Why is a journalist on a sexual-identity “power” list?

Some people still subscribe to newspapers in the hope of providing themselves with basic information on the current events of the day.  And once upon a time, newspapers did just that.  Older journalists worked very hard to keep their personal opinions, emotions, feelings, and biases away from their job of reporting the news. 

Not anymore.  Now newspaper reporters publicly celebrate their biases – flaunt them – and, as a result, journalism as a career is on life support. 

Readers today expect reportage to be grossly untrue and biased and they are guided accordingly.  More and more, newspapers bore voters.  Most voters can tell you today how the newspapers will report on each and every debate next year between Donald Trump and whoever the Democrat candidate is.  You could place a bet on it if anyone would take a bet on it but nobody will because everybody knows.  So very predictable.

What happened to intellectual curiosity?  Back during the day before yesterday, a reporter approached a story with an open, interested mind – excited by the prospects of where the story might take it.  Not today.  Now it is “time to make the donuts” – the work of drudgery – a fine cabinetmaker reduced to nailing together crates.  Reporters have everything arranged in advance.  The story is written before they write it.  There are those with the white hats and them with the black – with 95 percent of the story slanted against the designated “baddies” and praising the “goodies” – and 5 percent reserved for a “response” from the “baddies” (which, in the course of a conversation with the reporter, is often turned into the worst bit).  Journalism today is like writing while sleepwalking.  A fiction produced through automatic writing.   

Many reporters – the Star-Ledger’s Jonathan Salant comes to mind – cannot get their brains out of their comfortable suburban surroundings, the cozy press club, the shared prejudices and opinions.  Never meeting another soul who is unlike them, they cannot imagine any way but their own.  A machine stuck at one speed, one function, doing the same thing, grinding on until it burns out. 

Then there are the activists.  These are the so-called journalists who think it cool to show that they are compromised from the start, their minds made up.  The Star-Ledger’s Tom Moran laid in out last year when he wrote:  “Voters will be standing in the booth Tuesday, and our core mission is helping them decide which lever to pull.”  Sounds more like the “core mission” of a political operation than of journalism.

Of course, there still are some genuine journalists out there.  A month before Moran wrote that stunning admission, the Atlantic City Press published an editorial which included these reassuring lines:  “Telling readers how to vote, however, is contrary to the mission of newspapers and other media, which is to extend the public’s experience and perspectives.  Newsgathering organizations give the public eyes, ears and memory beyond the capability of an individual.  

People want them to be reliable and credible.  When the media start making judgments, their audiences wonder if they’re altering their content to support that judgment too.”


Which brings us to Matt Arco of… you guessed it, the Star-Ledger.  Why is Matt Arco number 34 on a list of 100 “LGBT Power” brokers?  Why is that kind of self-defining celebrity necessary for a journalist?  We thought he was covering the news, and here he is a power broker making the news.  What is a journalist doing cheek-by-jowl on a list of politicians, lobbyists, and political operatives?  

And why is he described as a “voice” when he should be a conduit of information, which is the heart and soul of journalism.  Is anyone really looking for another celebrity “voice” shouting to be heard, telling us their feelings, thoughts, opinions – or do we want to be informed about what’s really going on?  The title “political reporter” shouldn’t be meant literally. 

How can a journalist who allows himself to be placed on a celebrity “power” list be taken seriously?  As one of the top named members of a political identity group, how can we expect Matt Arco to fairly and honestly cover stories concerning religious groups with theological traditions that don’t line up with the policy agenda of his political identity group?  Groups such as Biblical Christians, Torah Jews, and adherent Muslims. 

How can Matt Arco be expected to fairly and honestly cover a candidate or  political organization whose positions or platform is not in agreement with the positions and platform of his political identity group – of which he is the 34th most powerful operative in the state?  Having Matt Arco cover the Republican Party is like sending Ann Coulter to cover the Democrats.  It’s not fair or honest.


Murphy runs from taxpayers. Changes venue in Sussex County.

Less than 24 hours before he was set to attend a Democrat event in Hardyston, Sussex County, Governor Phil Murphy switched the location to Franklin.  Murphy is evidently trying to avoid protests aimed at his cuts to education funding in Sussex County and his administration’s failure to address illegal dumping in Vernon. 

Sources claim that the new location was selected because it “makes public protest difficult” from a logistical standpoint.  It also requires a permit from the police (Murphy isn’t stupid).  The location was switched from a large community center with plenty of parking to a popular local tavern with limited parking.  The event is now being held at:

The Irish Cottage Inn

602 Route 23

Franklin, NJ

Governor Murphy will be speaking at the event, which is being put on by the Sussex County branch of the Trenton Democrats.  The event starts at around 9 in the morning.  Murphy is supposed to get there by 10. 

Contradicting what they earlier told the media – that the event would be “open to the public” – the Democrats have now imposed a “credentials” requirement for attendance.  We predicted as much. That’s how Murphy rolls.

Bill Hayden of the Skylands Tea Party is organizing a counter-protest.  You can and should access his effort at


This is a great opportunity to tell the Governor about the illegal dump in Vernon and about his cuts to education funding in Sussex County.

Governor Murphy has cut education funding for Sussex County and his administration has dragged its feet on stopping illegal dumping in Vernon. 

Murphy is pushing a bizarre New-Left agenda of making taxpayers pay for illegal immigrants with his Sanctuary State programs to fund subsidized legal and education benefits for illegals.  Murphy has allowed dangerous criminals to flow into New Jersey, simply because they claim illegal immigrant status, while he works to take away the rights of New Jersey residents to defend themselves and their families from violence. 

Murphy has driven out jobs (over 9,000 last month alone) with higher business taxes and higher property taxes, while calling for taxes on everything up to and including the rain. His administration is a by-word for corruption – not only hiring convicted politicians who ripped-off taxpayers, but even tolerating the rape of its own female employees.

This Saturday, you have a chance to let him know in person just how pissed off we are.  Governor Murphy will be in Sussex County to place his stamp of approval on Democrat Assembly candidates Deana Lykins, an insurance industry lobbyist, and Dan Smith, the city attorney of Orange, in Essex County.

SPJ: There is a better way of ranking journalists.

For those of you who think investigative journalism is dead… well, you haven’t been following a blog called Real Jersey City, where blogger-in-chief Michael Shurin has actually made a difference getting the bad guys removed from office and those in danger of going bad to straighten up and fly right.  Ideologically, Michael is a cross between Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul, so he doesn’t let ideology get in the way of ferreting out corruption and holding those responsible to account.  Check out his latest coverage of an important corruption trial that you won’t find anywhere else… https://www.realjerseycity.com/

Now you won’t find Real Jersey City or Michael Shurin on the pages of the recent InsiderNJ take on who’s who in New Jersey’s media.  No, you won’t find Michael sandwiched in between all those pricey advertisements from lobbyists, lawyer-lobby firms, vendors, greasers, and assorted politicians.  Yep, they paid for it.  And the firm paying for the whole thing – Fairview Insurance Agency – is so wrapped up in the Jersey City political establishment that they might as well use the Board of Education’s collective ass as its forwarding address.

You also won’t find the County Watchers blog – which keeps an eye on the critters who run Union County.  Yep, that’s everyone from his Lordship, the former Senator, Ray “Lord of Ass” Lesniak, to those magnificent Devanneys all bellied up to trough with both trotters stuck in.  Such nuggets as this are observed, investigated, and reported on by these citizen journalists…

With all the bombast over shared services we still have this in Union County:

2018-872: Authorizing the County Manager to award the proposed contract obtained through advertised public bidding in accordance with the Local Public Contracts Law, NJSA 40A:11-1 et seq: Engineering, Public Works & Facilities Management, Division of Facilities Management: T. Farese & Sons's, Newark, NJ, for the purpose of providing Waste Disposal Services at various locations throughout the County. The contract period shall be for twenty-four (24) consecutive months with the provision for one (1) twenty-four (24) month optional extension commencing upon contract extension. The contract will commence on November 1, 2018 through October 31, 2020, with a total contract amount not to exceed $424,728.91.

The amount was substantially higher than the last contract.
So why can't the municipalities pick up the county garbage at a little extra cost instead of having the county bill their taxpayers for this special pickup?


Of course, the folks who own InsiderNJ are themselves vendors working the grease machine of campaign contributions and contracts… so they have no interest in promoting at all those pesky citizen journalists who, unlike the paid-professional corporate types, are not forced to keep one eye on the want ads (and the government relations or public relations jobs, in particular).  You can’t blame someone for needing to feed a family (nevertheless it is sad when good people fall under the power of vendors, lobbyists, and political machines).

Now the old Editor of the once mighty PoliticsNJ – where the likes of Friedman and Kornacki and Moe of Moe got their training – is proposing to do his own “best of” series.  Will the media really take this? 

So here’s our proposal for rating the journalists who cover New Jersey politics and government.  Enter their names into one of the many awards given out each year by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).  Instead of highlighting the banal droolings of an Alan Steinberg… propose someone real for an honor that is reviewed and provided by other JOURNALISTS – not one handed out by the mouthpiece of some scumbag vendor.  Then, if they make it, or get runner up, or an honorable mention, it will mean something besides the lawyer-lobbyist-vendor-political machine Establishment imaginings about how they would like them to lick their arses. 

Here are some awards – real honors—to consider:

The Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award, made annually, honors a collegiate journalism educator and recognizes outstanding teaching ability, contributions to journalism, journalism education and contributions toward maintaining the highest standards of the profession.  Deadline for nominations: March 18, 2019

The Ethics in Journalism Award honors journalists or news organizations that perform in an outstanding ethical manner demonstrating the ideals of the SPJ Code of Ethics. It also honors especially notable efforts to educate the public on principles embodied in the code or hold journalists ethically accountable for their behavior. The Society may present one Ethics in Journalism Award in any given year unless there are no worthy candidates. Nominations are open. Self-nomination is permitted.  Deadline for nominations: March 18, 2019.

The Sunshine Award recognizes individuals and groups for making important contributions in the area of open government.  The SPJ board of directors selects honorees for the Sunshine Award based on recommendations from the national SPJ Freedom of Information Committee. There is no predetermined number of honorees for selection. Deadline for nominations: March 18, 2019.

The Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award to honor a person or persons who have fought to protect and preserve one or more of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.   Mr. Pulliam, who died in January 1999, was publisher of The Indianapolis Star and The Indianapolis News until his death and was well-known for consistently supporting activities which educated the public about First Amendment rights and values. The Foundation has established this annual award to honor those committed to the same goals and as a tribute to the professional contributions that he made to journalism.  Deadline for entries: June 21, 2019.

The Eugene C. Pulliam Fellowship was established to enable a mid-career editorial writer or columnist to have time away from daily responsibilities for study and research. The cash award allows Pulliam Editorial Fellows to: Take courses, pursue independent study, travel, pursue other endeavors that enrich their knowledge of a public interest issue. Deadline for entries: June 21, 2019.

Real Journalists critiquing the “best” journalism New Jersey has to offer… what a novel idea!

On Citizens United, Cory Booker is a Fake Reformer

Okay, here are two videos.

One is from Cory Booker, a politician who has more makeovers than Donatella Versace… Ouch.

The other is from a real citizens reform organization.  Not a group funded by one set of Establishment insiders looking to screw over another set of Establishment insiders… yeah, like the group Cory Booker is shilling for.

So here is Cory Booker, Senator from New Jersey, doing his best impersonation of a teenaged drama queen trying out for the lead in a high school play… 


This from a guy who said he’d stop taking corporate money from his law firm but then kept on taking it.  Personal money… that went right into his own wallet.

Okay, enough of Cory Booker, he’s already taken millions from corporate PACs, lobbyists, and officers… Notice he doesn’t mention those last two?  Yep, this is all for show – and Booker already has a work-around for that corporate PAC money too.  It’s called SuperPACs!  So this is just another case of a good-looking spoiled rich kid having his usual way with the cake while eating it too.

Now… do you want to hear from some real reformers???  Okay, pay attention because this is what real reform is about…

Now wasn’t this straight talk refreshing after that bullshit P.C. earnestness that poured out of Cory Booker’s jaws? 

Ross Perot predicted the rise of Mercury-type consultant-lobbyists in 1992

"We've shipped million of jobs overseas and we have a strange situation because we have a process in Washington where after you served for a while you cash in, become a foreign lobbyist, make thirty-thousand-dollars a month, then take a leave (to) work on Presidential campaigns, make sure you've got good contacts, and then go back out."  (Ross Perot, 1992 Presidential Debate)

Is the idea of "two political parties" an illusion to make voters believe they have a choice?  Comedian George Carlin thought so...

Carlin was only half-joking.  In New Jersey, the top leaders of both parties share office space in the same law and lobby firms.  The same public relations firms/ political consultants advise both Democrats and Republicans -- as well as corporations and foreign governments.  Take Mercury Public Affairs as an example.

Once upon a time, there were campaign managers who came up through the ranks alongside the politicians whose careers they helped to manage.  From these managers came the first campaign consultants.  Regional or statewide at first, but with the centralizing power of the national committees and national money there soon came to be the "national" consultant -- recommended by one of the party committees or put in place by them.

But as more money washed into DC and was funneled into campaigns, that changed.  Consultants proliferated and firms became larger.  Following the money, a few either merged with or morphed into public relations and lobbying (government relations) operations.  Why not?  Corporations paid big for access to politicians and there is nobody politicians love more than the person who got them elected.

It was only a matter of time that things went global.  And that is how a number of New Jersey political operatives became members of an international firm that represents the interests of quite a few unsavory foreign governments.  These include Mo Butler, United States Senator Cory Booker's campaign consultant, former chief of staff, and "longtime advisor"; Michael Soliman, United States Senator and former Chairman of the Senate Committee of Foreign Relations Robert Menendez's political advisor and former State Director; and Michael DuHaime, Governor Chris Christie's campaign consultant and someone who has worked on several Republican presidential campaigns.

Mercury Public Affairs began in 1999 as a decidedly Republican shop with connections to the RNC and politicians like John McCain and Mitt Romney, around 2013 it embarked on a mission to "diversify" -- meaning making the firm "more bipartisan and full-service."  Mike DuHaime joined the firm in 2009, first as a "managing director" but swiftly rising to partner.  Michael Soliman joined Mercury in 2013 and became a partner in 2016.  Mo Butler joined as a "managing director" in 2016.  Mercury Public Affairs has 10 partners and 160 employees. 

Mercury Public Affairs is itself a subsidiary of an even larger international firm that handles the image-making for Russian President Vladimir Putin, receiving credit for, among other accomplishments, getting Putin's face on the cover of Time magazine -- as the "Person of the Year" for 2007.  Omnicom purchased Mercury in 2003.

Mercury Public Affairs has 18 offices worldwide -- including London; Mexico City; Washington, DC; New York; and Westfield, New Jersey.  The New Jersey offices (a satellite operates out of Trenton) of Mercury are the haunt of Messrs. DuHaime, Soliman, Butler, and other connected operatives like newspaperman Darryl Isherwood (former top political reporter for the Star-Ledger and editor of PolitickerNJ), and "Christie campaign vet" Mark Mowers. 

In January 2015, Michael Soliman registered with the United States Justice Department, pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, as a person representing the Embassy of the State of Qatar.  You must have read about Qatar in the news...Amnesty International has accused Qatar of being complicit in human trafficking and modern-day slavery.  Yes, slavery.  In fact, the United Nations gave Qatar one year "to end migrant worker slavery" or face an international investigation. 

Qatar is just one of freedom's garden spots represented by Mercury Public Affairs.  Remember the controversy in Uganda, when the President of that country decided that homosexuality was a crime that should be punishable by death?  Well, the law he wanted passed was "moderated" in December 2013, substituting life imprisonment for the death penalty.   In 2015, Mercury was brought on to provide public relations, lobbying, and media monitoring services with regards to the Office of the President and the Ugandan government in general on subjects beginning with "human rights" and ending with "good governance."  For which the contract calls for Mercury to be compensated at the rate of $50,000 per month, with $150,000 up front.

Mercury also represents individuals.  Folks like Khalid bin Saqr Al Qasimi, who in 2003 led an anti-American demonstration in which he personally burned an American flag.  For its work, Mercury pocketed a $30,000 monthly retainer, plus expenses.

In January 2016, Mercury Public Affairs partner Morris Reid negotiated a contract with Amsterdam & Partners, an international law firm with offices in London and Washington, DC.  The document is marked "confidential and privileged" but is public information under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.  In August of 2015, Amsterdam & Partners signed a contract with the Turkish Ambassador to the United States to provide legal services related to a "matter of importance" to the embassy.  The government of Turkey paid Amsterdam a retainer of $50,000 a month.

While the contract stipulates that the greatest security and confidentiality be observed, under the terms of the contract between Amsterdam and Turkey, third parties may be hired "as the Firm and the Client agree in writing are necessary to further the Engagement."  And so, in March of 2016, Amsterdam hired Mercury to perform work on behalf of the Turkish government for $20,000 a month -- above and beyond what was being paid to Amsterdam by Turkey.  It is in the contract between Amsterdam & Partners and Mercury Public Affairs that we learn what all this cloak and dagger is in aid of.  The Amsterdam-Mercury contract references an "investigation into Fethullah Gulen and his organization in the United States."  So who is Fethullah Gulen?

Gulen has been in the news since the attempted coup in Turkey in 2016.  Gulen is a religious leader from Turkey, and a one-time political ally of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  Erdogan is the increasingly authoritarian and Islamist President of Turkey.  He has been repeatedly in the news for purging the judiciary, jailing journalists who write unflattering reports, and successfully intimidating the opposition.  Erdogan had a law passed to allow the government to ban websites and he has promised to "rip out the roots" of Twitter.  He has even attempted to censor speech in other nations, in 2015 Turkey demanding that Germany prosecute a poet who had written some verse critical of Erdogan.

Erdogan and Gulen had a falling out over allegations of political corruption by Erdogan in 2013.  Gulen's books were banned.  First, he was indicted on charges that a Turkish judge threw out, but then was indicted a few months later for treasonable offenses that carried the death penalty.  Gulen fled Turkey, came to the United States, and was convicted in absentia. 

The government of Turkish President Erdogan has attempted to extradite Gulen back to Turkey to face punishment, but the government of the United States hasn't cooperated.  In the hours after the coup attempt, Erdogan was quick to blame Gulen, while Gulen put forward the theory that Erdogan had staged the coup himself in order to consolidate power.

Why does Mercury Public Affairs want to be a part of extraditing a moderate cleric to satisfy the rage of an Islamist dictator? 

Last year, Mercury Public Affairs was the subject of a subpoena in the on-going investigation into Russia's meddling in the United States presidential election in 2016.  According to the Washington Post, former FBI Director and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller obtained the subpoena seeking information about work Mercury had done for a pro-Putin political party in the Ukraine:

"The investigators asked Mercury for information about their public relations work at Manafort’s behest for a Brussels-based organization called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, which pushed for improved relations between Ukraine and European countries. The Brussels group primarily advanced the interests of a Russia-friendly Ukrainian political party that had been a client of Manafort’s before he joined the Trump campaign.

Mercury, which has prominent Republicans among its senior partners, had worked on the Ukraine lobbying project with the Podesta group, led by Anthony Podesta, brother of John Podesta, who led Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign."

The full article can be accessed below:


This is exactly what Presidential candidate Ross Perot warned about in 1992.  He said our politics was headed here and here we are...  some of New Jersey's "top political operatives" are now foreign agents (as far as the U.S. Justice Department is concerned).

How can any of this be good for our Republic?