When will the major papers in NC notice the obvious?

The McClatchy papers continue to demonstrate an interesting bias in their coverage. Sunday’s Charlotte Observer reprinted a lengthy story from SC trashing Nikki Haley, a Republican. Yet the Observer condoned Andrew Young’s employment as a fundraiser, theoretically for the UNC system, when his real job was political until after the Edwards campaign imploded and even then left out the most significant facts. Of course, Young was a Democrat and UNC has been used by Jim Hunt’s friends as a political base for so long McClatchy reporters seem to be oblivious to most of the myriad political improprieties.

Haley, an accountant, had served on the Board of the Hospital that hired her as a fundraiser for their already existing foundation, yet her employment seemed to be viewed as key evidence of inappropriate behavior.

UNC, by contrast, created a whole new school, the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, for Edwards and hired his assistant, Andrew Young, as a fundraiser. What a slick way to let non-profits support a candidate and make political contributions deductible. Yet there has been no in depth reporting of the myriad political links that surrounded that particular fiasco, even when Tom Ross was picked to head the UNC system. Fortunately the Edwards scandal gave the public an after the fact peek at Young’s employment by UNC:

“In March 2005, Young took the title of assistant director of development at the UNC Law School. The $70,000-a-year position was a fundraising job with the school’s new Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, which tapped Edwards as its first director. The center was, among other things, a vehicle for Edwards to maintain a public profile after he left the Senate.

“Young’s salary was paid with private money, a UNC Law School spokeswoman said. University records show Young receiving $5,834 a month through November 2006. E-mail from that tenure shows a playful side of Young. In a March 2006 message to Mary S. Murray, then the UNC School of Law’s assistant dean for external relations, Young asks how to handle a seminar sponsor’s request to donate $10,000 in stocks for tax reasons.

“How does I dooooo that? Yipppeeeee,” Young wrote.” (News & Observer, 9/14/2008)

The continued failure of the press to inform the public who gave the money funneled through UNC to help a Presidential candidate demonstrates more clearly than words their willingness to support the misuse of the UNC system by political insiders.

How about a story (correct that, a series of stories, too much to cover in one article) on who has been using UNC to fund political causes?

How about a story on how UNC research has been used to funnel money to politicians and their friends and to help run cover for water quality issues?

How about an explanation of why UNC has failed to report that thousands of private wells owned by individuals are going dry and land at the coast is sinking because the state has permitted over pumping that has been concealed from the public to enhance private profits of corporate entities with the right political pals?

How about an in-depth report on how DENR has been politicized to the point that DOT might be cleaner than DENR?

How about an in-depth report of the people behind the attempt to close the existing airport at UNC-Chapel Hill and move the runway?

The reporting on the Easley/NCSU escapades was like focusing on an ice cube and ignoring an iceberg big enough to sink the Titanic. And I’m not talking about our current governor’s political improprieties, because she and Easley are both symptoms of a much larger problem.

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