IT’S UNDEMOCRATIC, TOTARO
As most people know by now, David Ludwig waived his preliminary hearing and two additional charges were added by the District Attorney, Donald Totaro. A sexual assault charge and a firearms violation were also levied against Ludwig. I will post the promised story about Totaro, and what he has to hide over the weekend. Personal business has come up and this has to be very short today.
I would just like to address the “Administrative Announcement” by the District Attorney’s Office regarding the Preliminary Hearing. (Click here.) Under number 1 it states, seating is "...on a first-come first served basis. No seating will be specifically reserved for either the media or general public, with the exception of family members.” That is wrong. This is America. You make room for the press and you make sure some members of the press are present. You set aside seven or eight seats and then you establish a pool to see which reporters get those seats. You cannot have a preliminary hearing and not have press presence in the room. That is undemocratic, Totaro.
And there was not one mention of this announcement in the Lancaster Newspapers. Maybe they didn’t think anyone would be interested? Why are these newspapers protecting Totaro?
COMING THIS WEEKEND - What does Totaro have to hide?
WHY IS DA DONALD TOTARO TRYING TO KEEP THE PRESS OUT OF DAVID LUDWIG’S PRELIMINARY HEARING? DOES HE HAVE SOMETHING TO HIDE? SOMETHING BIG? COMING LATER TODAY….
~ Power to the People ~
A reader reminded me that I had not done my promised article on John Powers who is selling “David Ludwig’s emails” on his website (please see “FRAUD – HOLD ON TO YOUR $3.00” below on this website). Cindy Stauffer of the New Era named him and said she had interviewed him on the same day her article, “Ludwig lured girls with Christianity, some claiming” was published - November 22, 2005. The previous evening a brand new poster on Talkback posted his website and said the emails were well worth the $3.00 they cost. I went to his site that evening and let’s just say I was not impressed. So, I was stunned to read that Stauffer gave this man any credibility.
FELL INTO HIS LAP
You can go to any number of sites (one is here - http://www.hostica.com/whois.html ) and put in “actionreport.net” and find out who owns it. In this case, it is a John Powers with a phone number in Calverton, New York. On the same day as Cindy, I picked up the phone and dialed the number. The man on the other end said he was John Powers. I asked him how he obtained the emails. He said they “fell into his lap.” I asked him if he knew anyone involved in the case. He said, “No.” I asked him if he knew or was friends with anyone in the Lancaster area. He said, “No.” I asked him again how he obtained them and he said he had to protect his source. I asked him if he was a working journalist. He said he occasionally wrote a column for the weekly paper where he lives. I was not impressed. I asked him if he posted the message on Lancaster Online. He said, “No” and then hesitated and said, “Well maybe I did have someone post it.” I asked him why anyone should really believe the emails are legitimate – what proof did he have? He said the “syntax” of the emails matched the postings on David’s and Kara’s websites. So, I asked him again why anyone would think they were the real thing. He said, “I have a reputation to maintain.” Now folks, sometimes those of us in the news business have to ask the tough questions. We have to dig. We have to be skeptical. We have to probe. “What reputation would that be?” I asked. Mr. Powers immediately got off the phone.
BRAVE NEW WORLD?
You can go to his site here. “Brave news for a brave new world” indeed. I think and hope my site has 10 times the credibility of Power’s site. In fact, I consider his small and ridiculous site a joke. I did not spend $3.00 and I have no intention of doing so. Granted, $3.00 is not much - but Mr. Powers is not seeing a dime of my money. Not a dime.
This email in from a woman I do not know at a local college (and no, folks, it’s not Franklin & Marshall!) - “Is there a listserv sign-up for getting all the info on your webpage in emails?” No, at this time there is not, although I know this site has the capability. But it’s not going to happen anytime soon. There are too many other things like cleaning up this front page so the site loads faster and learning to put on videos (unlike Power’s though). Please be patient. Thank you for writing.
PRESS ON A TRAGEDY
WHERE IS HE?
I realized that yesterday when I talked about “googling” District Attorney Donald Totaro, I did not provide a direct link to the LIP News archive page on the grand jury including the “Where in the World is Donald Totaro – Find the Grand Jury Contest.” The link is here, and I’m going to be coming back to this topic very shortly. Just over a week ago, the New Era’s Jack Brubaker repeated the same big, fat lie regarding the grand jury. What is with the Lancaster Newspaper’s coverage of the Donald?
This brings me again to Gil Smart and his Sunday piece, “In the glare of a national spotlight.” He is talking about local reporters being interviewed by national news outlets. He says, “…Intelligencer Journal reporter Brett Lovelace lent his expertise to MSNBC’s ‘Rita Cosby Live & Direct.’” I think “expertise” may be pushing it. Lovelace will live in infamy for several things within this past year alone. There was, of course, his article within two days of Cortney Fry’s body being found, “I believe my son is innocent” in which he interviewed Micah Stewart’s father and then there is his classic, “Boyfriend grieves woman he shot dead.” He also had a huge and damaging misquote from the preliminary hearing of Micah Stewart (which is in an article below on this site) in which he stated that a witness testified that Stewart “tossed her body (Fry’s) out a window.” I was sitting right next to Brett in the courtroom, and no one used the word “tossed.” (If you think about it, it would be pretty hard to “toss” a body out a standard window.)
HOLD THE AIR
Gil also says that, “Lancaster New Era reporter Cindy Stauffer was interviewed by MSNBC’s ‘Scarborough County.’” Now, Cindy seems like a very nice woman but not that long ago she wrote a folksy column on the fact that she didn’t have a cell phone, rarely used an ATM card and still wrote out checks at grocery stores. She also mentioned that she and her husband’s cars don’t have air conditioning. Now, these are personal choices and I respect them, but I wonder what the MSNBC folks might think of that.
And, finally, I am going to say have a say about one item in the Ludwig/Borden case. Having 54 guns in a home is not normal or healthy. I’m sorry if some people feel differently -and apparently a number of people in Lancaster County do – but 54 guns in a home is not normal or healthy.
CASHING IN ON A TRAGEDY
FOLLOW THE DONALD
When I started this website, I had no idea what I was doing – and obviously still don’t. There was an option to purchase “search engine coverage.” It was expensive but “guaranteed” that Goggle would search your site and the results would show up in their search engine. I didn’t purchase it. It never even occurred to me. It also turns out it’s not necessary, as a google.bot and an msn.bot regularly go through this site. Which brings me, in a very round-about way, to this – if you Google “Donald Totaro,” (with the quotation marks) LIP News is at the bottom of the very first page of results! (here!) It is from my “Find the Grand Jury” contest and also mentions the “big lie” when the grand jury was first announced in the New Era. As you can imagine, this brings me great joy – and I will return to the “big lie” and Donald Totaro and the “Lancaster Lynching” story shortly.
IT TOOK TWO WEEKS?
The Donald is mentioned in this morning’s Intell article, “DA seeks clues on computers” which is simply an excuse to put David Ludwig’s picture on the front page and sell newspapers. There is nothing new in this article except to point out that the DA reacted slowly in his request for their internet communications. As a Talkbacker posted this morning, “It took almost two weeks for them to accomplish this???? Amazing.” Yes, it is amazing. Most people have already read their Xanga and MySpace websites. Where have you been, Donald?
Which brings me to Gil Smart’s Sunday, piece, “In the glare of a national spotlight.” The subtitle to the article is this, “A look at the media’s insatiable appetite for the story of local 18-year-old charged with killing his 14-year-old lover’s parents.” The week before in the Sunday News, Gil wrote the article, “Tangled up in the Web – Clues to the forbidden love of David Ludwig and Kara Borden were on Web sites, where teens go to reveal innermost feelings or reinvent themselves.” Gee, Gil, you aren’t feeding that “insatiable appetite” are you? But in all seriousness, the latter article’s opening two sentences were these, “The girl said she was cutting herself. She was thinking of committing suicide.” That is extremely serious and cutting oneself is often indicative of sexual abuse. The article says her teacher saw the post in her blog and “The girl got psychiatric help.” I hope that is true.
YOUNG, VULNERABLE AND LOST
Finally, we have Marv Adams Sunday News column, “Picturing a tragedy.” Marv is desperate to impress us that newspapers are not dinosaurs. He says, “You hold the newspaper in your hands, a foot and a half from your face, and the images and pictures stay there.” Hmmm. The last time I checked, yesterday’s newspaper went on a recycle pile or wrapped fish. The internet is a foot and a half from your face and the images stay there for months. Then Marv almost bemoans the fact that he claims, "...newspapers are held to a different standard than other media." Please. And then Marv tells us of his inner turmoil in running the AP’s photograph of Kara Borden at her parent’s funeral on an inside page and not the front page as most papers across this country did. And, he says, “She looked young, vulnerable and lost.” I might disagree with you there, Marv. But I’ll go on the internet and look at the photo again. Next time, put it on the front page, Marv.