On today's date in The Beacon archives, we published:•Bootsy’s: The cost of a failing restaurant (2010)
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Posted by The Dean of Cincinnati
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Is Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters being “used” by Jim Schifrin, author of The Whistleblower Newswire, a racist political tipsheet? That question has been raised by Tim Burke, chairman of the local Democratic Party.
Last week I sent this e-mail to Burke:
Dear Mr. Burke:
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?
Here’s his reply (my bold):
From: Tim Burke
Date: Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 7:44 AM
Subject: RE: Media Inquiry
To: The Dean of Cincinnati
Schifrin’s comments have grown increasingly tasteless and racist over the years. I never know if Schifrin’s “reporting” is fantasy or reality. So I regard it as very possible that the lunch with Deters and the exchange of racist cracks may not have happened.
But if the County Prosecutor put himself in a position where he could be used in this way by Mr. Schifrin, his judgment deserves to be questioned. If in fact the Prosecutor offered either of these “jokes” to Mr. Schifrin, or approved in anyway, even by his silence, of Mr. Schifrin telling them, it is more than his judgment which should be called into question.
The following individuals have denounced “The Whistleblower” in no uncertain terms: former White House Budget Director and current US Senate candidate Rob Portman; Hamilton County Republican Party Chairman Alex Triantafilou; County Commissioners Greg Hartmann (R), Todd Portune (D), and David Pepper (D). Cincinnati Enquirer politics editor Carl Weiser recently called Schifrin’s newsletter “outright racist.”
For any respectable political figure, denouncing assassination jokes about the President and hardcore racism is a given. Are there consequences to working the other side of the street? Ask ex-Senator George “Macaca” Allen.
In this video last year, Deters refused to answer questions about his relationship with Jim Schifrin, claiming that was his “personal life.” Now Tim Burke and other influential political figures are saying that if any of this is true, it goes well beyond Deters’ personal life and may reflect on his judgement.
Schifrin, who uses the pen name “Charles Foster Kane,” isn’t doing anything to dispel these concerns. On the contrary, Saturday’s “Whistleblower” claims that the two men had lunch the previous day:
Speaking of Deters, yesterday at lunch, the old Jaywalker was telling Beloved Whistleblower Publisher Charles Foster Kane how much new business The Blower’s new Cincinnati Legal ad was creating.
If Schifrin is simply making this stuff up, he’s not doing Joe Deters any favors. But by failing to say whether or not he shared assassination jokes about President Obama along with other racist gutter talk, Deters isn’t doing himself any favors either.
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