Entries in Al Doblin (2)


Selling out: Media's decline from Al Doblin to Jonathan Salant

New Jersey's establishment media -- its editors and reporters -- are in a freefall and have lost their sense of decency.  Job security is such that they have all become free agents, writing articles to please prospective employers. 

So we have Star-Ledger Editor Tom Moran performing a masochistic panegyric to please Democrat machine boss George Norcross.  Over at the Bergen Record, that newspaper's editor was turning out pro-Democrat columns non-stop while engaging in backdoor negotiations with Senate President Steve Sweeney's office.  A few years ago, boss Norcross tried to buy the Philadelphia Inquirer, now his machine is getting all the talent on the cheap.

The NJGOP's answer to this was predictably self-defeating.  It's idea of a GOP counterbalance to the growing Democrat hegemony over media was to bring back Bridgegate mastermind David "Wally Edge" Wildstein, possibly the only person more hated in New Jersey than his old boss, Chris Christie.  To fund Wildstein's operation they found former Jamestown alumnus Ken Kurson.  It was Kurson who ran such memorable efforts as incumbent Marcia Karrow's loss to Mike Doherty in 2009 and incumbent Jeff Parrott's loss to Parker Space in 2010.  But losing has never been a bar to advancement in the NJGOP.  In fact, it generally is an asset.

Yep, Kurson has been accused of sexual harassment by writer and cancer-survivor Deborah Copaken.  This comes at a time when Kurson's old firm is trying to convince the women of New Jersey that the NJGOP's choice for U.S. Senate -- Bob Hugin -- is a new kind of man, when it comes to women (whatever that is supposed to mean).  You can read about what Kurson gets up to here:  


It was Wildstein who outted Al Doblin as the ethical-free-zone he is.  Doblin plainly hated the kind of attention he's bestowed on others his entire working life.  In a series of whines, he complained to Wildstein: 

“I am the editorial page editor.  If someone makes me an offer, I have the right to consider it,” Doblin explained.

Doblin called a request for information regarding his employment search “truly horrific.”

“This is unfair.  Truly unfair,” he said. 

But Doblin is not the worst of the bunch.  That "honor" must surely go to Jonathan "short-ass" Salant, a reporter worthy of his own Duranty Prize for consistent blindness to all but the party-line.  In case you've forgotten Walter "the hand" Duranty.  He's the assbandit who denied that Stalin was starving to death millions of human beings in the Ukraine and elsewhere in what was once called the "Soviet Union".  He even won a Pulitzer Prize for it. 

Duranty wrote for the New York Times, which later was forced to admit that his articles denying the famine constituted "some of the worst reporting to appear in this newspaper."  There have been calls to revoke his Pulitzer, but you know how tough it is to get elitist filth to admit they made a mistake.  So Duranty's award -- for 1930's era Fake News -- still stands.  And so much for journalism.

Salant's latest dry-humping of the news came a few weeks back, when he attempted to write an update of the various congressional races in New Jersey.  

He started off by being childishly giddy about Republican Leonard Lance's district having gone for Hillary Clinton in 2016, while failing to mention that Democrat Josh Gottheimer's had done the same for Trump that year. 

Salant never fails to describe a Republican donor negatively, offering bits of color, always dark.  On the other hand, old short-ass describes such creatures as George Soros in this light:  "Malinowski (received a donation of) $5,400 from investor George Soros, a major Democratic donor."

Investor?  A major Democratic donor??  How about convicted financial scammer who liberal economists have criticized for his callous manipulations of currency?  

Perhaps Salant is displaying his talents for the consideration of one of the many Soros media organs?  That seems to be the way these days. 

In writing about the fifth district, Jonathan Salant somehow missed the fact that a third Republican, Jason Sarnosky, had dropped out of the race weeks before.  He wrote about him as if he were still campaigning.  

He went on to cover the race in southern New Jersey's first district.  And once again, Salant behaved like he was on a job interview.  He never once mentioned the machine that bears the Congressman's name and wrote as if it didn't exist. 

Not to place Donald Norcross in the context of the machine of which he is a part is misleading and unethical.  It promotes bad government by purposefully covering up the truth and it gives aid and comfort to one of the most authoritarian political machines in America.  Don't want to see it, Jonathan?  Well just try being an ordinary citizen when the machine decides it wants to use eminent domain to take your property in order to give it to one of their corporate friends.  That's what you are shilling for. 

The southern region of New Jersey is an example of a dominant-party system or one-party dominant system of government.  According to South African political scientist Raymond Suttner, such a system occurs when there is "a category of parties/political organizations that have successively won election victories and whose future defeat cannot be envisaged or is unlikely for the foreseeable future".  It is a de facto one-party system, often devolving into a de jure one-party system, a semi-democracy. Usually, the dominant party has a tendency towards "suppressing freedom of expression and manipulating the press in favor of the ruling party." 

Well, short-ass, that is who you are shilling for.  That is who you are now.  All those romantic post-Watergate notions about doing right... well you're over that, right?  Expensive restaurants and sexy vacations got the better of you, didn't they?



"Everything up to Heroin..."

Politicians get up to all kinds of things -- before, during, and even after holding office.  One only need look at the sordid love life of a former Senate President and Governor -- or indeed, of the fellow who followed him.  Sex, drugs, and rock & roll ain't just for the kids.


Locally, there is a town that put its tail on the line, when its mayor filed a false statement against someone.  Yep, he signed it, had it sworn to -- real legal and everything.  Turned out not to be true.  A felony in New Jersey.  And a civil case against his town.  And for the County politician who put him up to it.  Maybe for the County too.  Ouch.


Then there's the politician who was spreading defamatory rumors about someone, nearly got a poor shopkeeper sued when he posted what she said on Facebook.  That's still out there.  And let's not forget the blog those bozos put together that claimed criminal activity had gone on and a raid had been conducted.  All lies, but actionable both criminally and civilly for at least the next couple years.


When dealing with politicians, you have to roll as they roll, do unto them as they do unto you.  Let them set the rules, because they have the power and the property and the money.  What does Mr. or Ms. Average have?  Nothing to lose.


On this Labor Day weekend, we thought you might want to read this piece that appeared over on Jersey Conservative.


Gannett's Al Doblin fails the test of true liberalism

Writing in today's Bergen Record, Editor Al Doblin presumes to reach into a man's soul -- to determine whether he be good or evil. 


The man is a working-class farmer from rural northwest New Jersey.  It is a station-in-life that Mr. Doblin knows very little about.  Mr. Doblin is a confirmed one-percenter, a recognized member of the establishment and of the economic elite.  Residing in a kind of bubble world.


What a great opportunity then, this could have been, for Mr. Doblin to get out a little -- to stretch his legs, so to say, and make his way to a place, amongst people, he knows little about. 


Mr. Doblin's opinion piece concerned the logo of a rock band.  No, it wasn't the Nazi double-lightning bolts in the "KISS" logo.  The logo he objected to belongs to Hank Williams Jr. and his band.  It consists of the old rebel flag with Mr. Williams' face on it and lyrics from one of his songs.  Now those lyrics are not edgy in the way that most rap is, but you could certainly make the argument that they are edgy.


Mr. Doblin's objections appear to be confined to the Hank Williams Jr. logo.  Whether the logo is printed on a piece of cloth or paper or etched in metal shouldn't affect Mr. Doblin's emotions. 


Mr. Doblin objects to the farmer, and the farmer's wife, standing in front of the logo at a Hank Williams Jr. concert.  At a tailgate party.  Then they shared a photograph of it on Facebook.  And added a funny line. 


Yes, we're serious.  This was the subject of a lengthy editorial by Al Doblin.


Now Mr. Doblin would argue that we're leaving out something very important here:  The farmer was elected by his community to serve in the Legislature.  But that is a matter of identity, isn't it?   Because most people elected to the Legislature soon identify with that elite institution and with the establishment it represents.  That's why, in America, most people feel left out by the political process. 


The problem with the farmer is this:  He isn't behaving "as he should" according to the rigid "code" set by the establishment and economic elites.  He still identifies as "a farmer" and continues to behave that way.


It is not enough that just 3 percent of the legislators in America are blue-collar -- that's 3 percent to represent the 60 percent of Americans who are working class -- but economic elites like Al Doblin want to be able to set the agenda for that 3 percent too.  Instead of reflecting the values and folkways of the people they come from, Al Doblin wants them to reflect his values, his agenda.


In Al Doblin's opinion, the farmer's responses to those who object to the Hank Williams Jr. logo were "deflections" -- although he fails to explain how.  What Editor Doblin does is to engage in the sort of embellishment that would make the Ethics Committee of the Society of Professional Journalists cringe. 


Again and again, Doblin reaches into the farmer's mind to tell us what he was thinking, into his heart -- to tell us what his feelings and motivations are.  Al Doblin doesn't know this man, in any way, and yet -- as in a novel -- Doblin speaks to us from within the farmer's soul, as though he were inside, looking out.  This is a style of fiction, not of journalism.


You have to wonder about people who bathe in what they imagine to be the "faults" of others -- in order to signal the "virtue" that they possess.  It is not unlike what Joseph Conrad called "the stench of the repentant sinner."  And you have to wonder what are the sins that Mr. Doblin feels he needs to atone for, that makes him so earnest to demonstrate his very public "virtue"?


What small depravities, sins mortal and venial, dishonesties and behaviors unethical, are in Mr. Doblin's catalog?  Is he remembering all those union workers let go from well-paid, blue-collar jobs?  All those working class newspaper families made to find a new way to live?  Or the writers -- all those writers -- who went from earning a livable wage to a sub-standard one?  All detritus shrugged off by Al Doblin, who went on and on.  Save yourself, be a survivor, there is just one skin that is important.


Or is Mr. Doblin considering all those "political" accommodations he has had to make with the establishment over the years.  To develop "access." 


Suppressing a story about the number of employed lobbyists openly serving in the Legislature, for instance, or the corruption that has allowed convicted criminals to openly serve.  The number of mistresses quite openly on legislative payrolls.  The visits to sex clubs by legislators -- and all the rest he's been handed over the years. Would Doblin say:  Look, being convicted of a federal crime is one thing, but a Hank Williams Jr. logo?  Now you really have gone too far?


We will not do to Al Doblin, what he has done to others.  We will not step into his head and claim to know him.  We won't even qualify his acts of suppression as acts of common cause.  We will chastise him a little though, for missing a great opportunity to be a human being.


Once upon a time, old-fashioned liberals were pretty nice people.  Too nice, some said, but an old-fashioned liberal -- upon hearing or reading about the farmer -- would have reached out to him.  "Can I come over for a cup of coffee," he would have said.  And the old-fashioned liberal would have explained to the farmer why he thought his ways were in error. 


Now maybe they would agree or maybe they wouldn't, but they would come away, each with the measure of the other man.  The old-fashioned liberal would either understand that the farmer meant no harm -- or if he did mean harm, then the old-fashioned liberal would have cause to act.


 But people like Al Doblin don't do that today.  They rely on the media, forgetting that what they see is filtered, and then they re-filter it some more.  They filter out the human factor. 


Perhaps Mr. Doblin forgets that those living outside the bubble world of the economic elite have lives every bit as nuanced as his own.  Their lives matter too, so before you paint the stain of racism on someone -- and on everyone else who would have done the same thing without giving it a second thought -- take a moment to reach out.  Human to human.  Doesn't the Code of Ethics of your own profession demand as much?


A good old-fashion liberal once wrote: 


“It is his millions of relationships that will give man his humanity… It is not our ideological rights that are important but the quality of our relationships with each other, with all men, with knowledge and art and God that count..."


Mrs. Lillian Smith was a Southern writer and a pioneer in the battle to end segregation.  We don't know if she ever listened to Hank Williams Jr., but we're sure there were a few dear to her who did.


Mr. Doblin, you could have been a human being about this.  You could have been what used to be called "a liberal."  Instead, you chose to make it about you.  You chose to call someone else a sinner to deflect from your own sins and the sins of the establishment and economic elites that you serve.


Next time, try to act like a human being.