It's very doubtful that the name "Vanessa Niekamp" rings a bell with very many readers here. That's because the media elites like some whistleblowers, and not others.

In other circumstances, someone like Ms. Niekamp would be a heroine. In the current circumstances, she's barely a footnote. In my opinion, it's because she was involved in exposing shenanigans conducted on behalf of the then-presidential candidate the media loves and adores that threatened to derail his march to victory.

If it weren't for Vanessa Niekamp, the public might not have learned of the duplicitous and likely extra-legal dives into State of Ohio databases by state employees determined to dig up dirt on Joe the Plumber. A subsequent investigation by the Ohio Inspector General (OIG; PDF is accessible at the first item at this link) determined that Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director Helen Jones-Kelley and state employees at other agencies had engaged in "improper" records checks "without any legitimate business purpose."

WBNS-TV in Columbus followed up with Niekamp after the OIG released its report:

On Thursday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, New York Times columnist Frank Rich charged that it looks "morally bad" and "idiotic" that Republicans have not elected a black candidate to federal office in six years. The Republican party also seemed to remind Rich of South Africa’s racist Apartheid policy of the past: "The fact is, this isn`t South Africa 25 years ago, this is a major political party that is essentially all white. And the hierarchy of it is definitely white. There hasn`t been a new black Republican elected to federal office, I think, in six years.

Well, last week we discovered that saying Obama is a socialist is racist code. For quite a while we've been told that saying his middle name is racist. Saying he pals around with terrorists is racist. Not voting for him is racist. Wanna know what else is racist? Dressing as Obama for Halloween.... but only if you're a white kid. So says the Columbus Dispatch (Ohio), anyway.

This'll break the hearts of little Obamatons and their sycophantic parents all across the nation for this Halloween season, sadly enough. But, if you don't want to be considered a low-down, four-flushing racist, you little Obamites better not do it. Just say nO, kids. The Dispatch's Kathy Lynn Gray has saved the day, though. She's warned us ahead of time that Dressing like The One is racist as all get out.

On Thursday’s The O’Reilly Factor, FNC’s Megyn Kelly filled in viewers on the current voter fraud controversy in Ohio involving ACORN, and Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner’s refusal to comply with a federal court ruling in spite of clear evidence of fraudulent voter registrations. Kelly: "She's required by federal law to have her state database linked up to the DMV, and to the Social Security Administration, so that she's got two ways of checking people's registration to make sure they're legit. ... And she's required to keep a list of the discrepancies.

It may not have been "huge" when CNBC's Joe Kernen said it but the dude has been on practically every news station by now.

Kernen told chief Washington correspondent John Harwood that the "Joe the plumber" story "would be huge" and even a "bombshell," in any other election year. Kernen said voters "don't care" because they are buying into Sen. Obama's assertion that the Bush tax policies have led to the financial crisis.

"Obviously not everyone out there knows how to connect the dots between the [financial crisis] and tax policy. For some reason the Bush tax policies are being cited by Obama as the reason that we're in this position right now, again and again and again," said "Squawk Box" co-host Kernen Oct. 16.

But Kernen didn't stop there:

This is a favorite meme of the left. In fact, apart from Ace's parody of the same, I've never seen a "lifelong Democrat" claim to be, for the first time ever (!) voting Republican in an election. Probably because it's lame and fools no one.

It certainly won't keep them from trying. Over and over and over again.

The latest example is  "lifelong Republican," Tony Dean. Courtesy the Buckeye Firearms Association,

A "lifelong Republican" that is "switching parties to head a Sportsmen for Obama group"? This is an interesting claim, given that Dean was mentioned by the Sioux Falls Argus Leader in 2003 as a possible Democratic candidate for Congress who endorsed Democrat Senator Tim Johnson for reelection just a year earlier.

Sometimes the qualities that make a strong candidate in one pool make them a weak candidate in another pool.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would hurt Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain as a running mate because of "vulnerability" stemming from his successful businesses and support for free trade, according to a reporter for The Washington Post.

"On the whole subject of trade deals and free trade agreements is that a vulnerability, a potential vulnerability on the side of Mitt Romney?" Andrea Mitchell asked Post reporter Chris Cillizza on the August 28 broadcast of "MSNBC Live".

"It absolutely is," said Cillizza, who writes "The Fix" blog at "And that's a calculation I think the McCain campaign has to make. Yes, Mitt Romney has great business bona fides. Built a business, he used that line many times in the primary: ‘I know why jobs come and I know why they go.'"

"The other side of that, however, is he worked for a company called Bingham Capital that occasionally engaged in leverage buyouts, that means shipping jobs overseas. That's not the kind of thing that's going to go over well in these rust belt states where McCain needs to perform well, most notably Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania," Cillizza said.

Here's another armed-citizen story that the liberal media tends to ignore from our friends at the Cam & Company show on The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that deli operator Anis Cherradi fended off two young robbers with a gun he keeps under the counter.

Cherradi was alone in his Beech Avenue store at 7:42 p.m. Tuesday when two robbers walked in. They appeared to be 18-22 years old. He said he'd never seen them before.

One pointed a revolver at him, walked around the counter and demanded money. The gunman tried to force the married father of three small children into a headlock, shoving the gun against his head. "Get down!" the robber ordered.

As Cherradi went to the floor, he said he reached for a gun he keeps under the counter, a loaded 9mm Smith & Wesson.

ClevelandFBIsearch072808.jpgIf there is a previous record for "Highest Level of Saturation Press Coverage with No Political Party Affiliation Named" (HT to e-mailer Jason), the Cleveland press corps almost broke it.

In looking over three publications' stories about today's massive and far-ranging police actions in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, Ohio, I found only one reference to the Democratic Party affiliation of those involved. Cleveland's sole daily newspaper put up a half-dozen related blog entries and failed to name anyone's party in any of them.

First, though, from the always-reliable (in shielding troubled Dems' party affiliations) Associated Press, writer Joe Milicia named no party in eight paragraphs:

Press coverage of Barack Obama's Social Security proposal in Columbus, Ohio last week made many of the usual mistakes any time there's a story about the government's "third rail" program. But in this case it missed what would be a historic de-linkage of payments made into the system from benefits paid out.

First, here are the key paragraphs from the Cincinnati Enquirer's coverage of Obama's speech (bolds are mine):

Sen. Barack Obama promised senior citizens Friday that as president, he would protect Social Security benefits and provide universal health care.

To extend the life of Social Security, Obama proposed applying a payroll tax to annual incomes above $250,000, affecting the wealthiest 3 percent of Americans. The Democrat also proposed eliminating income tax for any retiree making less than $50,000.

..... Obama said it is unfair for middle-class earners to pay the Social Security tax "on every dime they make," while millionaires and billionaires pay it on only "a very small percentage of their income."

Also see the compare-and-contrast example in the final paragraph.

A city councilman in Lorain, Ohio, a city of about 75,000 west of Cleveland, was arrested during a prostitution sting on Friday.

Of the six stories I found covering the event (the Google News search is for May 22-26), only one referred to the political party of councilman Dennis Flores, who is a Democrat (scroll down to "Second Ward Council;" HT to an e-mailer).

The Cleveland Plain Dealer set the tone for ignoring Flores's party ID, with a Saturday Breaking Metro Blog entry and Sunday story, which presumably made the print edition. Each story notes that Flores "serves as captain of his block watch."

While two others who gave the story attention without providing a party identification for Flores could perhaps be excused because they only gave it five or six paragraphs (specifically, Cleveland's WEWS and, writer Scott Allyn at the Morning Journal, whose main office is in Lorain, clearly had to go out of his way to avoid naming Flores's party. In the process, he also failed to identify the party affiliation of the mayor and two other city council members:

Why does it seem that, when a Democratic politician's career is on the line, Old Media reporters find a way to make it look like it's only Republicans who want to push him or her out the door?

Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann, who for a while was seen as the Buckeye State's version of New York's now-disgraced former governor Eliot Spitzer, is fighting for his political life.

In a Friday press conference statement (a JPG transcript of statement, opening in a separate window, is here), Dann admitted to an extramarital affair with an unidentified employee and announced that he was discharging three of his closest advisers over formal complaints of sexual harassment. Storm clouds potentially loom over the fallout from this, plus other events and incidents too numerous to detail here, occurring on Dann's watch.

Dann declared Friday that he has no plans to resign.

By mid-Saturday, two of Ohio's major newspapers, and many of its smaller ones, had issued editorial calls for Dann's resignation. It was clear that many others would follow on Sunday -- and they did. Ohio's left-leaning blogs are also mostly in the Dann-must-go camp.

Yet here's how the Associated Press's John McCarthy played the Dann story in his Saturday mid-afternoon report: