Saturday, August 25, 2007

The DeNaples story blows up while the Scranton Times sleeps

Amid reports that Scranton's U.S. attorney is resigning -- and served as a reference for Louis DeNaples -- it's hard not to notice the deafening silence in the Times-Tribune newsroom. The Morning Call has been all over the story, and the Philly and Harrisburg papers have also been active. The Times-Tribune has not published a single staff story about Marino or DeNaples in the last two weeks -- a hometown story that the T-T should own. That was a great story about moving a house at Moosic Lakes, though.

  • Read John Murphy and Dave Falchek's cream-puff canonization of DeNaples from June 2006

    John Murphy said...

    Nothing to see here folks, move along.

    Anonymous said...

    Big Lou is "off limits" for negative stories.

    So says the Irishmen behind the curtain -- who we should pay no attention to.

    Anonymous said...

    As I recall, Murph took over most of the DeNaples profile from Dave, who was not thrilled to see it turned into a puff piece.

    Anonymous said...

    Murph personally massages every piece of copy dealing with Louis or with the libel suit the paper is facing. He waters 'em down and puffs 'em up, often making them unreadable in the process.

    John Mitchell said...

    Not to mention the fact that, earlier, Borys had proposed spending some serious time on a probe of DeNaples, his business history and his alleged ties. How did this guy get rich, anyway, and who owes him? Murph acted like BK wanted to perform a gay marriage in the newsroom. He pushed Borys off it, passed it to Dave, then took it over himself when it wasn't going the way he liked. At a real newspaper -- and I don't mean a big one, I mean one with Scranton-level resources -- you break off Borys AND Dave for a few weeks to dig into the political and business angles together. And based on his sorry track record, Murph is the last guy who should be handling a big project like that.

    John Mitchell said...

    8:11, I edited your post to delete some extraneous words:

    Murph personally massages....Louis


    Anonymous said...

    Help me out here. I thought Marino's district includes Wilkes-Barre. Where's the T-L on this story?

    Guess the nearest NEWSPAPER is in Allentown.

    Anonymous said...

    Anonymous said...
    Big Lou is "off limits" for negative stories.

    So says the Irishmen behind the curtain -- who we should pay no attention to.

    6:41 AM, August 25, 2007

    You are soooo correct on this. Big Lou is off limits in the TT newsyroom when it comes to negative stories.

    Anonymous said...

    It's all anonymous sources for the Call so it's hard for other papers to write that but I bet they CV and TL are trying hard to get it.

    Anonymous said...

    Who needs investigative journalism when the Sunday TT has hard-hitting stories like these:
    - Pittston will pay tribute to a hometown Elvis impersonator
    - A dime a dozen weather story
    - Must-have items for back to school

    Anonymous said...

    You're right! YOU...ARE...RIGHT.

    Thank God for the Sunday T-L: "Still Bubbles Up Memories of the Past," "Shoppers Sticking to Basics," Recycling Grants are Awarded," and (breaking news!) "Chocolatier Mixing it up with Ice Cream" (seems Gertrude Hawk at da mall is one of three stores testing "Smidgen Swirls"). I smell Pulitzer!

    Where are wingo, slingo and bingo when we need them?

    Anonymous said...

    "For $3.99, any flavor of Smidgens can be selected for the Smidgen Swirl. Three to four of the chocolate candies are put onto a cold slab and mixed into the ice cream, using two spatulas. Glazed nuts and almond butter crunch may be added instead of the Smidgens, as well as any other item from the bulk candy case."

    How much did Gertrude pay for the commercial?

    Anonymous said...

    From what I understand, the T-T has had the court reporter looking into the DeNaples/Marino stuff, but gotten nowhere. Conventional wisdom says she has no good sources to dig with, and the paper in general hasn't made a commitment over the years to covering the federal system so it doesn't have sources developed there.
    its def. true that the paper isn't going to run a wire story citing only anonymous sources of the mcall.

    Anonymous said...

    OK, so the TT can't really run with the Marino story based on the anonymous sources of another paper. No problem there, I get it.

    But what I don't get is the TT running an AP story that refers to Marino as the US Attorney from Harrisburg. The Middle-District of PA is, and always has been, headquartered in Scranton, and that alone gives it a local angle, one which should have been part of the story.

    Anonymous said...

    Too bad Frank Schultz quit after Beaupre came on the scene... he would have been all over that story! That guy knew everything and everybody when it came to that stuff.

    Anonymous said...

    """""But what I don't get is the TT running an AP story that refers to Marino as the US Attorney from Harrisburg. The Middle-District of PA is, and always has been, headquartered in Scranton...."""""

    Failure to flag that in an AP story is laziness, or cluelessness, or both. I've said it before: the TT editing is consistently the worst-edited paper of its size in the Northeast.

    Anonymous said...

    The TT will never publish anything negative about Big Louie. They have no balls.

    Anonymous said...

    Marino has said that he is not resigning and that the Morning Call's story is wrong. I guess the Morning Call needs to recheck their 2 Anonymous sources.

    Anonymous said...

    When and where did Marino say he's NOT resigning? My friends out west in Williamsport, Marino's hometown, say he's all but gone into hiding since the story broke.

    Anonymous said...

    I'll cut and past here, since HTML doesn't seem to work. This sure doesn't sound like someone who is about to deny rumors of his resignation. Unless he's changed his mind, most unlikely and unprecedented, he's resigning...

    Marino keeps quiet on media reports about resignation


    U.S. Middle District Attorney Thomas A. Marino declined interviews Friday after media reports said he planned to resign in the next six weeks.

    “Our office has no comment,” said Heidi Havens, a spokeswoman for Marino said Friday afternoon after a report surfaced in The Morning Call of Allentown, citing two unnamed sources alleging the top federal prosecutor for central and northeastern parts of the state since 2002 plans to resign in the next six weeks.

    The newspaper didn’t cite reasons for the resignation, which it said was turned over to the U.S. Department of Justice. Officials at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C. declined to comment and referred questions to the Harrisburg office.

    The Allentown newspaper reached Martin Carlson, the district’s first assistant U.S. attorney. Carlson told the newspaper, ‘’Mr. Marino has no comment, and this office has no comment.’’

    Marino was Lycoming County’s district attorney for six years before being promoted and was a part-time county prosecutor for four years before that.

    He serves on the U.S. Attorney General’s advisory committees and subcommittees related to violent crime, white collar crime and drug trafficking.

    eponymous anonymous said...

    Call reports another five witnesses take the stand, including Jim Decker. More news on the case that the T-T doesn't have:

    5 witnesses testify in DeNaples probe

    John Mitchell said...

    Incredible, we know that Murf is in the tank, but where is Beaupre on this story? How can DeNaples' hometown paper take a dive on this?

    Anonymous said...

    The Harrisburg Patriot News had a story on August 25th with a headline "Marino Denies He Plans to Quit" Marino is quoted in the story as saying "I have no intention of stepping down". I guess the Patriot News did what no one else has done, that is ask Marino himself.

    Anonymous said...

    Do you have link to that Patriot-News story about Marino denying his resignation? I'm not finding anything on it.

    Asking Mr. Marino would seem the logical thing to do, but from every source I've heard, he keeps pulling a "no comment," as do his superiors in Washington.

    eponymous anonymous said...

    U.S. Attorney Marino denies he plans to quit

    Anonymous said...

    I know this is stretching things a little thin, but here's what he's reported as saying, "The story is wrong. I have no plans to leave in six weeks."

    Maybe he plans to leave in three weeks, maybe in three months. Could be I'm losing it, could be I'm way too cynical, but something tells me the Marino story has legs.

    And still, no one hereabouts is on it.

    Anonymous said...

    Today's TT says Marino is in hiding, not talking, and none of his people will even attempt arranging an interview. Does anyone really know what's going on with this thing? If he is resigning, it could be just the tip of an iceberg that will be the biggest story in NE PA in years, excluding natural disasters of course.

    Anonymous said...

    I don't think you people have a clue about journalism especially on the local level. Sure, the TT should be writing about DeNaples but it is unfair to compare this to other stories like the one about Moosic Lake. You've got to do it all, from silly chicken suppers to big investigative pieces. That's what local journalism is all about and if you don't get it, no wonder you are such miserable human beings who only condemn everything you read in the Scr/WB papers.

    FORMER NEPA'er said...

    Doesn't anyone remember Larry Soprano? Wasn't that the name of the the dufus that was WYOU-TV 22's anchor for a bit back in the late 1980s before he got fired for probing into De "La Costa Nostra" Naples.

    Anonymous said...

    Pretend Newspaper Distracts and Misinforms Readers on DeNaples

    As if on cue, today's version of the Scran'en fairy tales for adults finally includes some local reporting on the DeNaples probe.

    As per usual for the hacks on that paper, the droning report contains no news. It is little more than a list of people seen going in and out of the courthouse (most of whom they don't even bother to talk to after their appearance) where the grand jury is examining the local felon's reputed ties to organized crime, alleged lies on his slots application, and purported illegal donations.

    But that information is apparently too sensitive for the readers of this pretend newspaper, as the article fails to even detail what the grand jury is investigating.

    But, we are accustomed to the wannabe newspaper's inability to master the most basic of journalism skills. It is what they sneak in at the very end of the piece that sums up what talentless imbeciles are running and writing for that piece of tripe.

    Typically for this rag, the piece is salted with apologies for DeNaples -- not surprising since this lousy paper has already declared DeNaples clean and they aren't about to let something like a dual Federal/State investigation call their "news reporting" into question.

    So, for example, they rush to point out that one of the people testifying before the grand jury won a defamation case against the Wilkes-Barre Citizen's Voice newspaper last year over an article that suggested the witness was linked to the Federal investigation of NEPA's mob. Of course, that was an unrelated investigation, but the mention serves the purpose of watering down the current investigation. What is stunning is what these no-talent rejects from the Weekly World News elected to leave out of their reporting.

    Here's what they said:

    "In 2006, a Luzerne County judge awarded Mr. Joseph $3.5 million in a defamation suit against The Citizens' Voice and its parent company over stories published in the wake of the federal raids on Mr. Joseph's Mountaintop home and at least one of his businesses."

    What they leave out is that the "parent company" of the Voice and the Scran'en pretend newspaper are one in the same. A real reporter would have disclosed that, but, as we have learned before, the Lynett family, which owns the papers, appears to reject journalistic ethics and seem to ensure that the hacks who work for them are either unable to tell the difference or don't care. (An early-morning inquiry to the "reporter" has not been returned.)

    How REAL newspapers have covered the story:

    Priest, ex-prosecutor go before grand jury, Philly Daily News, 8/30/07
    Priest talks to DeNaples grand jury, Allentown Morning Call, 8/30/07
    Allies show as grand jury meets, Philly Daily News, 8/30/07
    Denaples' priest faces grand jury, Allentown Morning Call, 8/29/07
    More connections emerge between grand jury, Pa. casino licensee, Philly Daily News, 8/29/07
    5 witnesses testify in DeNaples probe, Allentown Morning Call, 8/29/07
    'Independent' panel members remain unknown, Philly Daily News, 8/28/07
    Several appear before grand jury over slots, Allentown Morning Call, 8/28/07
    Prosecutor in DeNaples probe to resign, sources say, Allentown Morning Call, 8/23/07
    DeNaples link prompts Marino to withdraw from mob probe, Allentown Morning Call, 8/21/07
    Marino-DeNaples ties led prosecutor to pull out of probe, Allentown Morning Call, 8/20/07
    Sources: Mount Airy owner focus of U.S., state investigation, Allentown Morning Call, 8/19/07

    UPDATE: Also on the beat:

    The DeNaples story blows up while the Scranton Times sleeps, Noertheast PA Media News
    The Electric Connection, Truth, Lies & Peace

    And a tip 'o the hoagie to GettysBlog for this golden oldie and the apt (especially considering this) Godfather quote:

    "The Pope, the Holy Father himself, has this very day blessed Michael Corleone; an' you think you know better than the Pope?"
    --Dominic Abbandando
    (Michael's PR Advisor, son of Genco) to reporters (Godfather III).

    From ""

    A Big Fat Slob said...

    I am a wayyyy late in this, but thanks to anonymous for the shout out.