On today's date in The Beacon archives, we published:•UC Historian Uncovers Lost History of ‘Tri-racial Army’ Experiment in the Civil War (2010)
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Posted by The Dean of Cincinnati
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Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters has repeatedly failed to distance himself from Jim Schifrin, author of The Whistleblower, an email newsletter Carl Weiser of The Enquirer calls “outright racist.” According to Schifrin, Deters is his personal lunch buddy, and they trade racist jokes about the potential assassination of President Obama over hot and sour soup. We contacted some high-profile politicians, and there was not a shortage of repudiations for The Whistleblower’s offensive content. What’s taking Joe Deters so long?
Here is the entire media inquiry I have sent to a number of area politicians:
Can you please provide me with a statement on the issues raised in this article about Prosecutor Joe Deter’s apparent relationship with Jim Schifrin?
[The Dean of Cincinnati]
Republican Rob Portman, a former Bush White House Budget Director and a current US Senate aspirant who was photographed with Schifrin in 2002 and featured recently in this item by CityBeat, made a short and simple denunciation against the kind of filth published by Jim Schifrin daily.
“I repudiate racist rhetoric in the Whistleblower, or in any other blog or publication,” said Portman in a statement forwarded to The Beacon by his assistant (as Portman is traveling).
While Portman does not speak directly about Deters, his position against The Whistleblower is crystal clear.
Hamilton County Commission President, Democrat David Pepper, also had some direct statements against Schifrin.
“I can’t speak to and know nothing about Joe Deters’ relationship with Jim Schifrin. And given the Whistleblower’s consistently offensive and bizarre content, I also stake little credibility in what it has to say about anything,” stated Pepper. “Needless to say, any discussion of assassination is clearly way over the line and deeply disturbing. But sadly, par for the course for the Whistleblower.“
Hamiton County Commissioner Todd Portune, one-time vice chair of the Ohio Democratic Party, had several things to say on this matter:
The Whistleblower has declined in popularity as its content has degenerated from carrying biting political satire to too often being just tasteless and racist or bigoted in nature.
I have no problem with satire. But I draw a clear line in the sand on this matter and frankly there can be no middle ground. There is no way to portray assassination of the President in a satirical or comical way. Period.
The Whistleblower has long enjoyed the support of Republican office holders due to its frequent attacks on progressive policies and Democratic leaders. Recently though some Republicans have begun to repudiate it. Sadly that does not yet include Hamilton County’s highest law enforcer Prosecutor Joe Deters. There is absolutely no room for making a joke about assassinating a sitting US President.
What is concerning about this matter is that the “joke” conveys a sense that such should happen in the future. Given the very real threats the President has endured this is completely out of bounds if not borderline illegal.
The other concerning aspects are the ‘Blower raises a question as to whether it was Deters or Shifrin who first told the joke and our Prosecutor has yet to clarify the matter nor repudiate as completely repugnant the words used. I would hope that he would do so.
There are enough crazies in the world as it is. None need to be given any implicit encouragement to engage in abhorrent acts by making light of past or prospective assassinations of national leaders.
While Hamiton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann failed to respond to our most recent media inquiry, he has previously repudiated The Whistleblower here. Hamilton County GOP chair Alex Triantafilou has also repudiated The Whistleblower when asked previously.
In other words, the entire Hamilton County Commission has repudiated The Whistleblower, as have the Hamilton County GOP chair Alex Triantafilou and former Bush White House Budget Director Rob Portman, who many view as a key figure for the Ohio GOP.
Why won’t Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters?
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