by YES! Weekly staff

That old MSM bogeyman

Taking a page from the Jesse Helms playbook, Amer ican for Legal Immigration PAC in Raleigh launched a public assault on the News & Observer last week. Ask any radical or subversive: If you can’t get the media to reflect your bias, relentlessly attack its credibility until you can elevate yourself to the same level of influence. As justification for declining to comment in future sto ries reported by the News & Observer, President William Gheen accused reporter Kristin Collins of lying about attendance at one of his group’s recent rallies, reducing it from “over 30” to “a dozen.” YES! Weekly estimated the crowd at “about two-dozen.” No matter: Crowd counts are notoriously subjective, with participants and by standers often skewing the result. In the next sentence of his July 17 e-mail, Gheen betrays his true grievance with Collins: “You constantly write sob stories about poor illegal aliens who can’t get everything they want from mean old Americans, while you ignore the gang rapes and murders, lost jobs, lost wages, lost homes and lost medical and educational resources taken from innocent Americans.” Excuse me… gang rapes? — JG

His own burger, and now this

Greensboro’s “Maintenance Guru” Joel Leonard has won the gold award from the American Society of Business Publication Editors, Midwest region, for his column, “The Crisis Corner,” which appears in Plant Services magazine. He advances to the final round of judging in Kansas City, Mo. later this month. Leonard has previously been recognized as inventor of the Joel Burger, which has a healthy slathering of pimiento

cheese, at Fincastles in downtown Greensboro. You can find his columns at — BC

The cold shoulder

I haven’t received my copy of the July 21 New Yorker yet. I keep waiting for the controversial cover — the one with the Obamas dolled up like Muslims and Black Power radicals — to turn up in my mailbox, but it hasn’t. I figured by the time it does arrive, the brouhaha would have subsided, but it appears not. According to the Huffington Post, New Yorker scribe Ryan Lizza was barred from Barack Obama’s plane during a recent trip overseas. The campaign cited space constraints, but over at HuffPo, Rachel Sklar wonders whether the snub wasn’t related to the campaign’s outrage over that cover. Here’s an excerpt: “Retribution for unfavorable coverage is a chilling thing to contemplate — liter ally, as in, it carries with it the very real risk of chilling bold, outspoken coverage.” Lizza’s been hot on Obama’s trail — his most recent dispatch for the magazine chronicled the young politician’s ascent in Chicago. — AK

Carr Talk

New York Times media critic David Carr excerpts some of his upcoming book — about his drug addiction and generally antisocial life before coming to the Gray Lady — in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine. It is an incredible piece, and it makes James Frey, author of the fake memoir A Million LIttle Pieces look like a lying piker. Give it a read. — BC