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WHITE NOISE

by YES! Weekly staff

WHITE NOISENews and information from inside the media bubble by Brian Clarey and Jordan Green

Our industry in Charlotte Big doings down in the Queen City’s weekly newspaper scene, which began a couple weeks ago with the demise of the Charlotte edition of The Rhinoceros Times and the controversy that still surrounds it. Then came the news that alternative-weekly chain Creative Loafing — which recently added stalwart alts the Chicago Reader and Washington City Paper to its Southern string of papers — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Loaf, of course, maintains an alt-weekly in Charlotte which will continue regular publication. Then straight out of left field comes the dark horse Carolina Newspaper Group, owners of the Charlotte Weekly, a six-year-old community weekly serving the metropolitan area, and The Union County Weekly. In a single press release last week, the company announced the purchase of the Huntersville Herald Weekly and The Mountain Island Monitor, as well as the creation of a fifth newspaper, The Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly, all under the auspices of Publisher Alain Lillie. It’s like that scene in The Godfather: “Today I settled all family business, so don’t tell me you’re innocent, Carlo.” And then bam! — he gets it with the piano wire. — BC

Fear of an Obama planet Considering that North Carolina is a battleground state in the presidential election with a deep well of conservative, white voters, one thing is virtually certain — that an ad created by American Issues Project linking Democratic nominee Barack Obama to former Weather Underground member Bill Ayers will air sometime between now and Nov. 4 in living rooms across the state. “Beyond the speeches, how much do you really know about Barack Obama?” the narrator asks, in 1-minute piece intended to scare voters away from the candidate. “Barack Obama is friends with Ayers, defending him as, quote, ‘respectable and mainstream,’” the ad continues. “Obama’s political career was launched in Ayers’ home. And the two served together on a left-wing board.” The “respectable and mainstream” piece is attributed to www.barackobama.com, but I couldn’t find any reference to it there. Overall, the ad appears to be a distortion using cherry-picked facts. The New York Times reports that Ayers held a house party for Obama in late 1995 during his first run for Illinois State Senate, and that Ayers donated $200 to Obama’s reelection campaign in 2001, but adds that Rabbi AJ Wolf indicates that the first house party for Obama during the 1995 campaign was actually held at his house. Obama and Ayers served on the board of the anti-poverty Woods Fund at the same time, and the Times quotes fellow board member R. Eden Martin, a corporate lawyer, as saying, “You had people who were more liberal and some who were pretty conservative, but we usually reached a consensus.” The Times concludes that “since 2002, there is little public evidence of [Obama and Ayers’] relationship. The candidate himself described Ayers in a primary debate with Sen. Hillary Clinton as “somebody who engaged in detestable acts forty years ago when I was eight years old.” As for Ayers, he has reportedly been rehabilitated in the eyes of the Chicago establishment, Mayor Richard Daley, whose father had the job during the Weather Underground’s 1969 “Days of Rage,” told the Times: “He’s done a lot of good in this city, and nationally.” — JG

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