Shock Robo Shock Poll Shock!

A mostly political Weblog.
May 1 2006 4:28 AM

Robo 'Yahoo' Shock Poll!

Border-centric third-party beats GOP.

(Continued from Page 8)

Mistakes entrenched copy editors catch - (mistakes they introduce + good language they kill + delay they introduce (including delay of trying to stop them from killing good language) + their salaries) = X

X is usually a negative number. ... 5:40 P.M.

Joe Conason (in the NYO of 2/21/01)  on Ron Burkle [$]:

[R]on Burkle, a California billionaire who gave 10 times as much to every Clinton fund and campaign as Ms. Rich did, was turned down when he requested a pardon for his friend Michael Milken. Mr. Burkle promised a minimum of $5 million to the Clinton library, compared with the $450,000 given by Ms. Rich. He and members of his family have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to every conceivable Democratic campaign, including Mrs. Clinton's Senate race. Mr. Burkle and other well-heeled, Clinton-connected advocates passionately argued the Milken case, but they didn't prevail on Jan. 20. (New York Observer, February 21, 001)

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Nothing interesting here! Keep moving people!  ... P.S.:Page Six sleaze Jared Paul Stern claimed during his brief Gawker editorship that he'd "just been told the L.A. Times has assigned a full-time investigative reporter to uncover [Burkle's] dirty deeds." [Emp. added] I don't know if that's true or just something designed to frazzle Burkle. ... After all, why should the L.A. Times probe into Burkle's various nexes with prominent Democratic politicos? People might want to read it--violating one of the LAT's legacy rules for resource-deployment. Better to let the story go with a) a quickie article on why Angelenos think it's all "ho-hum." (I mean it's not like Burkle lives here! ... Oh, wait.) b)huffy column courageously denouncing the "sleazy trade in innuendo and phony items;" c) an inferior duplication of Choire Sicha's  initial evocative Stern-in-the-Catskills  scener. ... The LAT can rest on its scandal-breaking Pellicano coverage. [But they're getting killed on Pellicano by the NYT--ed Oh yeah. I forgot! "Do it once. Do it right. Do it after the scandal's died out."] 5:20 P.M.

The Twilight of the Sulzbergers? The Class A shareholders are closing in on Pinch. According to TheStreet.com:

Morgan Stanley Investment Management said Tuesday it withheld votes for the [New York] Times' director nominees because it believes the company's board and management have become unaccountable to shareholders.

The firm, which says it owns more than 5% of the Times' Class A stock, called for the elimination of the dual-stock structure that leaves control of the board with minority shareholders led by the founding Sulzberger family [Emph. added]

That seems at least as much of a revolt as six retired generals calling for Rumsfeld's resignation, no? Except that Morgan Stanley is still on active duty. It's a mutiny! ... P.S.: Morgan Stanley noted that "[D]espite significant underperformance, management's total compensation is substantial and has increased considerably over this period." ... Update: Neither Bainbridge nor Bartin is very sympathetic to Morgan Stanley--not because NYT Chairman Pinch Sulzberger isn't a turkey, but because the Class A shareholders knew Pinch might turn out to be a turkey when they bought their non-voting stock. Or, rather,

Morgan Stanley knew or should have known that dual class stock presents a serious agency cost problem because incumbents who cannot be voted out of office are almost impossible to discipline. [Bainbridge--emphasis added]

That sounds so much classier!  But why would Morgan Stanley make its move now unless they had some reason to think that the turkey--I mean, the serious agency cost problem--might be removed? ... [Rattner will save him--ed Actually, much as I hate to admit it, why isn't that a possible solution? Move Pinch up to a ceremonial figurehead role, and make Pinch's buddy Steven Rattner, a NYT reporter-turned-media investor, the actual chief executive of the Times. Then the Sulzbergers are (relatively) happy and Wall Street is (relatively) happy--and Democrats who worry that the paper might fall into unsympathetic hands are very happy. It's win-cubed!]...  2:08 P.M. link