Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Selena Gomez Opens Her Mouth

I attended the ceremony to open the multi media broadcast center that Ryan Seacrest donated to Children's Hospital. Selena Gomez, girlfriend Julianne Hough, and his parents accompanied him. Seacrest stayed after the ceremony a long time to sign autographs for a long time. Gomez sang a song only accompanied by a lone guitar played by a patient.

Inquirer's DeLuca Needs a Raise

I sat near the Inquirer's venerable music critic, Dan DeLuca, at the U2 concert. DeLuca, who writes the "In the Mix" blog is one of the nicest reporters that I know. It is no secret that the Inquirer is not doing well but maybe publisher Greg Osberg can spring for a new shirt for Dan.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

ABC's Checkbook Journalism -Casey Anthony $200,000, Obama $500

Howard Kurtz at the Daily Beast wrote today that ABC has ended the practice of paying for access. The network had taken much heat after it was revealed that ABC contributed $200,000 to Casey Anthony's legal defense.

As a freelance producer for ABC, I applaud the decision. The practice was preventing the dissemination of important news because the news budget was being allocated to sensationalism.

Casey Anthony was not the only questionable mom that they paid. Back in May, ABC offered $10,000 for the interview with the mom that claimed that she had injected her daughter with Botox to make her more competitive on the beauty pageant circuit. After she appeared on Good Morning America, she admitted that she had made up the whole story and used a false name. Good Morning America rightfully withheld payment.

The payment to the Botox mom caught my eye because I was negotiating with ABC the same week. I had gotten an exclusive from former President George Bush, which I sold to ABC for $500. Bush had revealed the details of his conversation with President Obama after the death of Osama Bin Laden.

More than 1800 outlets linked to the story that I gave ABC. The entire tenor of the debate about the death of Osama Bin Laden changed after the publication of my story. After reading Bush's comments, even conservatives on Fox stopped doubting that Bin Laden was dead and whether Obama had handled it correctly. Sites such as Politico noticed that Bush could not find the time to come to Ground Zero after the death of Bin Laden but had earned $15 million making speeches to well heeled executives.

I also had some exclusive comments from former Secretary of State Colin Powell about the Pakistani government's knowledge of Bin Laden's whereabouts and former Senator Dodd backing away from Dodd- Frank. ABC had the chutzpah to ask me to thrown them in for free even after my initial story had spread like wildfire.

It has always struck in my craw that a mother, who could have murdered her child, and a mother, who claimed to endanger her, were able to outbid me especially when I was selling such an important piece of history.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Couric, Stephanopolous, Rose should follow Prince Andrew's lead

Prince Andrew resigned today as British trade envoy, in part, due to his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein was forced to pleaded guilty to soliciting under age girls for prostitution. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail, most of it served in a work release program. He has allegedly settled lawsuits with 7 of the underage girls, but there are rumors of many more young girls.

Media superstars Katie Couric, George Stephanopolous and Charlie Rose should follow the Prince's footsteps for consorting with him, After Epstein got out of jail, he held a party for Pricne Andrew. Incredibly Katie Couric, George Stephanoplous, and Charlie Rose attended this event at the home of a registered sex offender. It seemed that they all wanted inside dope on the upcoming royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

While the British press made a big fuss about Prince Andrew's friendship with a sex offender, the American media has not said a word about three media superstars consorting with a pedophile. Couric reproached Congress for ignoring the problem of sex trafficking just two weeks later. I am, at a loss, at how she could do this with a straight face.

When contacted, sources close to Couric said, "She was invited to the party by publicist Peggy Siegal. She is invited by Peggy to many events. She was focused on the guest of honor, Prince Andrew, not the host. It is safe to say that she will not be attending events at Epstein's house in the future.

Couric, Stephanoplous, and Rose need to explain and apologize for their attendance at the event or they need to go. Prince Andrew should not be the only one to fall on his sword.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Perelman's Father Donates $225 Million

Billionaire Ronnie Perelman's father and mother, Raymond and Ruth Perelman, recently donated $225 million to Penn Medical School. Many people forget that Ronnie learned leveraged buyouts at his father's knee. The senior Perelman, now 93 years old, has bought and sold more than 50 companies to accumulate a $700 million fortune.

The historic passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by Congress earlier this year weighed heavily on the Perelman's decision to give a record-breaking $225 million donation to the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school.

“If you are going to add 32 million new people to the insurance rolls, there needs to be more doctors available to treat them. Otherwise, our quality of care will suffer similar to England’s and Canada’s,” said Perelman in a recent interview at his Bala Cynwood office that serves as the headquarters for his RGP Holdings.

The Perelmans’ contribution is earmarked to expand the training capacity of the medical school, the nation’s oldest.

“My gift will be used to increase the number of doctors that the medical school trains each year,” Perelman said. “I am hoping that the number of doctors annually trained will jump from approximately 175 now to 500.”

As befitting Perelman’s modest demeanor, he downplayed the donation. “Do not worry about me. I still have some money left over.”

Perelman is now working just as hard to give his fortune away. “I plan to give away all my money before I die. My sons Ronnie and Jeffrey do not need the money.” he said. “As they say, use it or lose it.”

Perelman, who recently bid for the Philadelphia Inquirer as a civic act, is thinking of donating money to support journalism. He compared newspapers to buggy whips. "Who is buying buggy whips anymore?"

Daily Show Co Creator: Media Derelict

I had a chance to chat with Lizz Winstead, the co creator of the "Daily Show," while she is touring the country in her car in support of Planned Parenthood.
Winstead, who recruited Steven Colbert to the Daily Show, has mixed emotions about the “Daily Show” being the primary source of news for many. “It shows that the news media is derelict,” she noted. “They are easily distracted by Casey Anthony or Anthony Weiner instead of pursuing subjects of substance.”
She urges “viewers to do their own investigation of the news.”

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Drag Queens Looking Good

Don't you hate it when drag queens look better than you? The drag queens from Bob and Barbara's show

Chillin before Jimmy Buffett

I love the way that grown men dress for a Jimmy Buffett concert.

Here's to Madonna!

Jon Bon Jovi said it at his concert, "The more things change, the more they stay the same. Before there was a Lady Gaga, there was Madonna." He could have added Katy Perry to the list.

My White House Press Credentials

Let's hope that the Secret Service does not read my blog. I thought that you would get a kick out of seeing my White House press credentials for the Obama fundraiser in Philadelphia. Whenever you cover the President, you are always given something which says that you are a member of the White House press corps.

At the AIPAC conference, they handed us a thick coaster like picture of the White House. It was snatched from us minutes after President Obama spoke. For his fundraiser in Philadelphia, they gave up a picture of the White House stamped Property of the US Government, but this time they personalized it with our names, the paper that we represent, and the date. I was able to keep it.

Probably because the United States values freedom of the press so highly, there was very little to do to apply for White House press credentials. When I applied, they do not ask for social security number. This probably means that they do not do a background check. They also do not ask for a letter from your editor confirming that you are covering the event. The Phillies even ask for that.

A security want was waved over me and dogs smelled my bag, so I guess they do not have to worry who you are.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Dodd Backs Away from Namesake Bill

At the Salt conference in Vegas, former Senator Dodd make it clear that he was not a fan of his own bill, Dodd-Frank. He joked,"I did not want the bill named after me. My children are going to have to change their name."

He tried to downplay his own role as chairman of the Senate Finance committee. "Congress not a meritocracy. I became chairman because I outlived everyone else," explained Dodd, who now heads the Motion Picture Association.

Dodd acknowledged the problems with the "too big to fail" provisions. He conceded, "I know that the too big to fail provisions in Dodd Frank are controversial. They are not meant to prevent another bank from being too big to fail. They are to prevent them from metastasizing so that they we can avoid another Lehman style bankruptcy."

Dodd halfheartedly tried to justify the bill. He said,"It was our best effort. The markets needed certainty. At first, people complained that the provisions were going to take too long to take effect. Now they are saying we are moving too quickly."

"We didn't want to strangle innovation and needed to balance it with good regulation and offer harmonization of rules." When we were working on the bill, we were faced with time constraints and high emotion," continued Dodd.

Dodd, a Democrat, laid off some of the blame on the Bush White House. He said, "During the financial crisis, I could not the attention of the Bush adminstration until October."

He also faulted the furor over executive pay and the new consumer bureau for preventing a discussion about other provisions in the bill. He recalled,"I met with the National Business Roundtable. I took staffers from the banking committe. I thought that we were going to talk about derivatives. Instead the whole hour and half discussion focused only on the consumer bureau and execuitve pay."

Dodd painted a picture of how dire things were during the crisis. "People need to remember that on the Sunday night of Bear Stearns, we were 10 minutes away from declaring a bank holiday on Monday," pleaded Dodd. "Two weeks later, all the leaders of Congress gathered in Speaker Pelosi's office. Ben Bernanke then told us,'If you do not act in days, the fiscal system is days will suffer from a complete meltdown. We authorized $700 million on the basis of a 2 1/2 page bill. There was no limitations on how they spent the money."

Dodd was disappointed that Republicans, who crossed the aisle and worked with Democrats to pass the bill, did not win re-election. "It is upsetting to me that Bennett and others were defeated because of their vote for the bill. They were good men," said Dodd.

For the time being, Dodd thinks we are stuck with the current bill. "The bill that attempts to repeal Dodd Frank will not pass," said Dodd. "If it does, it will be vetoed by the president. Let's be constructive and stop the political posturing that would wipe out the bill."

In closing, Dodd gave a hearty defense of Obama. He argued,"Obama faced the worse economic problems since Roosevelt."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

W Unplugged

Former President Geroge W. Bush participated in a Q&A moderated by CNBC's Melissa Lee at the SALT conference in Las Vegas. The conference is organized by Skybridge Capital. Anthony Scarmucci, the managing director of Skybridge, shot to fame when he asked President Obama at a town hall meeting, "When are you going to stop whacking Wall Street."

It was clear from the start of the session, that this was a different Bush than the one that led the country. He was jocular, relaxed, and sprinkling his talk with four letter words.

He introduced himself by saying "I am a simple retired guy - a Medicare guy." The reference to being a Medicare Guy seemed to Bush's way of interjecting himself into the Medicare debate started by Congressman Ryan.

When asked what he has been doing since leaving office, Bush answered, "Much to alot of people's surprise, I wrote a book, "Decision Points." Many thought I could not even read. The book tells what it is like to be in the eye of the storm. I am hoping that it will be a data point when the objective historians show up. It is too soon for my presidency to be judged. Short term history can not be objective. I did not write this book to be judgemental or tell the critics they are wrong and I am right."

He joked about the speech that he was giving, "I am committing white collar crime. I am giving speeches for money."

Since this was a financial conference, he was asked about TARP. Bush said, "I am a free market guy. It was a very hard decision for me to authorize Tarp. My buddies in Midland,Texas probably think that I was drinking the cool aid in Washington."

"When you run an organization, you need to bring in people that you trust and delegate. Hank Paulson knew the markets. I was a history major in college. I did not know what a TED (treasury/euro dollar) spread. He and Bernanke were urging me to commit Tarp unless I wanted to create a Depression. Growth in the economy would not be enough."

His recipe for economic growth is: tax policy, certainty in regulation, free trade, and a rational immigration policy, "It does not make sense for us to educate a child from India and then tell him he has to go back.

The nuclear treaty that he signed with India was about more than nuclear safety. "India has 350 million people and all of them are middle class. We want to be friends with them."

He decries the "isms" -isolationism and protectionism. "Americans often wonder why we should carry about a fight in Afghanistan. Isolationism leads to stagnation. We should not fear India and China."

America will triumph because "our entrepreneurial spirit is strong."

He talked about the difficulties in arranging meetings with the Hu Jingtao. When he met with Putin, it was two on two -the leaders and translators. When he met with the Jingtao, it was 7 on 7. "While I usually had more on his mind than table seating arrangements, one time I arranged for the Chinese leader to sit between Condi and me. Then I got the chance to ask him what keeps him up at night. Another terrorist attack keeps me up at night. Jingtao's worry was 25 million new jobs for his people. His answer gave us alot of information. He was worried about the unemployed people in his country because it could lead to government instability."

Being a former oil man, he could not resist saying a few words about oil. 'It is interesting that the price of oil has gone from $20 a barrel to $ 150 a barrel and there is no inflation. I suspect it has to do with conservation. After the price hikes from 1973-1979, conservation gained."

He also credited the low inflation to "the Chinese goods coming into the country. Americans have more goods available at lower prices."

"Some parts of the country like to demagogue oil. We need to find as much oil as we can. We have the technology to search for it in the deep waters. I know about the green stuff. We still need to extract gas from the shale."

"Our energy policy is backwards. When I became President, they told me that we had to subsidize the heat for the elderly in New England. I shook my head and asked what about the old people suffering in the heat in Texas."

"In Marcellus Shale, the critics are opposing the exploration of gas because of the polluting the water. We have been fracking in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana for years, it has not polluted the water."

The hardest decision he made was "to use taxpayer money to bail out Wall Street." "Paulson, who I think the world of and Bernanke, who had worked for me in the White House before I appointed him Fed chief, told me that I had to do the bailout or the country would face a Depression. If I had not done something and there was a depression, I would have been criticized because I did not do something to prevent a depression."

"People said TARP is a four letter word. Duh, I know that," said an obviously irritated Bush. He reminded, "We created instant liquidity."

Congress originally passed authorization for an asset auction. 'It was easier to get the vote the second time after the market had fallen $1.3 trillion."

When asked if Tarp was a bait and switch on the original plan, he said that Paulson said the auction would not work. Things were freezing so quickly, In midst of crisis can't take Gallup polls or care if people like me."

"Overregulation will dampen the economy."

While he said he did not want to criticize his successor because "he did not like when former presidents criticized him, he proceed to say, "I am worried about the Boeing case in South Carolina that I read about in the Wall Street Journal on my ipad (I have gone modern). It is a sign of the pendulum swinging too far. Capital flows not regulatory bodies should make decisions."

When asked how sure was he when he was making the decisions about the financial crisis, Bush said, "not very sure. We were not very sure. Paulson and the really smart people that he attracted to the treasury felt that it was the right thing to do."

Bush explained that the financial crisis was not the only thing that he had on his mind. "Presidents do not deal with a single issue at a time. The job is complex. At the same time, I was dealing with Hurricane Ike, Georgia invading Russia, homeland threats, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."

The result is what counts. Bush said, "No depression occurred. That is what matters."
The one mistake that he made during the financial meltdown had to do with the Lehman bankruptcy. "The administration should have more clearly explained why the Lehman bankruptcy went down. Why it was different than Bear Stearns, which had a buyer. Barclays left in the middle of buying Lehman. But this was not a presidential responsibility but the Treasury or Federal Reserve."

He reiterated, "TARP prevented the dominoes falling."

It was hard for him to leave a part owner of General Motors Citicorp,. "But I didn't curl up in the psychological fetal position. Sometimes, I did think why me, but not for long. Nothing more pathetic than self pity. You learn in life, sometimes things happen, you just have to deal."

"September 11 changed my presidency and redefined out lives. I am afraid it is becoming like Pearl Harbor day."

"The Bush doctrine is you go on the offense and deal with threats before they happen."
"On 9/11, my most important responsibility was to protect the homeland."

He talked about the capture of Khalid, the mastermind of 9/11 and "the killer of Danny Pearl." "By the way, Danny Pearl made a great statement of courage, 'My grandfather is a Jew, my father is a Jew, and I am a Jew."

According to Bush, "Khalid said, I will talk to you when I get my lawyer in New York. Al Queadawas already trained to resist the standard interrogation techniques. When I was presented with 13 alternatives, the first thing I asked was 'is it legal?" I was sworn in to uphold the laws of the land. I immediately took 2 techniques off the table, but left waterboarding. The Khalid information saved alot of lives. If we had not found the information, as president, I would have been responsible for the loss of lives." Bush was the most emotional during this section of the speech.

When he was told that Obama wanted to talk to him (about Osama's death), "I was eating souffle at Rice Restaurant with Laura and two buddies. I excused myself and went home to take the call. Obama simply said "Osama Bin Laden is dead. I was not overjoyed. I did not act out of hatred but to extract judgement."

After Obama described the mission in detail, Bush told him "Good call."
"The intelligence services deserve alot of credit. They built a mosaic of information, piece by piece."

"I met Seal Team 6 in Afghanistan. They are awesome, skilled, talented, and brave. I said, "I hope you have everything you need. One member said to me, "We need your permission to go into Pakistan and kick ass. One of the last things that I did as President was visit them in Norfolk Beach, Virginia,"

"The guy is dead. That is good. Osama's death is a great victory in the war on terror.He was held up as a leader. Long term solution is to promote a better ideology, which is freedom. Freedom is universal." People who do not look like us want freedom just as much. The relatives of Condileeza Rice over 100 years wanted freedom. It is only when you do not have hope in a society that you join a suicide bomber team."

"One of the most amazing movements of my presidency was when Koizimu, the Japanese Prime Minister, said after 9/11. We stand shoulder to should with the United States. My dad quit college to fight our enemy the Japanese. Now they are our ally. It is because Japan instituted Japan style democracy in 1945. 60 years later the enemy becomes a friend."

"Something will happen in the Middle East, but not in my lifetime. Democracy takes a long time. I only have 20 years left."

"I did not worry about bloodshed in the Far East -Vietnam, Korea. The democracy that took hold in South Korea stabilized the region but it took ? years. Truman was excoriated for his decision, but it was a courageous decision that benefitted all mankind. Democracy takes a long time."

"In the Middle East, young people gave a damn about what happened in their country. Laura and I want to help change the Middle East by helping women. It will be a long time before there are open free elections. The established parties will steamroll over the young activists. There are good things happening in Tunisia and Iraq. We need someone safer than the dictators that we put in place."

While not getting the intelligence briefings any more, he believes that "we are safer."

"I was mocked for my appearance, religion and the way I spoke. I was called Nazi, war criminal etc. I do not give a damn about polls except the one that counts election day. If you chase polls, then you are willing to forgo principals."

"It was much harder to hear the criticism as a son about the guy that I love. I was mean to reporters that wrote not nice things about my dad."

Laura helped him cope during the crisis. "Laura was awesome, unbelievable, and a source of comfort. When I came up from the Oval Office, she did not ask why I said dead or alive."

Reid's criticism rankled him."The Majority Leader of the Senate, the senior Senator from Nevada called me a liar. It will discourage people from going into public office. But I did not respond to my critics because it is not what presidents do. I did my best. You worry about the effect on the people you love - my daughters and wife. How do I feel? I am pissed off. But I did not let it get me down. I did not have time. I was too busy solving problems. By the end of the day, I wanted to go to bed."

"My favorite president, after my dad, was Abraham Lincoln. He was belittled while in office. The difference is that modern presidents have to face a 24 hour news cycle."

"In my book, I say that the media "contributes to the death spiral of decency." "Loudest screamers gets the attention. Nameless bloggers are not held accountable."

"I still is the best system in the world. I love our democracy."

"It is not a sacrifice to serve a cause that you care about."

"Eight years is plenty. Time to move on. It was a honor to serve."

Bush now gets to do neat things. " I was able to ride my mountain bike with serviceman that lost limbs in combat. Chris Seif was on the back of my bike."

"I do miss Air Force One. the deserts from the White House pastry chef, and being Commander in Chief. I miss saluting men and women who volunteer to serve our country."

"I do like being out the spotlight. I am not addicted to it. Fame does not mean much."
"I plan to influence policy not politics."

He made fun of people saying that he is shaping his legacy. "Iam not shaping my legacy. My legacy is shaped. The critics can pound sand. I will not be around."

"The office of the President is more important than one individual. I brought honor and dignity to the office."

"Now I want to live life and contribute to the improvement of mankind. I am not going to be a bloviator."
He will pursue a freedom agenda. He has established his museum and institute at Southern Methodist. "The archives include 25000 boxes and 190 million emails. I am the first email president. Clinton had some emails although not any from me."

"Part of the museum will include the archives of dissidents to inspire future dissidents. The work of dissidents will be memorialized forever. "The Dalia Lama came to visit last week and gave me the Tibetan constitution with his handwritten notes."


Monday, July 4, 2011

Comcast Not Adding Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera English (AJE) launched a campaign to be added to cable lineups in the United States. The pressure from the Jewish community has apparently scared off Comcast.

A veteran Israel activist told me that senior management at Comcast promised him that Al Jazeera would never be added to the cable line up except where it all is. Comcast viewers in Washington DC can see AJE.

When I asked Al Jazeera's Molly Conroy's for the station's response, she said, "How can Comcast decide they will never put a 4 year old station on the air?

Their official statement came from Al Anstey, head of AJE-
"We know there is significant demand for access to Al Jazeera English in the US. Over the last weeks, we have received more than 20,000 emails from Comcast subscribers across the country asking for access to the channel. Our conversations with Comcast are ongoing and we are hopeful we will reach an agreement to launch in the near future."

Comcast spokesman John Demming, who needs to chill, hyperventilated in his denial that any decision about adding AJE has been made.

My answer to him was that I stand by my reporting.

Obama's Jewish Problem

Ever since Obama's May speech on the Mid East that mentioned pre 1967 borders as a starting point, Obama has been perceived as having a problem with the Jews. Media outlets such as Politico are churning out stories with dire headlines - "The Jews are abandoning Obama."

Republicans have a big incentive to win over Jewish voters. Ari Fleisher pointed out at the AIPAC conference in May, "If Republicans are successful at attracting 30% of the Jewish vote during a presidential election, they win the election."

All of the Philadelphia Democratic Jewish establishment were chairmen of the Obama fundraiser in Philadelphia on June 30 at Comcast's Executive Vice President David L. Cohen's Mt Airy home. Beside Cohen, the chairman included lawyers Daniel Berger, Alan Kessler, Ken Jarin and Mark Alderman. Jewish guests included Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, Steve Cozen, and developer Israel Roizman, an Israeli who rode a tank during the 6 day war in 1967.

Kessler said, "We raised a little less than $2.5 million. (According to DNC sources, the goal was $3 million.) This was a good number considering where we are in the campaign cycle and the state of the economy. People are more focused on getting to the shore and how they are going to pay for their gas to get there than they are on the next election."

The issue of Israel came up often during the fundraising. Kessler said, "With Jewish voters who care about Israel, it took more to convince them to donate. 15-20% did not donate because of the President's comments about the pre 1967 borders."

He then walked me back from those estimates. Fundraisers often find that people who can no longer afford to give will not admit it and trot out a political reason for their lack of giving. Having been a fundraiser and a target for donations myself, I would say that this probably means that we should cut Kessler's estimate in half -7.5% -10% did not give because of the President's Mideast speech. This is still a large, significant number.

Kessler also pointed out that it will be easier to fundraise when Obama is running against someone in particular.

Steve Cozen, an ardent supporter of Israel, directly asked the President at the fundraiser about his support of Israel. He came away convinced that the President has unwavering support for Israel and its security. Cozen said, "In practically terms, this President is providing more financial and logistical support to Israel than any other administration. The Iron Dome has prevented many attacks."

Cozen believes that "some of the President's reasons for stating that the pre 1967 borders should be a starting point of the negotiations is the upcoming UN vote about a Palestinian state in September." Cozen explained, "The President does not want the United States to be the lone veto vote of the resolution. With his comments about the 1967 borders, the President hopes that he will be able to convince others to join us in that veto."

My friend, Richard Rothwharf, points out the problem with analyzing the Jewish community. "We are the only minority group that votes against our interests meaning Israel."

Berger agrees that Jewish concerns are not monolithic. He commented, "The Republicans are always trying to peel off the Jewish Democrats. Of course, Israel is an issue. But when Jews consider the commandment Tikkun Olam, (fixing the world), they have no choice but to vote Democratic."

I attended the lower minimum fundraiser ($100-$2500) at the Bellevue Hyatt earlier in the day. With the exception of Obama's base in the African American community, the rest of his base did not come out. With the $100 ticket price for younger voters (Gen 44), it was surprising that the DNC were not able to attract more of them.

Looking at a list of chairmen for Romney's fundraiser the same day, I did not see any Jewish defections from the Democratic party. The Jewish chairman included Charles Kopp, Jeffrey Orleans, Mitch Morgan, and Ira Lubert. As far back as I can remember, these 4 have always been Republicans.

Ben Smith from Politico's article on Obama may be losing the Jews, which seemed to indicate a huge problem in the Jewish community with Obama, has some problems. I specifically asked Daniel Berger about his comments in the article. Berger, who is no fan of Politico, swears he said nothing negative about fundraising for the Obama dinner to Smith. Then how was Smith able to get this particular quote?

Ben Smith stands behind his reporting. When contacted, he said, "You are, to my eye, printing an innuendo. I'll give him a call tomorrow and can share my notes if he wants. The quote is totally accurate. He said a ton of things I didn't include, as does everyone one interviews." Smith never answered my email if he had checked with Berger.

Betsy Sheerr, who works tirelessly to get women elected to public office, was a major supporter of Hilary Clinton in the 2008 election. She never really got behind Obama so her quote on this subject is meaningless.

I hope that this quells some of the hysteria about Obama's Jewish problem.

Rape Victims are Biggest Loser in DSK case

While the media is reporting ad nauseum on the Dominique Strauss Kahn (DSK) case, they are neglecting to report on the future impact of this case. After the media has heaped criticism on Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr, prosecutors will be reluctant to bring rape cases. Rape victims will be reluctant to bring cases because they do not want to see their reputations trashed.

I do not know the woman but I can explain some of her behavior. I have dealt with law enforcement. Even when they are on side, they give you the creeps. I can understand that she freaked out at their relentless scrutiny. No one expects when they report a rape that their life will be under a microscope.

Prosecutors will only bring cases where there is a perfect victim. Unfortunately for most of use, life is a little messy. Future rape victims will hesitate to report if they realize by reporting a rape they are submitting to a proctologist's exam by law enforcement authorities. In a sense, it is a second rape, possibly more painful than the first.

The victim apparently changed her story about what she did after the attack. One of the current problems with our current prosecutions of rape is that the public and therefore juries believe that the only way that a rape happened is if it is reported immediately not five minutes later. Prosecutors do not want to take cases where the rape victim, stunned and not thinking straight, went back to work instead of immediately reporting the rape. This victim feared losing her job so she went on to clean the room.

This does not seem strange to me. As I can tell you from personal experience, the first instinct of a rape victim is to pretend that the rape did not occur. It takes time to gather your wits and come forward to report the rape.

The most damning evidence against the victim was the phone call in an obscure African dialect to a boyfriend in an Arizona prison. As someone who knows a second language, I can tell you that slang expressions are often misinterpreted. I would want more assurance that the translation is correct.

The press is also making much of the fact that her boyfriend is in an Arizona prison for alleging dealing 400 pounds of marijuana. Poor vulnerable women do not usually have a plethora of boyfriends that won the Nobel Prize to choose from. The only people who should throw stones at her for this are people that have never fallen in love with the wrong person or love has not made them do crazy things.I expect that will leave no stone throwers.

Several immigration lawyers that work at HIAS have told me that the first instinct of most applicants for asylum is to embellish their experiences because no one likes to think what they actually experienced is horrible enough to qualify for asylum.

This case should be used to reexamine the standards by which we judge rape victims. If we do not adjust to reflect the life and morals of the twenty first century, predators will have free reign.