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Blogfight of the week

Who says real estate is boring? High Point ethics watchdog keith Brown, who keeps a close eye on neighboring Greensboro’s real estate industry, posts a critique of the Triad Real estate and Building Industries coalition’s clout in the shaping of Greensboro’s draft land development ordinance on July 27. over the next six days, it attracts 70 comments, many of them barbed with schoolyard taunts. Brown’s blogging ally, Fecund stench, accurately predicts the storm on Day 3, writing, “Prepare for the TReBIc trolls. They have a lot of time on their hands these days.” For the first dozen or so comments or so, stench takes up the sword against those arguing the developers’ case. one of them, identifying himself as Bud, writes, “It wasn’t the real estate industries [sIc] fault that individuals were buying their homes and banks were lending the money to buy them. Is it the candy stores [sIc] fault that its buyers are buying candy with money that’s not theirs?” much of the exchanged comment is a) incoherent or b) hopelessly longwinded and technical, but stick with it. on Day 4, an anonymous antagonist named “Triad Watch Truth” shows up — Brown blogs under the moniker “Triad Watch” — saying that Brown is mistaken, and that indeed the drafted land development ordinance requires developers to meet with neighbors before proceeding with a rezoning request. As the day wears on, David Wharton, a member of the ordinance rewrite committee, weighs in and sets the record straight: The draft ordinance requires no such neighborhood meeting. Wharton continues by asking “Triad Watch Truth”if she is actually Paula sloneker, TReBIC’s regulatory affairsdirector. Then an anonymous commenter accuses Brown of impersonatingWharton and warns of legal action. The real David Wharton continues toargue. We never learn the true identity of “Triad Watch Truth.” — JG

Dobbs under fire

CNN’stalking head lou Dobbs is facing the firing squad for his ongoingcomments regarding the legitimacy of President Obama’s birthcertificate on both his CNN show as well as his syndicated radio show.Dobbs and others calling the president’s birthplace into question havebeen given the nickname “birthers.” The “birthers” believe thatPresident Obama was born in kenya and would therefore not be eligibleto be the president of the United states. The non-profitorganization Media Matters for America has created a television ad toair during Dobb’s program Tuesday that calls for CNN to address theissue and for viewers to hold CNN responsible for its reporters. Theclosing line of the commercial states “let CNN know there’s nothing‘legitimate’ about racially charged paranoia.” Dobbs has responded toreports of the commercial by calling Media Matters “a rabid, left-wingoperation.” CNN President Jon klein has spoken up saying that he canonly control what Dobbs says on the air for CNN, he has no control overwhat he says on his radio show. The show’s ratings have had about a 15percent decrease in viewers since Dobbs began the “birther” controversyon July 15 and many are wondering if CNN will step up if the viewernumbers continue to drop. – LC

Pairing up

AlternativePress (AP) Magazine has joined forces with sony’s ReD distributionalong with Wal-Mart to produce an additional summer title called Summerof Rock. The special summer editions feature a CD hosting music fromover 20 bands. Wal-Mart is selling the special-edition magazines in its stores across the country and AP Magazine is reaping the benefits. Thepublication produced the special edition last year as well but itworked as a contributor along with several other magazines. This yearAP is the sole editorial contributor. sony’s ReD is responsible forproduction, manufacturing and working with Wal-Mart’s music department.AP created four special editions that featured four different bands.The magazine enjoyed even more success when the Summer of Rock CDinsert reached number 165 on Billboard magazine’s Top 200 Chart. TheSummer of Rock issues have sold about 7,656 copies according to APpresident and founder Mike shea. He also says that AP is discussingWal-Mart carrying the magazine’s regular monthly issues as well. – LC

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