SC

The Charleston “Post And Corruption”

The largest newspaper in South Carolina also happens to be its oldest and most historic – boasting a proud tradition of professional journalism that dates all the way back to 1803. And while you’d think preserving this proud tradition might matter to the current leadership of The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and…

The largest newspaper in South Carolina also happens to be its oldest and most historic – boasting a proud tradition of professional journalism that dates all the way back to 1803. And while you’d think preserving this proud tradition might matter to the current leadership of The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier… you’d be sorely mistaken. Over the last few years, this paper has chosen to completely abdicate its journalistic responsibility to pursue a shameful policy of appeasement.

And the body count from this ongoing sellout is starting to add up …

Within the last eight months, two aggressive young reporters at the The Post and Courier have been forced from their jobs after they published stories critical of powerful S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell – a shamefully corrupt “Republican in Name Only” who is currently under investigation by state authorities for a host of ethical abuses.

But it’s much worse than that, really. As we noted in this expansive report filed last October, Harrell isn’t just chasing away talented young investigative reporters – he’s literally holding an entire newspaper hostage (and quite possibly using tax money to buy its silence).

***

BOBBY HARRELL
BOBBY HARRELL

“TRUTH TO POWER?”

No longer does The Post and Courier speak “truth to power” on behalf of its readers. Instead, Bobby Harrell speaks power to its spineless editors – who in turn do his bidding (including terminating those reporters who have the audacity to try and hold him accountable for his many misdeeds).

Last year this website documented the shameful mistreatment heaped by the paper on the head of its former reporter Renee Dudley – who had the audacity to uncover the first of several major campaign finance scandals involving Harrell.

In September 2012, Dudley dropped a bombshell on the Palmetto political landscape when she reported that Harrell had improperly reimbursed himself in the amount of more than $325,000 from his campaign account over a four-year period (he has since returned $23,000 of the money, by the way).

Before the ink had even dried on Dudley’s report, though, the paper began a wholesale retreat in response to withering pressure from the Speaker’s Office.

First, its editors “spiked” (or killed) Dudley’s follow-up report on Harrell’s reimbursements – which we’re told provided additional damning details on the extent to which the Speaker was improperly profiting off of his campaign funds. But the paper didn’t just refuse to publish Dudley’s follow-up, it filed a report from a notorious “regurgitator” of political spin – Seanna Adcox of the Columbia, S.C. Associated Press bureau – that basically exonerated Harrell and slammed its own reporter’s work.

And that was just the beginning of the betrayal …

In the immediate aftermath of Dudley’s story, letters to the editor received by The Post and Courier were overwhelmingly critical of Harrell’s actions – but the paper’s editorial board chose to ignore these letters and instead highlight the handful of incoming submissions that were favorable to the Speaker (including one written by his own wife).

Not only that, The Post and Courier retroactively applied “errors” to Dudley’s reporting that she never committed – enabling Harrell to claim after the fact that she had “falsely accused (him) of violating the law.”

Hung out to dry by her colleagues, Dudley opted to give up her job and take a position with an out-of-state media outlet.

“Why would an independently owned paper – a so-called bastion of public integrity – permit any politician (no matter how powerful or popular) to push it around like this?” we wondered at the time. “What could have possibly compelled its editors to cede so much ground – and so much of their journalistic integrity – so quickly?”

Indeed …

***

“GO AND SMOOTH THINGS OUT WITH HIM …”

In Dudley’s aftermath, reporter Stephen Largen – another up-and-coming scribe at The Post and Courier – began doing his own digging into Harrell’s many scandals. What he soon found was seismic: Taxpayer-funded emails in which the Speaker placed pressure on a state regulatory board to take actions benefiting his pharmaceutical business.

That’s a flagrant violation of ethics law – and a scandal every bit as big as the reimbursement controversy exposed by Dudley.

What did The Post and Courier do with these emails? Nothing … in fact Largen’s editors sat on them for months before they were eventually published by a Columbia, S.C.-based blog in January of 2013. Undeterred, Largen continued to investigate the tips he was receiving on Harrell. He filed numerous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the Speaker’s office and uncovered all sorts of incriminating documentation – including evidence that Harrell was double-dipping when it came to claiming travel reimbursements (and thus lying on his campaign finance disclosure forms).

Stephen Largen
STEPHEN LARGEN

Largen filed a detailed report exposing this scandal … yet once again his editors at The Post and Courier sat on the story.

In fact one source inside the paper tells FITS that at least three of Largen’s stories critical of Harrell were “spiked” by his editors.

“They just put them in the round file,” the source said, referring to a trash can.

Even when stories critical of Harrell managed to make it to print, they didn’t stay there for long. In early February of this year, for example, another reporter at The Post and Courier published a story questioning whether Harrell’s political action committee had illegally spent money on a public relations campaign for a controversial highway boondoggle.

Within minutes of the report appearing on the paper’s website, it was promptly removed – allegedly at Harrell’s insistence.

For Largen, the ride ended last month when the Speaker’s office finally got tired of him asking so many questions and filing so many FOIA requests. According to our sources at the paper, Largen’s editors asked him in early May go to Harrell’s office for an off-the-record sit down meeting with the Speaker.

One source recalls Largen as being told by his superiors to go and “smooth things out with (Harrell).” Another says he was actually told to “apologize” to Harrell for his aggressive pursuit of the various scandals. Understandably, Largen was reluctant to set up such an off-the-record meeting – or to ascribe any blame unto himself for simply doing (or in this case attempting to do) his job.

And so Largen declined to meet Harrell under those terms. Three days later- on May 8 – The Post and Courier fired him.

***

“SOMETHING GOING ON BEHIND THE SCENES”

Since the beginning of this sad saga, speculation has swirled as to what The Post and Courier‘s underlying motivation has been in going to such lengths to protect Harrell. We’ve got a theory on that, but first let’s look at the editors and executives allegedly responsible for pursuing this policy.

Among those said to be guilty of accommodating Harrell on a regular basis are the paper’s metro desk editor Andy Lyons, its content editor Rick Nelson, its publisher P.J. Browning, editorial page editor Charles Rowe and, most notably, its “chairman of the board” – Pierre Manigault. The paper’s former publisher, Bill Hawkins – who left his post last October – is also said to have helped provide cover to Harrell.

THE POST AND COURIER
THE POST AND COURIER

Hawkins, incidentally, frequently traveled to the S.C. State House in an unregistered capacity to lobby lawmakers on behalf of a $13 million annual tax break provided to the state’s newspaper industry – an exemption Harrell’s equally corrupt crony, S.C. Rep. Chip Limehouse (RINO-Charleston), is said to have held over the paper’s head in the past.

This exemption means the paper doesn’t have to levy a sales tax on its product – or pay sales tax on the paper it uses.

Is that what’s driving all this, though? The tax exemption money? Or are Harrell and his minions holding something else over the heads of these so-called  “journalists?” We don’t know what else might be responsible for the paper’s appeasement policy, but one thing has become abundantly clear: Any reporter covering state government for The Post and Courier had better not cross the Speaker.

“It’s crazy the way we handle stories,” one of our sources at the paper said. “It’s very corrupt. With Harrell, there is definitely something going on behind the scenes.”

In fact we’re told the paper’s leaders apply a “double standard” to stories involving the Speaker – insisting on unreasonable levels of “proof” regarding allegations made against him while at the same time permitting Harrell’s office to stonewall reporters indefinitely without fear of a negative story being published.

“We go after Nikki (Haley) in a way we would never go after Bobby,” one source said. “The level of scrutiny on stories related to (Harrell) is much higher than it is for other elected officials. And Harrell and (his spokesman) know they can refuse comment and we won’t run the story. We would never let Haley or (her spokesman) get away with that.”

None of the editors accused of coddling the Speaker were willing to respond to our questions. And Largen – like Dudley before him – also declined to share his version of events with us.

“I can’t say anything about that,” he said when our founding editor finally tracked down his cell phone number. This six word non-statement was followed by a polite apology, a perfunctory “good-bye” and a click – the sound of yet another member of the Fourth Estate fleeing persecution in a shady-as-hell banana republic.

And that’s what all of this is really about, isn’t it? An ass-backward state which continues to fall further behind the rest of the country – all thanks to corrupt leaders who are never held accountable for their corruption by those whose job it is to do so.

We may never know precisely what motivated The Post and Courier to treat its own reporters so shamelessly, but one thing is clear: Until South Carolina’s newspapers start serving the people instead of prostituting themselves to duplicitous politicians like Harrell, this state will remain among the most corrupt and secretive in the nation.

***

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116 comments

Jim June 3, 2013 at 3:33 am

Great reporting FITSNews. I just like the way term limits sound. Elected officials is a position of power, that is it. It’s all about money and a big ego and barber bill.

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OK June 3, 2013 at 3:33 am

Great reporting FITSNews. I just like the way term limits sound. Elected officials is a position of power, that is it. It’s all about money and a big ego and barber bill.

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lowcorider June 3, 2013 at 6:52 am

Fits would never prostitute itself to any duplicitous politicians or special interest.
So you’re blaming a newspaper for our corrupt government. Have you thought about maybe doing a story on the SCGOP and reporting on their efforts to curb corruption.

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Lowcorider June 3, 2013 at 6:52 am

Fits would never prostitute itself to any duplicitous politicians or special interest.
So you’re blaming a newspaper for our corrupt government. Have you thought about maybe doing a story on the SCGOP and reporting on their efforts to curb corruption.

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Chicken Bone June 3, 2013 at 7:31 am

All incumbents must go in 2012.

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Smirks June 3, 2013 at 8:56 am

Incumbents must go last year? Quick, someone invent a time machine!

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southmauldin June 3, 2013 at 9:23 am

Can you get it to take me back to 1985?

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Chicken Bone June 3, 2013 at 7:31 am

All incumbents must go in 2012.

Reply
Smirks June 3, 2013 at 8:56 am

Incumbents must go last year? Quick, someone invent a time machine!

Reply
southmauldin June 3, 2013 at 9:23 am

Can you get it to take me back to 1985?

Reply
Joe June 3, 2013 at 7:41 am

The sales tax exemption is just a small part. The BIG DEAL for printed newspapers are the mega millions in fees they extort from the public for State Required Legal Ads. In today’s age there is no reason to pay $100 plus per inch for these print ads in a “local” paper when there are much more economical and efficient ways to publish these “notices”. They could simply be published on a county’s website for a modest fee. Just like Craigslist decimated the newspapers classified ad revenue, changes to the legal ad requirement would obliterate a major revenue source. The news paper companies spend hundreds of thousands annually lobbying the State to insure these ads must be “printed” in a local paper. It’s a government subsidy paid for by the public. Eliminating the sales tax exemption and the legal ad requirement would put many papers out of business. The public is generally oblivious to these ads until they have to post one. Paying $500 for a 3 inch ad in unreadable font and forced to run it for 3 consecutive weeks hurts and that’s just a small ad.

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A Friend June 3, 2013 at 7:46 am

This is excellent information. I didn’t realize the cost of the State Required Legal Ads was so high and was such a significant source of revenue for print papers. Yet another carrot that the govt can dangle, and, more importantly, a stick that it can use, to get the print media to do what it wants. Thanks for the info!

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RHood2 June 3, 2013 at 1:58 pm

You know about half of what you are talking about. Yes, legal ads are a large percentage of the revenue newspapers make in their classifieds section.
But the newspapers do not spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year lobbying to maintain the exemption. The S.C. Press Association has a lobbyist. One. She’s not paid that much, and she’s paid to lobby also on behalf of FOIA reform and ethics laws.
The executive director also lobbies, but his salary isn’t to the level you describe, and he has many other duties. He’s the principal spokesman for FOIA issues in the state, other than Jay Bender.
The other “lobbyists” are local publishers who contact their legislators at home, and sometimes come up to Columbia to answer questions of legislators. Like your local dry cleaner who is asked by his association to contact his state Rep. to maintain their sales tax exemption. Or when the Funeral Home Association asks a local mortician to contact their state senator.
Wil’s idea a fascinating motive to be ascribed. But it’s just a theory. I’d like to see some proof. Any bit of proof.
What happen to Dudley and Largen, however, is outrageous. No proof, again, but it is more suggestive that the paper is taking the actions it is taking. But the motive? You haven’t got it.

Reply
Joe June 3, 2013 at 7:41 am

The sales tax exemption is just a small part. The BIG DEAL for printed newspapers are the mega millions in fees they extort from the public for State Required Legal Ads. In today’s age there is no reason to pay $100 plus per inch for these print ads in a “local” paper when there are much more economical and efficient ways to publish these “notices”. They could simply be published on a county’s website for a modest fee. Just like Craigslist decimated the newspapers classified ad revenue, changes to the legal ad requirement would obliterate a major revenue source. The news paper companies spend hundreds of thousands annually lobbying the State to insure these ads must be “printed” in a local paper. It’s a government subsidy paid for by the public. Eliminating the sales tax exemption and the legal ad requirement would put many papers out of business. The public is generally oblivious to these ads until they have to post one. Paying $500 for a 3 inch ad in unreadable font and forced to run it for 3 consecutive weeks hurts and that’s just a small ad.

Reply
A Friend June 3, 2013 at 7:46 am

This is excellent information. I didn’t realize the cost of the State Required Legal Ads was so high and was such a significant source of revenue for print papers. Yet another carrot that the govt can dangle, and, more importantly, a stick that it can use, to get the print media to do what it wants. Thanks for the info!

Reply
RHood2 June 3, 2013 at 1:58 pm

You know about half of what you are talking about. Yes, legal ads are a large percentage of the revenue newspapers make in their classifieds section.
But the newspapers do not spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year lobbying to maintain the exemption. The S.C. Press Association has a lobbyist. One. She’s not paid that much, and she’s paid to lobby also on behalf of FOIA reform and ethics laws.
The executive director also lobbies, but his salary isn’t to the level you describe, and he has many other duties. He’s the principal spokesman for FOIA issues in the state, other than Jay Bender.
The other “lobbyists” are local publishers who contact their legislators at home, and sometimes come up to Columbia to answer questions of legislators. Like your local dry cleaner who is asked by his association to contact his state Rep. to maintain their sales tax exemption. Or when the Funeral Home Association asks a local mortician to contact their state senator.
Wil’s idea a fascinating motive to be ascribed. But it’s just a theory. I’d like to see some proof. Any bit of proof.
What happen to Dudley and Largen, however, is outrageous. No proof, again, but it is more suggestive that the paper is taking the actions it is taking. But the motive? You haven’t got it.

Reply
Sarge June 3, 2013 at 8:14 am

No one loved politicians and their corrupt ways more than Brad Warthen at The State. Even after Rick Brundrett showed beyond any reasonable doubt that Jean Toal is corrupt to the core, Warthen continued to proclaim his love and adoration for her.

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nitrat June 3, 2013 at 10:16 am

Warthen thought/thinks the politicians were his “friends” because they allowed him to suck up them and used him as their shill.

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Sarge June 3, 2013 at 8:14 am

No one loved politicians and their corrupt ways more than Brad Warthen at The State. Even after Rick Brundrett showed beyond any reasonable doubt that Jean Toal is corrupt to the core, Warthen continued to proclaim his love and adoration for her.

Reply
nitrat June 3, 2013 at 10:16 am

Warthen thought/thinks the politicians were his “friends” because they allowed him to suck up them and used him as their shill.

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jimlewisowb June 3, 2013 at 8:20 am

Fuck Dudley, Fuck Largen and fuck the horses they rode in on

If these two reporters have verification that Cockroach Harrell is a piece of shit, which everyone already knows, then find a way to get the information published

For Dudley and Largen to keep the information to themselves makes them no better or no worse than Cockroach Harrell himself and they should be labeled co-conspirators rather than reporters

For Christ’s sake these two have knowledge that a child molester lives in room above a day care center and they refuse to say anything

Fuck ‘em

Oh, just a word for the sons of bitches who run that rag of paper in the Holy City, go fuck yourselves

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A Friend June 3, 2013 at 9:04 am

That’s easy to say when it’s not your career, your paycheck, your family’s livelihood on the line – and you have no power.
And the comparison to having knowledge of child molesters and refusing to say anything is ludicrous.

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Doris June 3, 2013 at 9:25 am

I agree with you, A Friend.

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jimlewisowb June 3, 2013 at 9:38 am

You are right. It is easy to say. So let me put it another way.

These two assholes signed up to be reporters. They volunteered to be reporters. It is their chosen profession to be reporters. If they want to continue to be reporters, then by damn report

The expectation of a firefighter is one who runs to the flames not one who runs away from the flames

If I had signed up to be a proctologist, I would be expected to stick my fingers up asses, including yours

As far as the child molester angel, Cockroach Harrell and his fellow Cockroaches have been raping taxpayers for years including children and will continue until they are exposed

I would be willing to put Mother Teresa up on the blocks, if it resulted in this little bastard crashing and burning

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jimlewisowb June 3, 2013 at 8:20 am

Fuck Dudley, Fuck Largen and fuck the horses they rode in on

If these two reporters have verification that Cockroach Harrell is a piece of shit, which everyone already knows, then find a way to get the information published

For Dudley and Largen to keep the information to themselves makes them no better or no worse than Cockroach Harrell himself and they should be labeled co-conspirators rather than reporters

For Christ’s sake these two have knowledge that a child molester lives in room above a day care center and they refuse to say anything

Fuck ‘em

Oh, just a kind word for the sons of bitches who run that rag of paper in the Holy City, go fuck yourselves

Reply
A Friend June 3, 2013 at 9:04 am

That’s easy to say when it’s not your career, your paycheck, your family’s livelihood on the line – and you have no power.
And the comparison to having knowledge of child molesters and refusing to say anything is ludicrous.

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Doris June 3, 2013 at 9:25 am

I agree with you, A Friend.

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jimlewisowb June 3, 2013 at 9:38 am

You are right. It is easy to say. So let me put it another way.

These two assholes signed up to be reporters. They volunteered to be reporters. It is their chosen profession to be reporters. If they want to continue to be reporters, then by damn report

The expectation of a firefighter is one who runs to the flames not one who runs away from the flames

If I had signed up to be a proctologist, I would be expected to stick my fingers up asses, including yours

As far as the child molester angel, Cockroach Harrell and his fellow Cockroaches have been raping taxpayers for years including children and will continue until they are exposed

I would be willing to put Mother Teresa up on the blocks, if it resulted in this little bastard crashing and burning

Reply
mph June 3, 2013 at 8:33 am

“We don’t know what else might be responsible for the paper’s appeasement policy…”

The paper is a shill for the Republican Party. That’s it. Nothing more to figure out. Read the editorial page.

And what would you expect from a paper that was still advocating to re-segregate public schools in the 1980s? Yeah, the 1980s.

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BeaufortTiger June 3, 2013 at 12:02 pm

And that’s why they endorsed Sheheen and Colbert-Busch in the last few years? Don’t get me wrong, the P&C royally screwed over the two reporters and is clearly fearful of the wrath of Bobby. But to call it a conservative rag isn’t quite accurate.

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Simple Simon June 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm

The P&C is generally pro Republican when it comes to presidential candidates(hasnt endorsed a Democrat since FDR) but on the state and local level often supports Democrats.Ironically,they became friendlier to Democrats a few years after the Republicans basically took control of SC.

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mph June 3, 2013 at 3:05 pm

“The P&C is generally pro Republican when it comes to presidential candidates…”

And by generally pro-Republican, you mean they haven’t endorsed a Democrat in a presidential election in almost seventy years?

Roger that.

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mph June 3, 2013 at 8:33 am

“We don’t know what else might be responsible for the paper’s appeasement policy…”

The paper is a shill for the Republican Party. That’s it. Nothing more to figure out. Read the editorial page.

And what would you expect from a paper that was still advocating to re-segregate public schools in the 1980s? Yeah, the 1980s.

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BeaufortTiger June 3, 2013 at 12:02 pm

And that’s why they endorsed Sheheen and Colbert-Busch in the last few years? Don’t get me wrong, the P&C royally screwed over the two reporters and is clearly fearful of the wrath of Bobby. But to call it a conservative rag isn’t quite accurate.

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Simple Simon June 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm

The P&C is generally pro Republican when it comes to presidential candidates(hasnt endorsed a Democrat since FDR) but on the state and local level often supports Democrats.Ironically,they became friendlier to Democrats a few years after the Republicans basically took control of SC.

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mph June 3, 2013 at 3:05 pm

“The P&C is generally pro Republican when it comes to presidential candidates…”

And by generally pro-Republican, you mean they haven’t endorsed a Democrat in a presidential election in almost seventy years?

Roger that.

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Misstate June 3, 2013 at 9:02 am

Finally, some solid reporting. Good work.

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Misstate June 3, 2013 at 9:02 am

Finally, some solid reporting. Good work.

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Billy K. Mulligan June 3, 2013 at 9:04 am

Ascribing it to saving the tax on newsprint is a reach, IMO. All of the SC papers seek to maintain this exemption. Has to be more to the story than tax breaks and gubment advertising. Maybe they do drugs together and screw each others spouses all weekend long

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A Friend June 3, 2013 at 9:07 am

From the article above:

“Is that what’s driving all this, though? The tax exemption money? Or are
Harrell and his minions holding something else over the heads of these
so-called ”journalists?” We don’t know what else might be responsible
for the paper’s appeasement policy, but one thing has become abundantly
clear: Any reporter covering state government for The Post and Courier had better not cross the Speaker.”

Reply
Billy K. Mulligan June 3, 2013 at 9:04 am

Ascribing it to saving the tax on newsprint is a reach, IMO. All of the SC papers seek to maintain this exemption. Has to be more to the story than tax breaks and gubment advertising. Maybe they do drugs together and screw each others spouses all weekend long

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A Friend June 3, 2013 at 9:07 am

From the article above:

“Is that what’s driving all this, though? The tax exemption money? Or are
Harrell and his minions holding something else over the heads of these
so-called ”journalists?” We don’t know what else might be responsible
for the paper’s appeasement policy, but one thing has become abundantly
clear: Any reporter covering state government for The Post and Courier had better not cross the Speaker.”

Reply
Simple Simon June 3, 2013 at 9:59 am

I like the way Fits(and other Republicans) label any Republican they dont like as a “RINO”(Republican in name only) implying that any Republican with whom they dont agree or dont like is less of a Republican than they are.They act as if the Republican Party is like a Church or something and when a member departs from their way of thinking he suffers excommunication i.e. becomes a “RINO.Its also a big cop out.Enables the Republican to,in effect, divorce himself from those members of his tribe he doesnt like,yet maintaining some type of purity in the term ,”Republican.”Also, a load of BS.Bobby Harrell is as Republican as you can get!His family has been involved in the Republican Party for years.Fits is fond of labelling people and things,”juvenille” when he doesnt agree with them.I suggest this continuing “RINO” crap is just that,”juvenille.”

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nitrat June 3, 2013 at 10:09 am

“RINO” is all about the Libertarian takeover and destruction of the once GOP. They have come in because they can’t get elected under their own banner. Then, they turn around and claim they are the real Republicans.
And, if there is a political ideology that is purely juvenile, it is Libertarianism.

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hack June 4, 2013 at 11:09 am

Right, just like the ideology that promotes the nanny state and wishes to perpetrate feudalism on the citizenry, because people can’t make decisions for themselves and need to be herded like good little sheep.

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Simple Simon June 3, 2013 at 9:59 am

I like the way Fits(and other Republicans) label any Republican they dont like as a “RINO”(Republican in name only) implying that any Republican with whom they dont agree or dont like is less of a Republican than they are.They act as if the Republican Party is like a Church or something and when a member departs from their way of thinking he suffers excommunication i.e. becomes a “RINO.Its also a big cop out.Enables the Republican to,in effect, divorce himself from those members of his tribe he doesnt like,yet maintaining some type of purity in the term ,”Republican.”Also, a load of BS.Bobby Harrell is as Republican as you can get!His family has been involved in the Republican Party for years.Fits is fond of labelling people and things,”juvenille” when he doesnt agree with them.I suggest this continuing “RINO” crap is just that,”juvenille.”

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nitrat June 3, 2013 at 10:09 am

“RINO” is all about the Libertarian takeover and destruction of the once GOP. They have come in because they can’t get elected under their own banner. Then, they turn around and claim they are the real Republicans.
And, if there is a political ideology that is purely juvenile, it is Libertarianism.

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hack June 4, 2013 at 11:09 am

Right, just like the ideology that promotes the nanny state and wishes to perpetrate feudalism on the citizenry, because people can’t make decisions for themselves and need to be herded like good little sheep.

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Really bad Propaganda June 3, 2013 at 10:51 am

Wow FITS…Joseph Goebbels would read this and say, “Well this just isn’t true.” Will, you at least need to include a little bit of fact when pushing out your propaganda BS

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Really bad Propaganda June 3, 2013 at 10:51 am

Wow FITS…Joseph Goebbels would read this and say, “Well this just isn’t true.” Will, you at least need to include a little bit of fact when pushing out your propaganda BS

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Charleston Reporter June 3, 2013 at 10:58 am

Really – “Dudley was forced to give up her job and take a position with an out-of-state media outlet.”

Dudley wasn’t forced out, she did what is called a “hit & run.” Dudley submitted her resignation the same day her first Harrell story ran. She knew she was about to skip town (on her own terms) and laid this egg of a story right before she ran off.

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Fellow Reporter June 3, 2013 at 11:21 am

This has been Renee’s MO her entire career. She’s one of those reporters who never really writes for the job she has but the next one she is always trying to get. It’s true, she had both feet out the door before this story even ran. A look at her career shows a wake of bad reporting, made up facts, and invented quotes that are usually only recovered after she’s already settled into that bigger and better job she had been hunting all along. Renee’s style is what gives good reporters a bad name.

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BeaufortTiger June 3, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Sounds to me like someone is perhaps the jealous kind or perhaps didn’t get along with her all that much.

Renee is an unapologetic aggressive reporter, and while it is true she ruffles feathers, she also uncovers some serious shit. Her issues seem to be one or two matters; perhaps both. In one case, she may be so engaged in the reporting that she gets headstrong (and most reporters can be from time to time). But what I suspect is more likely the case are the spineless publishers and/or editors who get the runs when the government (local or state) no longer want to talk (or actively threatens) their paper after her reporting causes embarrassment for elected officials and other stakeholders.

I saw it happen in Beaufort County when Renee (rightfully) went after the Town of Bluffton and Beaufort County for cronyism on several matters. The fact of the matter is that other and larger outlets recognized her journalistic prowess and she was able to to move up in her career from the crap salary she earned at the Island Packet. Considering she’s now at Bloomberg and uncovering half of Walmart’s dirty laundry demonstrates that the “little girl” (as Haley called her) can actually report worth a damn.

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RHood2 June 3, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Right. At what publication do you work? You are Bobby Harrell’s wife, more likely. Will is right that the “correction” and apology run after she left attributed to her statements that were NOT in her original reporting. I read both right as they happened. She had a followup ready to go, which was spiked. I just wish Wil had gotten her to give him that. Would have been wonderful to see.
I did not know Largen had been fired.
BTW, I am Fellow Reporter’s big brother. He’s been a liar since he was a squalling brat.
As far as you know, anyway.

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Send Harrell To Prison June 3, 2013 at 8:08 pm

You are a pathological liar and we know your real name, fool.

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A face in the crowd June 3, 2013 at 11:26 am

Bullshit. She “ran off” to the civilized world, where government rot is exposed, not silenced.

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Send Harrell To Prison June 3, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Stop lying!

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bogart June 3, 2013 at 10:58 am

Corruption is unacceptable. Contact the new Cogressman from SC Mark Sanford and have him get to the bottom of this scandal.Rep Sanford knows how to dig and he will not be screwed over by politicians who simply want to be government tittybabies…..Rep Sanford is a man of honor who will fight this den of dishonesty.

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carrie June 3, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Huh? Are you serious or are you joking?

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bogart June 4, 2013 at 3:19 pm

I just called Sanford honest……which do you think?

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carrie June 4, 2013 at 5:45 pm

I know how much respect you have for him so I’ll say you are serious. (tongue in cheek)
This post was the second laugh for the day along with Colonel Angus video.

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Charleston Reporter June 3, 2013 at 10:58 am

Really – “Dudley was forced to give up her job and take a position with an out-of-state media outlet.”

Dudley wasn’t forced out, she did what is called a “hit & run.” Dudley submitted her resignation the same day her first Harrell story ran. She knew she was about to skip town (on her own terms) and laid this egg of a story right before she ran off.

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Fellow Reporter June 3, 2013 at 11:21 am

This has been Renee’s MO her entire career. She’s one of those reporters who never really writes for the job she has but the next one she is always trying to get. It’s true, she had both feet out the door before this story even ran. A look at her career shows a wake of bad reporting, made up facts, and invented quotes that are usually only recovered after she’s already settled into that bigger and better job she had been hunting all along. Renee’s style is what gives good reporters a bad name.

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BeaufortTiger June 3, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Sounds to me like someone is perhaps the jealous kind or perhaps didn’t get along with her all that much.

Renee is an unapologetic aggressive reporter, and while it is true she ruffles feathers, she also uncovers some serious shit. Her issues seem to be one or two matters; perhaps both. In one case, she may be so engaged in the reporting that she gets headstrong (and most reporters can be from time to time). But what I suspect is more likely the case are the spineless publishers and/or editors who get the runs when the government (local or state) no longer want to talk (or actively threatens) their paper after her reporting causes embarrassment for elected officials and other stakeholders.

I saw it happen in Beaufort County when Renee (rightfully) went after the Town of Bluffton and Beaufort County for cronyism on several matters. The fact of the matter is that other and larger outlets recognized her journalistic prowess and she was able to to move up in her career from the crap salary she earned at the Island Packet. Considering she’s now at Bloomberg and uncovering half of Walmart’s dirty laundry demonstrates that the “little girl” (as Haley called her) can actually report worth a damn.

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RHood2 June 3, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Right. At what publication do you work? You are Bobby Harrell’s wife, more likely. Will is right that the “correction” and apology run after she left attributed to her statements that were NOT in her original reporting. I read both right as they happened. She had a followup ready to go, which was spiked. I just wish Wil had gotten her to give him that. Would have been wonderful to see.
I did not know Largen had been fired.
BTW, I am Fellow Reporter’s big brother. He’s been a liar since he was a squalling brat.
As far as you know, anyway.

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Send Harrell To Prison June 3, 2013 at 8:08 pm

You are a pathological liar and we know your real name, fool.

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A face in the crowd June 3, 2013 at 11:26 am

Bullshit. She “ran off” to the civilized world, where government rot is exposed, not silenced.

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Send Harrell To Prison June 3, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Stop lying!

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bogart June 3, 2013 at 10:58 am

Corruption is unacceptable. Contact the new Cogressman from SC Mark Sanford and have him get to the bottom of this scandal.Rep Sanford knows how to dig and he will not be screwed over by politicians who simply want to be government tittybabies…..Rep Sanford is a man of honor who will fight this den of dishonesty.

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carrie June 3, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Huh? Are you serious or are you joking?

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bogart June 4, 2013 at 3:19 pm

I just called Sanford honest……which do you think?

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carrie June 4, 2013 at 5:45 pm

I know how much respect you have for him so I’ll say you are serious. (tongue in cheek)
This post was the second laugh for the day along with Colonel Angus video.

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Philip Branton June 3, 2013 at 11:01 am

WOW………one has to laugh when reading this article. Just look at that timing that Wil Folks has chosen to pepper his thoughts on this subject..!! He must be trying to garner more air time with TARA..!!

“….And that’s what all of this is really about, isn’t it? An ass-backward state which continues to fall further behind the rest of the country – all thanks to corrupt leaders who are never held accountable for their corruption by those whose job it is to do so….”

NO….Mr. Folks. What this article is really about is the dominoes that are lined up with the development of the Post and Courier “SQUARE” bonanza that YOU have so chosen to leave out of this article you penned.!!

Wil….you are no dummy..!! So why do you coddle your readers like they are dumb.!!? Why do you think that Robert Ford’s “treatment” coincides with the paper’s stake in neck area dealings..?? Think of how those real estate ads will impact the bottom line..?? ….and campaign accounts to come..!

Wil Folks………you need to get busy.!

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Philip Branton June 3, 2013 at 11:01 am

WOW………one has to laugh when reading this article. Just look at that timing that Wil Folks has chosen to pepper his thoughts on this subject..!! He must be trying to garner more air time with TARA..!!

“….And that’s what all of this is really about, isn’t it? An ass-backward state which continues to fall further behind the rest of the country – all thanks to corrupt leaders who are never held accountable for their corruption by those whose job it is to do so….”

NO….Mr. Folks. What this article is really about is the dominoes that are lined up with the development of the Post and Courier “SQUARE” bonanza that YOU have so chosen to leave out of this article you penned.!!

Wil….you are no dummy..!! So why do you coddle your readers like they are dumb.!!? Why do you think that Robert Ford’s “treatment” coincides with the paper’s stake in neck area dealings..?? Think of how those real estate ads will impact the bottom line..?? ….and campaign accounts to come..!

Wil Folks………you need to get busy.!

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Occam's Razor June 3, 2013 at 11:04 am

The simplest answer is usually the correct one…

So what’s more likely, that there is a vast uncovered
political/media co-conspiracy actively being perpetrated right beneath our nose
or that the Post and Courier got a little over ambitious and got some facts
wrong in a few of their stories?

FITS, You are giving Government (and the media) way too much
credit…they just aren’t that competent.

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Where's the rest of the Media June 3, 2013 at 11:27 am

If the Post and Courier’s coverage was so “true” and this cover up “so evident”, where’s the rest of the media on this? Maybe beyond FITSNews, the Policy Council and their hand-picked reporters the rest of SC doesn’t really like the taste of their Kool-Aid

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Black helicopters June 3, 2013 at 11:37 am

Isn’t if funny how the “Black helicopter” crowd always seems to claim that Government is completely incompetent at everything it does but then they suddenly become CIA-level experts when it comes to cover-ups and vast-underground conspiracies?

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mat catastrophe June 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm

^^^^THIS^^^^

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RHood2 June 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Particularly because the industry is so threatened, there are very few journalists willing to speak out against other media, unless it is so wrong it hurts us all. This reaches the level of egregiousness necessary to speak out, but again, no proof. Just some facts strung together under an interesting and titillating “motive.”

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Occam's Razor June 3, 2013 at 11:04 am

The simplest answer is usually the correct one…

So what’s more likely, that there is a vast uncovered
political/media co-conspiracy actively being perpetrated right beneath our nose
or that the Post and Courier got a little over ambitious and got some facts
wrong in a few of their stories?

FITS, You are giving Government (and the media) way too much
credit…they just aren’t that competent.

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Where's the rest of the Media June 3, 2013 at 11:27 am

If the Post and Courier’s coverage was so “true” and this cover up “so evident”, where’s the rest of the media on this? Maybe beyond FITSNews, the Policy Council and their hand-picked reporters the rest of SC doesn’t really like the taste of their Kool-Aid

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Black helicopters June 3, 2013 at 11:37 am

Isn’t if funny how the “Black helicopter” crowd always seems to claim that Government is completely incompetent at everything it does but then they suddenly become CIA-level experts when it comes to cover-ups and vast-underground conspiracies?

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mat catastrophe June 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm

^^^^THIS^^^^

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RHood2 June 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Particularly because the industry is so threatened, there are very few journalists willing to speak out against other media, unless it is so wrong it hurts us all. This reaches the level of egregiousness necessary to speak out, but again, no proof. Just some facts strung together under an interesting and titillating “motive.”

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Where is Will's Book? June 3, 2013 at 11:13 am

For years we have heard this website promote Will Folk’s
upcoming tell-all book…and this post explains why we’ll never, ever see this
book.

Creditable book publishers are sticklers for little, mostly
non-important things like FACTS. If you
aren’t bringing the facts or ability to verify them as so, publishers will not
print you book. This isn’t a very high
bar that book publishers set, just take a walk around any book story and you’ll
easily see a lot of trash that made it into publication, but yet Will Folks has
still managed to come in well under this bar.

Blogs can publish anything, Books are a little
different. And this post and it’s made
up “factual” evidence is a perfect example why we’ll never see a Will Folks
Book.

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Never to be seen June 3, 2013 at 11:32 am

The world will never see a FITS book unless Will goes tokinkos and prints it himself. He’s too busy nickel and diming SC special interests for protection money and favorable blog posts to make that kind of investment.

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Will Folks aka Sic June 3, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Like Elvis Costello said, every day I write the book …

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Where is Will's Book? June 3, 2013 at 11:13 am

For years we have heard this website promote Will Folk’s
upcoming tell-all book…and this post explains why we’ll never, ever see this
book.

Creditable book publishers are sticklers for little, mostly
non-important things like FACTS. If you
aren’t bringing the facts or ability to verify them as so, publishers will not
print you book. This isn’t a very high
bar that book publishers set, just take a walk around any book story and you’ll
easily see a lot of trash that made it into publication, but yet Will Folks has
still managed to come in well under this bar.

Blogs can publish anything, Books are a little
different. And this post and it’s made
up “factual” evidence is a perfect example why we’ll never see a Will Folks
Book.

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Never to be seen June 3, 2013 at 11:32 am

The world will never see a FITS book unless Will goes tokinkos and prints it himself. He’s too busy nickel and diming SC special interests for protection money and favorable blog posts to make that kind of investment.

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Will Folks aka Sic June 3, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Like Elvis Costello said, every day I write the book …

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LowCountry Reader June 3, 2013 at 11:44 am

There were corrections…Post and Courier printed them in the paper.
What are you talking about FITS? You can’t just rewrite history the way you want it to read…what happened, happened.

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P&C Reader June 3, 2013 at 11:49 am

It’s true. Dudley’s Harrell reporting had more than half a dozen corrections. Read the hard copies of the paper not the online versions…they corrected the online versions after they printed the corrections but they couldn’t change the hard copy ones that had been printed.

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It's true June 3, 2013 at 11:51 am

They are there…just check the hard copies.

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LowCountry Reader June 3, 2013 at 11:44 am

There were corrections…Post and Courier printed them in the paper.
What are you talking about FITS? You can’t just rewrite history the way you want it to read…what happened, happened.

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P&C Reader June 3, 2013 at 11:49 am

It’s true. Dudley’s Harrell reporting had more than half a dozen corrections. Read the hard copies of the paper not the online versions…they corrected the online versions after they printed the corrections but they couldn’t change the hard copy ones that had been printed.

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It's true June 3, 2013 at 11:51 am

They are there…just check the hard copies.

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Simple Simon June 3, 2013 at 1:51 pm

If the P&C is such a shill for Harrell,why did they publish the stories in the first place?These guys are just reporters.They dont make the decision as to what actually goes in the paper.Im no fan of Harrell but the REPUBLICANS in his District overwhelmingly re elected him even after these stories came out.

Just like Sanford.Look,ultimately,the people get the government they deserve.Its quite apparent from the one party domination of this state that the voters herein LIKE this type government.And,really, its got nothing to do with newspapers and reporters.

Simple!

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Simple Simon June 3, 2013 at 1:51 pm

If the P&C is such a shill for Harrell,why did they publish the stories in the first place?These guys are just reporters.They dont make the decision as to what actually goes in the paper.Im no fan of Harrell but the REPUBLICANS in his District overwhelmingly re elected him even after these stories came out.

Just like Sanford.Look,ultimately,the people get the government they deserve.Its quite apparent from the one party domination of this state that the voters herein LIKE this type government.And,really, its got nothing to do with newspapers and reporters.

Simple!

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dohickey June 3, 2013 at 2:13 pm

thanks for exposing the bias Post and Courier for their reporting on Bobby Harrell. Not only will he screw the State of S.C. but also people who thought he was their friend.
As evidence of his power, why has there been such a cover up with the Nancy Latham case? Her house was allegedly searched by FBI and ATF agents, yet not one word in the Post and Courier.You tell me Bobby Harrell doesn’t control everyone associated with that news paper!!!

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dohickey June 3, 2013 at 2:13 pm

thanks for exposing the bias Post and Courier for their reporting on Bobby Harrell. Not only will he screw the State of S.C. but also people who thought he was their friend.
As evidence of his power, why has there been such a cover up with the Nancy Latham case? Her house was allegedly searched by FBI and ATF agents, yet not one word in the Post and Courier.You tell me Bobby Harrell doesn’t control everyone associated with that news paper!!!

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ELCID June 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Why do you think we call it: THE NEWSLESS COURIER?!!!”
Maybe we should rename it: “The Bobby Harrell Toilet Paper.”

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ELCID June 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Why do you think we call it: THE NEWSLESS COURIER?!!!”
Maybe we should rename it: “The Bobby Harrell Toilet Paper.”

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Fred Friendly June 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm

A long-time editor there tells me Manigault signs off on all high-profile firings, and often initiates the firings.

Manigault has three degrees of separation but ultimately flips the switch. They call it “the twenty-four-fifty.”

Manigault wants “mistake hires” — like Winger, Dudley, Largen — really gone.

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CNSYD June 3, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Does Manigault own the P&C? Is this a right to work state? If those are both correct, he can do whatever he desires with his paper and hire and fire whom he pleases. If you don’t like his paper, don’t buy it.

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Fred Friendly June 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm

A long-time editor there tells me Manigault signs off on all high-profile firings, and often initiates the firings.

Manigault has three degrees of separation but ultimately flips the switch. They call it “the twenty-four-fifty.”

Manigault wants “mistake hires” — like Winger, Dudley, Largen — really gone.

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CNSYD June 3, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Does Manigault own the P&C? Is this a right to work state? If those are both correct, he can do whatever he desires with his paper and hire and fire whom he pleases. If you don’t like his paper, don’t buy it.

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Send Harrell To Prison June 3, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Same thing when a corrupt SC Family Court judge (Segars-Andrews) was being thrown off the bench. Same thing when Charleston attorney Andy Savage was possibly illegally using his subpoena power on the Post and Courier to harvest information that likely was illegally provided/shared to/with individuals who wanted to know the real names of anonymous posters in the comment sections of the Post and Corrupt’s website stories.

And Joe Riley’s cyber crime spy unit? SLED’s cyber crime spy units? They should stop acting like AG Eric Holder and his cronies.
Good reporting, Will. The truth stings the dickens out of them. They hate being exposed for what they really are.

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Send Harrell To Prison June 3, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Same thing when a corrupt SC Family Court judge (Segars-Andrews) was being thrown off the bench. Same thing when Charleston attorney Andy Savage was possibly illegally using his subpoena power on the Post and Courier to harvest information that likely was illegally provided/shared to/with individuals who wanted to know the real names of anonymous posters in the comment sections of the Post and Corrupt’s website stories.

And Joe Riley’s cyber crime spy unit? SLED’s cyber crime spy units? They should stop acting like AG Eric Holder and his cronies.
Good reporting, Will. The truth stings the dickens out of them. They hate being exposed for what they really are.

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Gertie June 3, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Back in the day Pierre’s daddy was smart enough to hire good people to run the News and Courier, while he sat back collecting his checks, hunting, and jet setting to Argentina and around the world. Pierre should follow daddy’s success business model and let the hired hands run the joint without his liberal nonsense.

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Gertie June 3, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Back in the day Pierre’s daddy was smart enough to hire good people to run the News and Courier, while he sat back collecting his checks, hunting, and jet setting to Argentina and around the world. Pierre should follow daddy’s success business model and let the hired hands run the joint without his liberal nonsense.

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ChiefCD June 4, 2013 at 1:08 am

Legal ads… That’s the motivation.

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Chicora June 4, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Goes much deeper and over a longer period of time than that Chief. Could very well be some indictments for the Manigaults and high level staff under RICO statues. Look very deeply into the P&C’s circulation figures that prop-up the fees they charge for all advertising. Harrell knows where the bodies are buried for this old Charleston family. And he knows exactly which strings to pull…to get the results he wants. Legal ads are just a small part of it as the P&C continues to lose market share.

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Chicora June 4, 2013 at 2:28 pm

That’s only part of it Chief. There’s some RICO stuff in there too.

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ChiefCD June 4, 2013 at 1:08 am

Legal ads… That’s the motivation.

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Chicora June 4, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Goes much deeper and over a longer period of time than that Chief. Could very well be some indictments for the Manigaults and high level staff under RICO statues. Look very deeply into the P&C’s circulation figures that prop-up the fees they charge for all advertising. Harrell knows where the bodies are buried for this old Charleston family. And he knows exactly which strings to pull…to get the results he wants. Legal ads are just a small part of it as the P&C continues to lose market share.

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Chicora June 4, 2013 at 2:28 pm

That’s only part of it Chief. There’s some RICO stuff in there too.

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