About Me

My photo
Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Morning Call: Slip Slidin' Away

This post is really about The Morning Call, but it starts with Bill Platt. He's one scary dude.

When I was fresh out of law school, Bill was Lehigh County's very capable DA. He was reasonable and always willing to help out young lawyers, but something about the way he looked at me always scared the hell out of me. A few minutes with him, and I'd be ready to confess to all of Lehigh County's unsolved crimes.

Now, he's President Judge William H. Platt. I've successfully avoided him for many years. But not his son, the other Bill Platt. He's Lehigh County's GOP chair, and I met him last year. He looks a lot like his dad.

I started sweating right away.

Judge Platt was featured Sunday morning in a Morning Call story about new laws designed to reduce the time nonviolent offenders spend behind bars. This jurist thinks it may lead to increased crime. It was nearly impossible for me to digest Judge Platt's doubts, however, because the picture accompanying this story is of Platt's son.

Now The Morning Call is headquartered in Allentown. So is Lehigh County's President Judge. So is his son. Yet no one at the local newspaper knows the frickin' difference between the President Judge and the local Republican Party Chairman even though all of them are located in Allentown. I'm told that story and photo had to go through several editors before going to press.

Thanks to Sam Zell's brilliant leadership, there is no one left at the paper on weekends who has deep roots in the community ... or gives a damn, for that matter. Can you blame them? Would you like working for nothing? Freelance reporters with outstanding bills at the time The Tribune filed for bankruptcy are considered "creditors." Many of their payments were delayed.

It's a sad thing to watch, kinda' like watching a close relative die of a lingering illness.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

I have been saying the same thing for years.Only out of towners could believe Allentown was "moving forward".

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

I have been saying the same thing for years.Only out of towners could believe Allentown was "moving forward".

Scott Armstrong

KathyD said...

It won't be long before the Call is dropped on my driveway 3 days a week, if that. The days of 7 day a week papers are fading fast. This isn't an indictment against Allentown - it's happening all over the country.

Anonymous said...

Newspapers nowadays have a production method in which this is a common mistake, although it is an unexcusable mistake. I wouldn't be surprised if only one person was responsible for this error. The mistake may not have become evident until the newspapers rolled off the press. Nowadays, the proof of the printed page is approved by an editor who doesn't see the photos. Again, this is the most common error you'll see in newspapers. But it gives critics an opening to blast the paper, much like when someone makes the oh-so-common technical error of confusing slander with libel. That gives blowhards the opening to make like Blackstone.

Anonymous said...

Circulation figures indicate the Call is already dead. It just hasn't the good sense to lie down.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 7:52,

I'm informed by someone who does work for the papers and actually cares that this had to go thru two or three editors. You are anonymous.

You casually explain away this "inexcusable" error as though it's no big deal that the paper failed to distinguish between a PJ and GOP chair in its own hometown. Is it "inexcusable" or a "common error." Can't be both.

As for the Blackstone reference, continue paying attention.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
I don't think there are many MC editors left. Last week a big Bethlehem Sands story cited the
wrong city bridge in relationship to the Sands location. Readers w/i minutes picked up the error, but not the online editor.

A.J.C. said...

Bernie...

These types of errors have been happening for a while at the Call. Here's an example: link

A.J.C. said...

Here's another one, but it's more about ethics: link

Anonymous said...

"KathyD" is Bernie O'Hare.

Anonymous said...

And the Call should hire jokers like BO, Scoot, and AJC, with their high moral and ethical principals to do the job.

BO should check the accuracy of his own picture. In real life he looks like the Stay Puff Marshmellow man

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 10:21 & 10:24 is Bill Villa, whom I've correctly identified as a troll. He is now attempting to hijack this blog thread with his OT bullshit, as he has done so many times to so many people.

KathyD will be surprised to learn she is actually me. In fact, Villa has now begun impersonating her on his own blog.

The reality is that I never post anonymously. It is a deceptive practice and my readers deserve better. Villa almost always posts anonymously or uses sock puppets or even impersonates other people. He has bragged about this in emails to me. He has also admitted his deception in conversations with me and others. Comments from Villa and his various identities happen to share the same two IPs. I have noticed this. So have two other bloggers.

Why does he do this? Two reasons. First, he is trying to destroy any meanigful ddiscussion because we are not talking about what he wants to talk about. Second, on his own blog, he wants to deceive readers into thinking people are actually interested in his and his robot wife's tiresome "I hate [Jim Martin], [Glenn Kranzley], [The Morning Call], [Bernie O'Hare], [fill in the blank]" comment threads.

He has driven all the real people away from his own blog. As a victim of his insults, I have to read his crap. But most other readers are now gone. That's what happens when you don't have enough respect to be honest with them.

At the bottom of this blog is a sitemeter. Every time someone reads this blog or makes a comment, it is noted. With all of these people, there are separate IPs, which are partially listed on the sitemeter available to the public.

Villa is not just a liar, but is demonstrably a liar.

Additional comments from Villa will be deleted.

A.J.C. said...

Bernie,

Villa wants you to out him here so here has something to complain about on his own hate blog. Don't give him the satisfaction and stay on-topic.

An Exorcist said...

It's not easy being me. But it's even harder being Bernie!

Peace be with you, ~~Alex

P.S. - I didn't have a moment to myself this weekend. I wanted to visit, but was in Easton with my obligations. See you next trip.

An Exorcist said...

I just read this blog posting...

"Villa" is Bernie O'Hare!

Could you imagine? I was really tricked!

I am going to confession now. Pray for me!

Peace be with you, ~~Alex

Bryan said...

I thought the only person who used a sock puppet was A.J.C.

Anonymous said...

Bernie!!! Your new pic looks just like Bill Villa !! :):):):):):)

Anonymous said...

The late great Morning Call like the long-ago buried Easton Express once home to excellent, intelligent and good-fun reporters (alas Cannon's is gone 2), is corrupt at its core. Its editorial board is a joke. And it has been since gary shorts needed a saucon vally CC membership. No dignity, no quality and not a brain in that bunch for 20 years. We former Morning Call news carriers can only laugh. How Dave Erdman has allowed errors is beyond me,he is actually kinda bright. Just put Chiles out of his compromising misery.

Anonymous said...

I remember when the Easton Express bought out the Bethlehem Globe Times. They said no jobs would be lost. Their word lasted about one month.

Politically Neutral said...

Was in d-town Bethlehem today. Man what a difference from A-town.

MCall is going, going and soon to be gone. About time. When you become a wimp of a newspaper what do you expect?

Aside from that I would like to know what attracts all the bottom feeders from the Valleys most popular blog to this site.

Perhaps they are dying of Kumbaya infused boredom. Bernie keep up the good work.

Politically Neutral said...

P.S. Worry not - Villafication sticks out like a sore thumb.

It is easy to skim over the slime.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Politically Neutral, Thanks. I've deleted at least 50 of Villa's comments today.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:23 -

Even the circulation they got approved by their "Auditor" was inflated in recent years.

Anon 1:33 -

You must have worked there. There is a whole lot of nothing going on at TMC.

The new ownership has thrown gas on the fire, no doubt. But that fire had been burning since the original Tribune purchase.

Anon 1:59 -

That's because the company that owned The Express at the time was wealthy and bloated, and thought they could buy the Bethlehem
market. They took the seller's word that the Globe-Times had almost 20K circ, when in fact it was only about 13K. Then, Gary Shorts and Vincent Adone wisely dedicated lots of money (both editorially and promotionally) to running the E-T out of Bethlehem. TMC enjoyed great prosperity in the years that followed, and the E-T became irrelevant in the Christmas City.

And before someone asks, I am neither Mr. Shorts nor Mr. Adone, nor a relative of either.

Anonymous said...

Both smart men. TMC would be wise to have them still in its employ. As for thios Villa weirdo why doesn't he just stay on his blog. Is he that much of an idiot that he has to post where no one wants to read his stuff. He has a blog. If we want to read it, we will.

Anonymous said...

The Express Times hands out their Turkies and Trophies. May I suggest that you start handing out Sloppy Joe's to local newspaper stories that contain blantant inaccuracies or mistakes?

I bet you'd have their attention. You know they read your site, Bernie.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes, they do read my site, and are much kinder to me than I am to them. I'm a miserable bastard.

Joe Hilliard said...

Actually, after having dealt with several Morning Call reporters who have been writing stories about Allentown I have a simple conclusion.

They are professional reporters trying to do a good job. However, the problem (as in any failing entity) is the management/editorial board.

They have a different agenda from reporting the truth. Their agenda is to rally around the PR campaign that Allentown is getting better.

I have much sympathy for the staff that are merely trying to report the truth.

To those principled journalists, keep up the fight! And please understand that you can make a difference by taking a stand.

If reporters publicly take a stand, you will be supported. Have strength.

Anonymous said...

Another bloodbath at TMC yesterday. Ardith Hilliard is history. They eliminated the marketing designers and the PR manager, after moving the "marketing" director and a couple of do-nothing T & A to other departments. More to get their walking papers shortly.

The worst thing is that the VP of operations was laughing about all of this while some of the folks getting canned were still within earshot.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Wow! Thanks. I will try to confirm this.