Sunday, February 19, 2012

RIP : Philadelphia Inquirer

The Philadelphia Inquirer has ceased to be a newspaper reporting on its community. The Rendellization of the paper has started.

I wrote a previous blog post that Rendell did not think he would end up buying with the Inquirer. I fortuitously bumped in Rendell on the street on Saturday. After he stopped talking on the phone to address me, I asked, "Will the deal actually happen?" He said, "I do not think we will be buying. I could not ask any more questions without running down the street after him or follow him into Schlessinger's Deli.

I did not say that he was drop out of the bidding process. Raymond Perelman knew that he was going to lose the bid two years ago but suffered through the entire lengthy auction process.

If the Inquirer's reporting on even this silly subject is so in the tank for Rendell, I can just imagine what will happen when there is a serious subject.

John Martin, in an email to me, confirmed the accuracy of my quote.
No we never said he didn't say it. We say he said he didnt mean it. No one is challenging what you reported that he said. 


Yet, the Inquirer story reads:
He said he did not say that to Goldman because he did not want to get bogged down in a long conversation on the street. Plus, he did not realize who she was or that she would publish his remarks.


John Martin, an Inquirer reporter since 2010, made no attempt to balance the story. He acted as Rendell's public relations counselor while writing the rebuttal to my piece. He has seen me in action at press conferences and knows that it is unlikely that I would not be noticed. I an a stocky middle aged lady, who never wears a suit but wears flowers and feathers in her hair. My voice is high and squeaky. This is not the typical demeanor of most reporters.

In addition, I typically ask the questions that most people are thinking but to politically correct to ask. I do not cover one beat but many, Therefore, I am not afraid of losing access to one person.

When I was at the Governor Corbett press conference with John Martin, I asked Corbett doesn't your new budget shaft Philadelphia? Politicians tend to remember people who ask intemperate questions if only to avoid them in the future. BTW, my question was the lead in Martin's article the next day.

Rendell is not denying that I quoted him accurately.. He is saying that he did not know who I was or that I would print it. I offered John Martin proof that the governor knew I was a reporter but he refused to print it Fox 29 made an attempt to journalistically balance the story by writing that I have known him for 30 years and mentioned the interviews with him I had written.

When I first came back to Philadelphia after 10 years, Rendell recognized me but could not place me until I told him that I had been living in Israel for 10 years and had retired from being a stockbroker to become a journalist.  Rendell granted me an exit interview as governor. After I identified myself as a reporter at a different time, he talked to me about taking over the possibility of his taking over the job as White House Chief of Staff at the opening of the Visitor's Center for twenty minutes. He discussed Dan Onroato' chances for Governor at Henry David's Halloween party after I identified myself as a reporter. He refuted a column written by  prominent Daily News columnist Sty Bykofsky on the steps of the Part Hyatt even though he was late for his next appointment, and called me when I wrote something about his ex-wife. He invited me to his Governor's Farewell Beach Boys at the Electric Factory. 

He complimented me on how nice I looked at the gala for the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. Anyone who knows Ed knows that he does not go out of his way to flatter overweight middle aged brunettes unless they are donors or reporters.

Politicians meet lots of people, but I have known Rendell for over 30 years. I used to exercise with him on the stair climbers at the Sporting Club. He knew me enough to pull up my shirt and say I had a good body for a working girl. ( I was a stockbroker not prostitute), He felt comfortable enough with me to pull the zipper down on my bathing suit at the Lombard Swim Club,

Some questioned why Rendell talked to me, In 40 years of public office, I don't Rendell has ever issued a no comment. He always says something. My style for on the fly reporting is to get the answer to the main questions and then proceed with the details if I can. In this case, I could not because he started walking away.

Rendell's nickname is "Fast Eddie". He is quick. It was reasonable for me to assume that he know I was a reporter after identifying myself as one several times.

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