In this week’s disturbing news censorship story, apparently the mayor’s office convinced Fox 29 to kill a story about Mayor Nutter spanking a woman in a bowling alley.
According to a Daily News story, someone took a video of Nutter twice “spanking the buttocks of a blonde” as she stood up to bowl late one night. Fox 29 was going to air the footage, but instead pulled back after news director Steve Schwaid was called into City Hall for a stern talking too, or something.
How did the administration get the story held? Recall last year when Philly.com pulled a video that showed the mayor eating with a blond at a restaurant (staffers called the story racist based on its very existence, and the hypothetical expectation that Nutter dining with a black woman would not draw similar attention).
But really. Does anyone really care about what the mayor does with blondes? Brunettes or red-heads either, for that matter? Aside from Mrs. Nutter? Eh.
This is a case where the coverup is worse than the crime. Audible spanking is kind of funny. Okay, pretty funny. But the claim of the mayor lowering the boom on a news director and convincing him to spike a story is yet another glimpse of news getting censored in Philadelphia through the exercise of behind-the-scenes power. What did Fox get in exchange for not running the story? Did the mayor or an associate offer a carrot (leads on different stories)? Stick (loss of access and cooperation of press office)?
There are a few even more disturbing threads to follow here, but best left to another, better documented time.
Annnnd, Police Commissioner Ramsey said it’s the Daily News’ fault a crooked cop got rehired to the force, because the police couldn’t accumulate enough evidence against him before the paper ran a story outing his corruption. Fucking newspapers. Too bad Ramsey doesn’t have kill power over stories too. Like Greg Osberg. And the mayor’s office.