James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist

  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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Archive for January 24th, 2010

YaVaughnie Wilkins should get a life

Posted by James McPherson on January 24, 2010

Chances are you’ve never heard of YaVaughnie Wilkins. But two of Rupert Murdoch’s “news” organizations, Fox News and the New York Post,  hope you will–and that you’ll somehow blame Barack Obama for the fact that Wilkins carried on a long affair with Oracle tech conglomerate owner Charles E. Phillips. I’m not kidding.

Yeah, as the articles breathlessly exclaim, Phillips is an “Obama advisor.” But he’s just one of fifteen members on one board, and the board is just part of a long list of folks advising the president on economic affairs. Presumably the board does not advise Obama on marital affairs. And by the way, weren’t conservatives just recently complaining–and lying –about the supposed lack of Obama advisors with practical business experience?

Besides, especially in a week when John Edwards finally ‘fessed up, do they really need this kind of goofy stretch to try to make Dems look bad? And do they want really want us thinking about the kind of sleaze engaged in by “the mostly-conservative (in recent years) “brotherhood of the disappearing pants“?

Wilkins has spent perhaps a quarter-million dollars to for billboards in three cities (though at least one was killed after just a day, something Fox fails to note in its front-page story today) proclaiming her “love” for Phillips, with a link to a Web site that the Post proclaims is “a veritable shrine to Wilkins’ ex-love.” But I spent a few minutes (as much as I could stand) checking out the site, finding more pictures of Wilkins (including a collection of swimsuit shots, which I assume are to show us what Phillips is missing)  and an assortment of now-exposed but unidentified other people–including children–who presumably are friends or family members of one of the two ex-lovers.

Because of those people, I won’t link to the site here. But they can now count themselves among the victims of Wilkins, Fox and the Post. As for Wilkins, someone stupid enough to be involved with a married man for more than eight years isn’t going to win much sympathy, I’d think.

Though I do wonder who is paying for those billboards. The newshounds at the Post and Fox didn’t bother to find out, of course.

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