Stephen Gutowski

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By now most people have heard that Barack Obama's nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Daschle, has backed out due to some major tax problems. Many have probably even heard that the bulk of his problems involve his affinity for free limo service, not to mention the inevitable limousine liberal jokes that followed. However, most have no idea exactly who was paying for Daschle's free rides.

That company is a media investment firm named InterMedia Partners. They own or have controlling stakes in a variety of media platforms from outdoor magazines to Spanish language television to Christian publishing companies. On top of providing him with the now troublesome transportation they also paid Daschle a million dollar annual salary for his advice. Here is how Fox News described Daschle and InterMedia's car troubles:

Senator Daschle is a limited partner in InterMedia Partners of Englewood, CO and Chairman of its Executive Advisory Board. Senator Daschle also is an independent consultant to InterMedia Advisors, LLP of New York City. He entered into a business relationship with InterMedia in February, 2005. Beginning in April, 2005, the senator was provided the use of a car and driver by Mr. Leo Hindery, the Managing Partner of InterMedia. In addition to being business partners, Mr. Hindery and Senator Daschle have been personal friends for many years. Charges for the car and the services of the driver were billed to InterMedia. InterMedia did not issue Senator Daschle a Form 1099 for the value of the car service and Senator Daschle did not report the value of the car service as income on his original tax returns for 2005, 2006 and 2007.

I was dismayed and angry to learn recently that the Philadelphia Inquirer is seeking a $10 million government bailout from my home state of Pennsylvania. My own discontent and the discontent of NB commenters over the possible bailout was made clear in my earlier NewsBusters post on the subject but now its apparent that we are not alone. Chris Freind of the Philadelphia Bulletin, the reporter who interviewed Democrat Governor Ed Rendell's press secretary about the Inquirer bailout, has chronicled the reaction to the news.

Nobody interviewed, including the Media Research Center's own Brent Bozell, had anything nice to say about Rendell's plan to give money to the Inquirer:

We all wondered if it would happen. NB readers said it would very soon. NB author Tom Blumer even predicted this would be the year for it. Now the largest newspaper in Philadelphia is requesting a bailout.

In a perfectly ironic fashion it took a lawsuit for the public to learn that the Philadelphia Inquirer is seeking $10 million dollars from the state of Pennsylvania. The bailout request was revealed after the school filed suit against the paper for a series of articles questioning the school’s use of government funds.

In a move strikingly similar to Canada's inquisition of Mark Steyn a Dutch court has ordered that Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders be prosecuted for expressing his belief that there is a clear connection between Islam and violence. Wilders is the creator of a movie titled "Fitna" which seeks to "stop Islamisation" and "defend our freedom". He has also equated the Koran to Hitler's infamous Mein Kompf. Apparently those are both criminal acts in the Netherlands nowadays.

Here's how the BBC described the court's order:

The three judges said that they had weighed Mr Wilders's "one-sided generalisations" against his right to free speech, and ruled that he had gone beyond the normal leeway granted to politicians.

In a case of what can easily be called corporate flag spamming NBC has gotten YouTube to censor the popular Olbermann Watch channel.

In a story published by the New York Times about the New York Times it was revealed that they will start accepting display ads on their front page (h/t Hot Air). The NYT broke the news in an odd third person kind of way:

In its latest concession to the worst revenue slide since the Depression, The New York Times has begun selling display advertising on its front page, a step that has become increasingly common across the newspaper industry.

But the Times is quick to point out that they're not the only ones desperate for cash and selling front page ads:

Most major American papers sell front-page display ads, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and The Los Angeles Times, but some others, including The Washington Post, do not.

Yet, even they seem less than confident that this move is will be successful:

Associated Press writer Will Weissert apparently thought that the Communist government in Cuba wasn't doing a good enough job of white washing and glorifying Fidel Castro's legacy and decided to try his hand at it. Thus he wrote a little piece describing the humble hut that Castro used as a head quarters during his Communist rebellion:

Before he was Cuba's unchallenged "Maximum Leader," Fidel Castro was a guerrilla warrior who slept in a hut made of sticks and palm leafs, with a hole-in-the-ground outhouse at the bottom of a hill.

The Associated Press is reporting that the lobbyist the New York Times insinuated had an affair with John McCain (here is some background information on the NYT piece) has filed suit against the paper to the tune of $27 million:

A Washington lobbyist sued The New York Times for $27 million Tuesday over an article that she says gave the false impression she had an affair with Sen. John McCain in 1999. 

Vicki L. Iseman filed the defamation suit in U.S. District Court in Richmond. It also names as defendants the Times' executive editor, its Washington bureau chief and four reporters.

There has been a wealth of media coverage regarding liberal outrage over Obama picking Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration. However, the MSM has predictably ignored the other side of the story. Many Pro-life activists are upset with Rick Warren for accepting Obama's invitation.

David Brody of CBN News reports on this:

Liberals and gay activists aren’t happy with Barack Obama for choosing pro-life and prop 8 supporting pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at Obama’s inaugural. But pro-life readers seem to be equally upset at Rick warren for agreeing to it.

In an article posted on's Political Ticker associate producer Martina Stewart touted the top ten quote list from this year's edition of "Yale Book of Quotations". The only problem is the list is nothing more than one liberal editor's opinion on which quotes best humiliate Republicans.

Here is an excerpt:

With less than three weeks left in the year, the Yale Book of Quotations is out with its list of the 10 quotes for 2008, and statements some politicians probably wish they could take back dominate this year's list.

This year had "a particularly important and dramatic election," said Fred Shapiro, editor of the Yale Book of Quotations, about the fact that so many political quotations appeared on the 2008 list. "An election that had a cast of characters among the candidates," Shapiro added

The list starts out with Tina Fey's famous belittling parody of Governor Sarah Palin, "I can see Russia from my house". That liberal favorite is quickly followed by another, the overblown Palin quote in regards to which newspapers she reads. And the top three is rounded out with former McCain economic advisor's comment that "we have sort of become a nation of whiners".

But "not to be outdone", as Stewart puts it, McCain actually appears twice on the list.

In an article heroically chronicling the efforts of 200 union workers "occupying" their old window and door factory the Associated Press made sure to emphasize how the squatters have given the nation's grim economy a "rallying point."

Here is how they introduced the story (emphasis added):

The nation's grim economy now has a rallying point: Employees at a window-and-door factory that went out of business have taken over the building in a siege that has come to symbolize the woes of the ordinary worker.