, back in the 1980's, were positive. As a resident in a loft in rapidly gentrifying TriBeCa in Lower Manhattan, a neighborhood that was part of what was part of what was then the 17th congressional district that included much of Lower Manhattan and all of Staten Island, I decided to run against machine Democrat Congressman John Murphy, who compiled a record that justified then Village Voice journalist Jack Newfield as headlining his front page article on Murphy, "The Worst Congressman." Murphy had enriched himself through bribery-saturated relationships with a slew of oil barons and dictators such as the Shah of Iran and Anastasio Somoza of Nicaragua. Murphy was in bed with some of the most predatory real estate developers in New York, including some who were busy terrorizing and evicting working class loft tenants (such as myself) from our homes.
  And so when no Democrat wanted to challenge the crook John Murphy in a primary I decided to run. Among the reporters I contacted was Michael Azzara, then the Political Editor of the Staten Island Advance. We did a couple of interviews, which resulted in two articles by Mr. Azzara published in the Advance. The first contained the essentials of my announcement of my candidacy and the second reported my proposal for a possible resolution of the political confrontation between the U.S,. and Ayatollah Khomeini-ruled Iran, who demanded the return of the seriously ill Shah, who was hospitalized here. Presumably had the Shah been returned to Iran he would have suffered the same fate that his government had imposed on dissidents - the gallows. I had suggested that the responsibility for the care the Shah be transferred to the United Nations. My proposal was accurately reported in an Azzara article in the Advance.
  When NYC Councilmember Mary Codd a progressive Staten Islander, with whom I was acquainted, decided to challenge Murphy, I dropped out and supported her. In fact my UP FRONT News endorsement of Mrs. Codd and my campaign literature exposing Murphy's ties to the loftlords got Mrs. Codd a great many votes in the Manhattan part of the district where she had been relatively unknown. John Murphy ultimately lost to Republican Guy Molinari. And after Murphy got caught on videotape accepting a suitcase full of cash from a fake sheik in an FBI sting operation in a Kennedy Airport area motel room, he was arrested, indicted, tried and convicted and imprisoned in the very famous "Abscam" case.      
  Since Michael Azzara left his position as Political Editor of the Staten Island Advance the quality of political journalism there has plummeted.
  My move to Staten Island in 2004 occurred when I was homeless, having some years previously become a victim of one of John Murphy's (and Ed Koch's) loftlord pals, Thomas Berger, who purchased 190-A Duane Street in TriBeCa and, within days of buying the building (at a bargain price), ordered me to vacate. I said "no", which began what became a 16 year battle in the courts and the streets as Berger (an Orthodox Jew, from Forest Hills, by the way) literally terrorized me with some violence and by seeing to it that there was no heat or water in the building for 51/2 years. Berger, for whom The Ten Commandments did not apply during business hours, absolutely hated me in part because I exposed him in UP FRONT News as "The Greed Merchant of TriBeCa" and for my activities in pestering legislators to pass a bill extending rent "stabilization" to loft tenants. Berger, the founder of the loftlord organization called the Association of Commercial Property Owners (ACPO), was quite open in his view that any kind of rent protection for loft tenants was Bolshevism. With help help from a corrupt judge Berger succeeded in evicting me for the crime of allowing someone to play a flute at a poetry reading in my home. As Jack Paar used to say, "I kid you not."
  My homelessness notwithstanding, I decided to become perhaps the first homeless person to run for the U.S. Senate when early in 2005 I decided to challenge Hillary Clinton as a Democratic write-in candidate. I made that decision for several reasons. 1.) Both she and he husband were (and are) directly involved in the political cover-up of the ongoing Chinese Communist genocide in illegally occupied formerly independent Tibet. 2.) Mrs. Clinton had refused to serve as a sponsor of the Bringing America Home Act, a major peace of legislation to address the problem of homelessness in America that had been introduced in the House by U.S. Representative Julia Carson (D.-Indiana). 3.) On a more personal level, although Mrs. Clinton had once assisted me on a Social Security matter, when a similar problem recurred, she not only refused to assist me but had a staffer inform me that she had placed me under surveillance, which she followed up by having a staffer send a nasty e-mail about me to my brother in upstate New York. Quite evidently Mrs. Clinton had become aware of my very direct contact with her husband on the Tibet matter, which led to his involvement in my being arrested in the U.S. Capitol on the day before Bill Clinton's first inauguration when I arrived with my invitation to attend the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Committee January 19, 1993 hearing on Bill Clinton's nomination of Warren Christopher to be Secretary of State. Christopher was among those who had received my documents on the atrocities in Tibet and had suppressed them.
  As an announced candidate for the U.S. Senate, I called the Staten Island Advance and was immediately instructed to call Political Editor Tom Wrobleski, the Political Editor. He interviewed me in his Borough Hall office for over an hour. I answered all his questions and gave him copies of articles about me from The New York Times, Newsday (front page), The Daily News, the New York Post, the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, The New York Press, the Queens Tribune, Our Town and other media. I gave him the names and contact information for a number of people, some quite prominent, who could comment on my political and arts-related activities. At the end of the interview I asked him about coverage. Wrobleski's reply became the first of his evasions, which soon evolved into lies. He said, "Let's see how your campaign goes." He asked me to stay in touch with him by phone and e-mail. I did, as did my Press Representative at the time, Frank Deluca. I've said and written, if the International Olympics Committee were to include not answering calls and e-mails as an Olympic sport Tom Wrobleski would be a sure gold medal winner.
   Wrobleski 's first call to me occurred in August, 2005 when three newspapers, NYC Newsday, the Daily News, and The New York Times, did stories on the political blowout between then NYC Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum (a corrupt and paranoid politician with whom, via my family I've been acquainted since 1979) and me after Ms. Gotbaum defamed me during a televised campaign debate by suggesting that I was "stalking" her. Ms Gotbaum's bizarre fantasies along those lines apparently arose when I occasionally showed up as a journalist at events at which she appeared. Ms. Gotbaum did not like being around me as a journalist because I knew about her certainly potentially politically very embarassing secrets, such as her failed marriage to a CIA agent and her related adulteries. Wrobleski, having been scooped by Newsday (Dan Janison was the first to report the story, published in the NYC edition on August 26, 2005, in which he also reported my candidacy for the U.S. Senate against Hillary Clinton), nonetheless asked me for an "exclusive", a request I of course turned down because I had already spoken to other reporters. Wrobleski interviewed me over the phone. His story - which had a front page lead in the Advance, which appeared after Newsday, the Daily News and The New York Times had hit the streets throughout New York City and beyond - was journalistic pollution, as it was riddled with errors and carried a headline that was blatantly defamatory. If Tom Wrobleski went to journalism school, his professors let him off easy.
  Wrobleski then returned to non-reporting of my Senate campaign. I replied by writing a series of articles in UP FRONT News and in my Senate campaign blog at documenting Wrobleski's dishonesties as Tom "Wrongleski." During a subsequent telephone conversation I had with Advance Editor Dean Balsamini, I suggested that he log onto my online articles about Wrobleski. He did and immediately bellowed into the phone, "You trashed my reporter!!, You trashed my reporter!!!!!" I told him that my critical reporting on Wrobleski would continue until Wrobleski started doing the job for which he is being paid, which is to report the news, not to censor it. A few days later I got a call from Wrobleski, who then did a telephone interview with me on my campaign for the Senate. His article was published on the front page of the Advance on August 21, 2006 (more than 1 1/2 years after face-to-face interview with him) under the headline "With the stroke of a pencil vote for anyone." I imagine that in journalism school Wrobleski might have escaped with a "C." Most of the article is devoted to a description of the the technicalities of running as a write-in candidate. Near the very end he reports my assertion that Hillary Clinton is negligent when it comes to the poor and that she is silent on the genocide in Tibet.
 Some months ago Tom Wrobleski left his position as Political Editor to become "Opinion Commentator." He remains as pompous, politically clueless and hypocritical as ever.
  He has been succeeded in his former role by Rachel Shapiro - who, based on my experience with her, may be worse than Wrobleski. Her one reference to me in the Advance last April when she covered a candidates forum in which I participate as a write-in candidate for congress in the May 5, 2015 special election in the 11th congressional distinct contained a major lie about me.
  Several protest letters received by Advance Editor-in-Chief  Brian Laline were not published.
  Back in 2006 when I was homeless and in an emergency situation warranting  the intervention of a local elected official I was given an appointment with Robert Cataldo, the Chief of Staff to New York State Senator Diane Savino (D.-S.I., Bklyn.)  I had never met Cataldo, who, however, certainly knew about my political activities (e.g. my challenge to Mrs. Clinton). When I got to Ms. Savino's district office one flight up at 36 Richmond Terrace, a short distance from the St. George, S.I. Ferry Terminal, for my scheduled appointment with Cataldo the door was open and I entered what appeared to be an unoccupied office. After a few minutes I announced my presence. At that point Cataldo came barreling out of a rear office, screaming threats and insults, including an accusation that I was having sexual relations with my mother and then backed me up against a wall and for several minutes literally terrorized me. I managed to squeeze my way out and left the office, When I subsequently spoke to Savino by phone, in response to my telling her what had occurred she said, "Oh, don't worry about Cataldo."
   It was only with the personal assistance of Sgt. Det.  Al Fiore, then with the NYPD's Intelligence Division, that I was able to file my criminal complaint against Robert Cataldo. The NYPD complaint is # 2006-120-8244. Because Robert Cataldo committed a major violation of my Constitutionally guaranteed civil rights it has been necessary to for me file a complaint also with the U.S. Department of Justice Loretta Lynch).
  A few months ago during a face-to-face conversation I had with Mendy Mirocznik, a top official in the Staten Island Democratic Party, who is also the President of the Council of Jewish Organizations of Staten Island, he told me that Robert Cataldo had similarly terrorized another victim and added the information that "Robert Cataldo is a member of the Sicilian Mob." That information has led me to file a formal complaint against Robert Cataldo and Diane Savino with the FBI.
  The Staten Island Advance has been knowledgeable about Cataldo attack on me for years inasmuch as I reported it to several reporters there including Advance journalist Judy Randall (no longer with the paper) l and the rest of the political staff. Ms. Randall responded with an e-mailed personal insult at me. From the rest: dead silence.
   Diane Savino has been protecting this explosive and dangerous mobster for years. The matter is well known to some of her political friends such as Rev. Dr. Tony Baker of the largely African-American St. Philips Baptist Church in S.I. (of which I am a member) and his very politically connected and quite authoritarian deacon John McBeth. Indeed at a meeting between me and Ms. Savino several months ago at St. Philips arranged at my request by Dr. Baker, Savino blatantly lied about the entire episode. The presumably Catholic Savino thereby becomes the spiritual and political opposite of Pope Francis and his Biblical and historical predecessors, including Moses and Jesus, both whom whom certainly obeyed the teachings of the Ninth Commandment, which expressly prohibits bearing false witness against others. Politicians such as Diane Savino and pal, her ethically challenged colleague NYS Assemblymember Matthew Titone (another product of the corrupt Staten Island Democratic Party Machine) lie.  Savino however really pushes the envelope by lying in a house of worship in the presence of the Pastor. Dr. Baker during my conversation with him before he schedukled the meeting with Savino, in which I filled him in on everything, smiled when I mentioned Robert Cataldo and revealed that he had served as the minister for Cataldo's marriage. Pressumably, Robert Cataldo's behavior was less psychotic on that occasion. Hopefully Senator Savino leaves office no later than December 31, 2016, but if she manages to hoodwink the public into getting re(s)elected, it would inappropriate for her to take an oath (mis)using the Bible. Perhaps she can use the Staten Island Advance instead.
  In his capacity as my Press Representative when I was running for the U.S. Senate against Hillary Clinton, the aforementioned Frank Deluca had the unpleasant experience of talking by telephone on several occasions with Tom Wrobleski. Deluca, an experienced public relations professional, is a rather even-tempered sort. He was, however, unable to conceal his anger and frustration after several phone conversations with Wrobleski - who seemed incapable of giving a straight answer.
  Among Deluca's friends in the mainstream media is Keith Kelly, who writes the "Media Ink" column in the unabashedly right wing Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post. Over the years the Post had always suppressed political my information embarrassing to some of its corrupt political heroes such as Ed Koch, who went after me when I exposed budget cut-caused patient deaths at NYC operated Queens Hospital Center in 1977-78 (a story reported accurately in Newsday's front page article on me published on in its Queens edition March 1, 1978); the Post also buried my exposure of Betsy Gotbaum regarding her bizarre "stalker" fantasies about me, accurately reported in NYC Newsday, the Daily News and The New York Times). (The former New York Post jazz columnist Chip Deffaa, whom I met when he and I were both guests to the Joe Franklin Show, did write an article published in the New York Post about the political controversy regarding performance events I was hosting in my former home, a loft in TriBeCa.)
  Keith Kelly apparently sees himself as a sort of media conscience and free press advocate, as he consistently berates and mocks that the local newspapers that are less right wing than the Post. That includes The New York Times and the Daily News and Newsday. Mr. Deluca agreed with me that, inasmuch as Tom Wrobeski was being journalistically unethical and violating the essence of press freedom and was engaging in news suppression, Keith Kelly might be interested in doing as story on my struggles with Tom Wrobleski at the Advance., And so at one of my regular meetings with Frank Deluca he called Keith Kelly at the Post. After some personal chit-chat between the two of them, Mr. Deluca told him my candidacy for the U.S. Senate against Hillary Clinton, of his work as my Press Representative and in some detail about the problems with Tom Wrobleski and the Staten Island Advance. Mr. Kelly agreed to speak with me directly.
  For the next fifteen minutes or so, I gave Keith Kelly a detailed history not only of my campaign and previous political work but of the very difficult dealings with Wrobleski and the Advance. Mr. Kelly asked me some questions, which I answered, and then told me that he was interested in covering that issue in his column and asked me to provide a "a little more" information.
 As it became apparent that the Staten Island Advance was covering up the story of Diane Savino's protecting her thug criminal of a Chief of Staff, Robert Cataldo I sent Mr. Kelly several e-mails No response.
 After I learned from Mendy Mirocznik, what I had suspected all along, i.e. that Robert Cataldo is a mobster, and discussed the matter in detail with a number of advisors, in particular of course my current Press Representative Andrew Mazzone - who, while not a public relations professional, is media savvy and knows a good political story when he sees one - I sent a copy of one of my UP FRONT News exposes to Mr. Kelly. No reply.
  And so, although Frank Deluca and I had been in only infrequent contact for some years, I contacted him again to talk about the Staten Island Advance censoring the news and our conversations with Keith Kelly at the New York Post.
When I last contacted Mr. Deluca he was working in a public relations capacity for a medical group in upstate New York with at least one very famous political patient. It took several calls and e-mails from me - and a call from Mr. Mazzone - before Mr. Deluca responded with an e-mail and suggested that we meet for coffee and talk about all this.
   For several weeks however, Mr. Deluca has not responded to multiple messages and e-mails asking him to suggest a date and time  for us to meet. 
 It is pretty much axiomatic that when a reporter does not respond to communications from another reporter on a sensitive political matter - such as a protected mobster working for a powerful politician - it has little or nothing to do with being "too busy." It is journalistic covering up.
   I don't know if Keith Kelly and/or Frank Deluca are seeing political podiatrists. If so, is the diagnosis "cold feet?"
   A few years ago I had a quite detailed conversation about the Advance with Rev. Dr. Demetrius S. Carolina, Sr., Pastor of the largely African-American First Central Baptist Church in Stapleton, S.I, where I've attended many services. Dr. Carolina is an important civil rights leader. He is a political scientist and on the faculty at several colleges in New Jersey. While, he does not live in Staten Island, he knows its politics well. He is close to Debi Rose, the first African-American from S.I. to be elected to the NYC Council. His comment to me about the Advance was shorter than his eloquent sermons, including one which which, at my urging, he denounced Communist China for its "genocide" in Tibet. Dr. Carolina said "The Staten Island Advance is a controlled newspaper." I agree.
  There are those who say that the Advance is a "Republican" paper. That is less than fully accurate, although the paper saw fit to endorse an already indicted congressman, Michael Grimm, and in fact had protected Grimm until The New York Times exposed some of Grimm's campaign contribution games.
   The Advance is in the business of protecting the politically entrenched, regardless of Party. And if that means protecting a Democratic politician, in this case Senator Diane Savino, who is protecting her mobster Chief of Staff, so be it.
  Some years ago during a conversation with Staten Island African-American political activist Kelvin Alexander (who had experienced some journalistic abuse by the Advance) I had at a Sonny Carson-related protest in Brooklyn organized by then NYC Councilmember, and now New York State Senator, Charles Barron Mr. Alexander quite emphatically said to me, "The Staten Island Advance is the most racist paper in New York." Some of the African-Americans I've spoken tin Staten Island, including UP FRONT News readers, have told me that they will not read the Staten Island Advance. Given the recurrently corrupt reporting by Tom Wrobleski and Rachel Shapiro and the de facto censorship of letters to Editor-in-Chief Brian Laline and the apparent one-percenter mentality of publisher Caroline Diamond Harrison, I cannot disagree with Kelvin Alexander's assessment.
   On October 3 the lead story in on the front page of the Advance was by Wrobeski, in which he nearly fractures his arm by patting himself on the back with his criticism of a neighbor who left a note on his car which was parked in front of her home in Stapleton. The accompanying article is by an Advance shill named Claire Regan, lauding Wrobleski as a "voice for the voiceless." Gimme a break! As far as I am aware the lady who complained about Wrobleski's car apparently misunderstands the facts about on street parking.
  And Tom Wrobleski remains one of the absolute worst reporters in New York and perhaps America.
  Rabbi Gerald Sussman, of Temple Emanu-el in Port Richmond, S.I., a true humanitarian and also an important civil rights leader in S.I., and a regular reader of UP FRONT News, subscribes to the New York Times and, for some reason, to the Staten Island Advance - a paper whose "religion" reporter Maura Grunlund, once told me over the phone that she was "too busy" to check out a story on political anti-Semitism in S.I. The Rabbi's wife, the very outspoken Bonnie Sussman, is an officer in a New York City foundation called Kulanu ( that that is deeply involved with Jewish communities in Africa, Central and South America, and Asia. Indeed it was at a service some years ago at the Temple that I met the guest speaker, a representative of the estimated 500,000 Jews living in Zimbabwe.
 The Sussmans and others in the Jewish community in Staten Island understand that it is not a good idea to rely on the Staten Island Advance for honest political coverage. The Rabbi - who does not avoid political issues in his sermons - told me that, when it comes to politics the Advance reports "nothing" and perhaps considers a story about a cat caught in a tree as a major expose. Perhaps almost as big as a neighbor parking in front of Tom Wrobleski's house.
   There are reasons why the Staten Island Advance qualifies as The Staten Island Retreat.
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