Archive for June, 2007

Cleaning Out the Thought Closet
June 29, 2007

Just like I do at the end of the week with my closets at home, I like to clean out the closet of random thoughts I have in the back of my mind from time to time. It’s not that there is nothing worth blogging about, but none of these random observations is worth one single blog:

I-PHONE: WORTH THE WAIT? … I’m interested in the Apple I-Phone, but not enough to spend $500 and $200 in monthly charges to be the “cool” person on my block. By the way, what is up with these people lined up outside stores this morning for a phone? I’m sorry but for such tech-savvy people – it’s just stupid to wait outside for ten-plus hours.

FAN REVOLT … Disgruntled Pirate fans plan to leave – en masee – Saturday night in the middle of the game to protest the Pirates 14-year run of futility and bad management. Will it make a difference? I doubt it. A message for the fans: If you really want to send the Bucs a message than don’t go in the first place. Not showing up does much more than showing up, spending your money and then leaving.

NORTH SHORE INSANITY … Speaking of the Pirates, they and the Steelers are drawing a line in the sand over the construction of that new casino. Folks, this is not about traffic patterns as the teams will tell you or about protecting the interest of the fans. This is about money – and whether a casino will cut into their bottom lines. I don’t know why the Bucs would be upset. Given their recent performance, they need to pray that casino patrons might pass by the ballpark – and purchase a ticket. Meanwhile, the growth of the North Shore is stymied by this battle – as is the flow of millions which is earmarked for the new arena.

MAYOR IN THE MIDDLE .. There are a lot of jobs I would love to have, but don’t count being the Mayor of Pittsburgh as one of them. Right now, Luke Ravenstahl is in the middle of the debate over three police officers being promoted who have histories of alleged domestic abuse. He’s feeling the heat from both sides — the police union and various women’s organizations. No matter what the Mayor does, someone is going to be unhappy — and I’m sure his republican challenger in the November election will hop all over this issue in their upcoming debates.

I think that’s it. Now my thought closet is nice and clean — until next week and who knows what clutter it up. After all, we haven’t heard from Paris Hilton in two days.

Whatever Happened To …
June 28, 2007

In my days of covering sports in this town, I discovered there is only one thing more interesting to Steeler fans than the current crop of Black & Gold players – and that’s former Steeler stars. Don’t believe me? Who has gotten more attention and press this summer – Bill Cowher or Mike Tomlin? I rest my case.

Same is true when we talk about TV news personalities in this city. I still have people asking me when Susan Koeppen will return from vacation.

One of those former WTAE people that still has a following in Ellen Gamble. In case you don’t remember – Ellen was the morning traffic reporter and later anchored the weekend morning newscasts. She was very good, very personable and part of a winning morning team during the early part of this decade.

Now, she a happy newlywed and doing some very important work at the Women’s Center and Shelter. Abused women need a place of safety – a place to put their lives together when their relationships take a turn for the worst and that’s what the Women’s Center and Shelter does. Ellen believes in it’s mission – and last night, we had the chance to team up again.

The Rotary Club held a wine tasting and silent auction fundraiser at the Rivers Club with part of the proceeds going to the Women’s Center and Shelter. Along with Ellen and myself in the photo above is Bruce May, the wine writer for Pittsburgh Magazine and our guest host and Rebecca Gilbert from UBS Financial. Thanks to everyone who made the night so special — and Ellen, it was great to see you again. We all miss you at Channel 4.

Before I go, I need to tell you that I did not watch the Paris Hilton interview last night on Larry King Live ( I had better things to do like trim my toe nails and organizing my sock drawer). But when the clap of thunder woke me out a deep sleep at 1AM, I did flip on CNN and saw Anderson Cooper’s 360 show. It was then I realized something – I don’t hate Paris Hilton. I hate the people who keep talking up this vapid excuse for a star. Cooper had a panel of “experts” discussing what they thought of the interview and whether Paris was a “changed person.”

Let’s be honest. It’s the jock-sniffing celebrity journalists who make their living talking about these so-called celebrities. For the last time, I think I speak for the majority of the persons on the planet when I say WHO CARES? Enough with Paris. I’m officially done. Next time I talk about Paris, it better have the word “France” after it.

ONE FINAL NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I have removed yesterday’s blog and accompanying photos. This was done because I overstepped my bounds by discussing something of a personal nature involving more than just myself. It involved another person. She has asked that I remove the blog and photos and I will abide by her request. I apologize and as I continue blogging, I realize that sometimes you make mistakes in this forum – and that every day is a learning experience. I’ll try to do better next time.

Paris is Free … Whoopee!
June 26, 2007

Here’s a little known secret about TV news. Often local news is looked down upon when compared with the giants of network and cable news. We on the local side are often called formula-driven in our presentation — and accused of playing to the lowest common denominator. This morning, an example of the big boys calling the kettle black.

You were not up at 3am. Unfortunately, I was. I was heading to work and listening to the cable news channels on my XM radio. I listened as they broke into programming with live coverage of Paris Hilton’s release from prison. If you know me or have read my blog you know how I feel about Paris Hilton. If not, let me say this: She is the epitome of the term “famous for being famous”.

While Hilton doesn’t deserve much more commentary than that, the way her released was covered by the so-called “networks” – cable and broadcast – border on the absurd. Cameras and paparazzi capturing her as she walked to her car along a police-made runway ( and what was up with her arms hanging down and not moving? ), her Escalade being followed by choppers like it was the O.J. chase and her car being swarmed by photographers every time her entourage hit a stop light. All the while, so-called experts speculating on everything from her “next move” to whether she was indeed a “changed woman” to her final destination this morning.

Yes, we did show video of Hilton being released from prison – a whole 30 seconds – and if you were watching, you could tell there was a tongue-in-cheek quality to our commentary, but the cable nets were overboard. Hours of coverage along with hours of rambling and drivel passing for commentary.

To be honest, I felt like I was watching a parody of a newscast watching these people cover this non-story. Maybe I just don’t get the “Paris” thing. Maybe I just think there are more important things in the world. Whatever, I probably have blown my chance to work at Fox News or CNN. Then again, I’m quite content with the work we do here – and the proportion of time we give to Paris Hilton.
( Photo courtesy: Associated Press )

The Paddlemaker: A Reporter’s Viewpoint
June 25, 2007

Unusual would be the best way to describe it. Horrific would be the worst. Joey Salvati’s paddle-making enterprise falls somewhere in the middle.

As you may have seen on Channel 4 Action News – or read in the Tribune-Review – there is a New Kensington carpenter who makes paddles designed for spanking children. He sends them to parents – for free – along with a list of instructions for how to use it. The instructions include everything from the number of swats to apply to the calibration of your paddle ( i.e. smack yourself in the backside to determine how hard you want to hit your child).

Here’s Salvati’s argument – or should I say the argument Salvati says he received from the Lord during four conversations with the almighty in his shower. Spanking is going to happen and oftentimes it’s a function of anger. All the paddle and the accompanying instructions do is turn what could become a beating into a thoughtful, less-violent exercise that will educate both parent and child and lead to mutual respect on both sides.

OK, before I lower the hammer, let me say this: I do believe Salvati does want what is best for the parent and child, and his desire to take the violence out of spanking makes sense. He even claims that upon receiving the paddle, some parents have been scared by the very sight of it and chosen not to use it — rather, seeing it as a symbol of what could happen when emotion takes over. Plus, he says the paddle should never be used on a child age six or younger.

That being said, there is no reason to ever hit a child. Let me repeat that. THERE IS NO REASON TO EVER HIT A CHILD … even that bratty little cousin we all have, who somehow spills fruit punch on your video game console and ruins your $200 investment (not that I dwell on that). The mere act of offering a paddle for use in punishing a child – in my opinion – borders on child abuse. I don’t know about his god, but I know the one I worship would never ask me to do something so heinous.

Still, this man is doing nothing wrong, and has received orders for his paddles from most of the continental United States. On each paddle, he has stamped on the bottom the following: Joey is not responsible for the misuse of this paddle. That is his version of a disclaimer and probably is the one thing on which I completely agree with him. It is not Salvati who uses the paddle. It is the person who actually takes the time to order it through his Web site. While we want to blame Salvati for this, in truth it is the people that order and use the paddle who are the real villains in all of this.

So How Did It Go?
June 25, 2007

In case you were wondering ….

My anniversary celebration with Sharon was filled with both highs and lows. We started with a golf date Friday afternoon at St. Clair Country Club. We were supposed to tee off at 2pm, but Sharon got stuck at work – and we didn’t hit the links until three. Then, we discovered everyone else chose to play golf Friday afternoon so it wasn’t exactly the speed round.

But things picked up when we invited the couple that was waiting behind us to play with us and give us a foursome. Bill and Carol were members there and their insights on the course – as well as life – made for a pleasurable afternoon. Then came the shocker. As we were finishing up our round, I told them we were celebrating our anniversary. Turns out Bill and Carol were married the same day we were – 51 years earlier!

By the time we finally got to the restaurant – which was almost 9pm – I was exhausted. Having been up since 2am with only three hours of sleep the night before, I was hardly in shape for an extended romantic evening. In fact, I almost fell asleep during dinner. Sharon – who by the way got all dressed up and looked beautiful that night – could see I was fading so we made it an early evening and decided we would do dinner another night.

The rest of the weekend was taken with Sharon’s cousin and her husband in town. It wasn’t exactly what I had envisioned for a romantic anniversary, but so many of you made the point: It’s not about what you do, it’s the fact you do it together, That’s why the highlight for me was Sunday afternoon when Sharon and I decided to go play a leisurely round of golf. There was no one on the course and we pretty much took our time — and Sharon played great!!!!

Thanks to everyone who sent well-wishes and suggestions for spending our anniversary – and Denise, thanks for the anniversary card ( she is always so thoughtful ). And Sharon — Happy Anniversary since today is the actual day we decided to toe the knot on that beach in Saint Thomas. You looked beautiful and breath-taking on that Sunday afternoon … and you still do today.

And the winner is ….
June 22, 2007

Well, the special weekend is here — Sharon and I are celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary. Seven years ago, we trekked down to Saint Thomas and pledged our undying love for all eternity on a beach with family and friends.

I asked you earlier this week how we should celebrate the 7th anniversary of this milestone – and you responded!

Jen in Greensburg suggested something creative. Giving Sharon 11 red roses with a white one in the middle – with a card that says there are a million people in the world and you are the one for me.

Denise from Pittsburgh, as well my executive producer Dana, thought that restaging our first date would be the perfect way to celebrate. Nice idea, but I don’t think I want to go to crowded dance club full of twenty-somethings.

Kim in Pittsburgh, Darla from White Oak, Kim in Monongahela, Kim in New Stanton ( boy I know a lot of Kims ) and the entire office at the Epilepsy Foundation were on the same track. Why not take Sharon away for a romantic weekend? Possible sites included 7 Springs, Sharon PA, Deep Creek Maryland and even Las Vegas.

Denise from Clairton knows of our passion for the links — so she proposed taking Sharon to Greenbrier in West Virginia for a golf, spa and dinner getaway.

Mandy in Pittsburgh gets top honors for the most unique idea. She told me her husband placed roses everywhere she went that day — the bathroom, the car, etc.

Jillian in Mount Pleasant suggested a simple road trip. Why not a quiet romantic dinner and a nice stroll and a trip down memory lane discussing what has transpired in our lives?

And thanks to several of you who suggested jewelry — and many who told me that copper is the metal used to symbolize the 7th year of marriage.

Well, after all these awesome ideas – and thanks for each one of them – I was ready to choose my course of action when I got an e-mail from a woman named Sharon:

“Hey, I got a suggestion. Why not take me to play golf Friday afternoon and then you can take me to my favorite Thai restaurant?”.

I guess I have learned two lessons. Sometimes, it is best to go the source and just ask .. and she really does read my blog.

Tragedy in Larimer … Again
June 21, 2007

It’s been more than a week since the tragic death of five children from a horrible house fire in Larimer – ignited by the kids playing with matches. They were all under ten .. and all died too young, too soon.

But today, the other shoe has fallen. The two mothers – Furaha “T” Love and Shakita Mangun – now face charges of leaving the children home alone to go out and have a drink at a local bar. Their earlier story – that a babysitter watching the kids had left them alone – proving to be a lie.

Let me say right off being a mother is a difficult job – and being a single mom might be the greatest challenge on this planet given the obstacle one must face. That being said, I agree with District Attorney Stephen Zappala’s assessment when it comes to the women leaving their children – it’s unacceptable.

Parenting is the hardest job in the world, but as Dennis Miller once quipped, it’s the easiest one to get: Just mess up once and it’s yours. I’m not sure how these women became moms, but it’s obvious they were not ready for this duty. This was not just a one-time misstep: This was leaving seven children home alone. Who does this?
As if this wasn’t enough, an attorney for one of the mothers offered up perhaps the worse defense ever for this case of negligence. He told our Marcie Cipiriani – on-camera – that is was not the mom’s fault because the kid would have died in the fire even if the mothers were there. Are you kidding me? Is there a mother – or father – out there who wouldn’t give their own lives to save their kids? Not only is that the most insane defense I have ever heard, but if the mother being represented by that attorney is smart, she fires him right now.

It’s a tragedy – on two fronts. Five children who did not need to die — and two mothers who did not need to leave the children home alone.

Sausage on a stick .. and getting invovled for a good cause!
June 20, 2007

Oh the things you discover while out covering a story.

Tuesday morning, I went to Carnegie to cover an abandoned warehouse fire .. and once the fire was put out, the assembled media waited outside for a comment from the owner. This can often become a tedious proposition — especially when you have not had anything to eat since the previous afternoon.

The Salvation Army was more than kind to offer us coffee .. but another TV reporter from a station other than WTAE brought over something from the Salvation Army van – a sausage on a stick. Not being from Pittsburgh, I assumed this was some strange local treat, but after one bite – I was hooked!

It’s a sausage with a pancake wrapped around it – an it was tremendous. I felt like I was eating something from McDonald’s. Breakfast treats from the Salvation Army – who knew?

Shifting gears, my weeks are usually filled with charitable events – both fun and fulfilling an important purpose. Two such events took place this week. Saturday – as I do every year – I took part as a honorary co-chair of the Pirates Fun Run/Walk for the Epilepsy Foundation.

Above is a photo just outside PNC Park with fellow co-chairs Tom Gorzelanny of the Pirates and Jim Krenn from the DVE morning show. The lovely lady in the middle is Judy Painter — the head of the Epilepsy Foundation of Western Pennsylvania. She has been the force behind this event – an event I have taken part in since the day we use to finish the 5K inside Three Rivers Stadium.

Here’s my other photo:

My foursome from the American Diabetes Association golf event at Southpointe Golf Club in Washington. Ron, Terry and Kathy are all with First Commonwealth – the presenting sponsor. We had a great day on the links in annual fundraising event for ADA. Two things will stand out in my mind from Tuesday. First, the weather. Demetrius Ivory hit it right on the nose – we had a five hour window to get the round in and then the heavens opened up and nearly flooded the fairways.

The second part? Kathy was playing the first round of golf in her life. With a few lessons from her husband and a few encouraging words from her sons, she took to the fairways. While she had more than her share of misses, her drive and putt helped us save par at 18. I think Kathy caught the golf bug on this day.

7 years … and no itching
June 19, 2007

My 7th wedding anniversary is coming up on Monday and I can honestly say I do not feel the same way about Sharon the day that I married her. Before you start to say “what’s wrong with you”, please think about this: Do any of us feel EXACTLY the same way we felt about our spouses on our wedding day? Unless you have been married for less than a year, your feelings will change and I have no problem with saying that.

I mean, I have spent the last 7 years with this person – and people change over time. Hey, look at us from this photo from the Tribune-Review taken a year into our wedding bliss:

As you can see, I have lost at least one chin since 2000. Also, we have grown older and perhaps more mature, but also we have found we have many differences of opinion we did not know about when we first started dating. We have had disagreements and full-blown arguments. We care about each other — just in a very different way.
Right now, I need your help. I know my wife doesn’t read my blog – because she finds the political blogs much more interesting. So – especially you ladies out there – what should I do for the 7th anniversary? It’s not 5 or 10, but it’s significant because there has been no “seven year itch” here. Should I do dinner, a special weekend or perhaps a road trip somewhere? I have some ideas, but I could use your input.
There is a time limit – so the sooner, the better. Thanks in advance. After all, I am a guy and there is no manual that comes with marriage to explain what you should do or how you should celebrate the seven-year mark.

Open Weekend
June 18, 2007

My version of “heaven on earth” is now complete. The US Open was a fantastic event – and while I was out there all week doing stories for the newscast, my favorite day was Sunday. That was because it was not only the final round, but also Sharon and I got a chance to go as fans.

We took the afternoon to walk the course — see the various holes — watch various players at work and bask in the sunshine of a glorious June day in western Pennsylvania. We also got a real up-close look at the “Tiger Effect” in all it’s splendor.
It was 2pm and Tiger was on the practice tee warming up when he went over to the putting and chipping area. As he strode over to the rough, he looked buff and muscular in his form-fitting red top and black pants. As he moved, so did the throng which encircled the practice area. They watched quietly as he putted and chipped, truly an amazing scene when you consider people around here are known for yelling and screaming at sporting events. There were more people – hundreds – watching him warm up than were watching the action on the adjacent 18th fairway. Finally, when he was done, as he walked away he received a standing ovation — for just chipping and putting!!!

We were fortunate to watch the dramatic final round unfold from one of the tents – and it was amazing all the famous faces on hand there. We met the wife of Governor Rendell and just missed former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor – who I understand played golf with Arnold Palmer the day before.

We also enjoyed some wonderful food and beverages – as well as the thrill of being at the premiere sporting event of that day. It was also nice because we got to spend some quality time with some dear friends – Tony and Amy Dias. Tony is a long-time friend and Oakmont member and served on the committee hosting the event. He – and the entire golf club community should take pride in putting on a world class show. A show that won’t be coming back to Oakmont until 2015 at the earliest.

The other hilight – at least for me – was seeing all of western Pennsylvania show up along the fairways. It was great seeing people I knew every few feet — friends, acquaintances and co-workers — strolling along the course. While Oakmont was the host, it was the entire region that made it a success and you should be proud.

BTW, I bought way too much golf stuff — hats, shirts, bag tags. Although I will say I am NOT one of “those” people who purchased the four-set of shirts Tiger wore during each day of the competition. Yes, you could actually buy the same shirt he was wearing — but let’s be honest – that tight shirt would not look good on me.

No Experience Necessary?
June 14, 2007

Reality TV has done it all: played a game of survivor on a deserted island, made famous people dance and even tried to find everlasting love. So why not journey into the world of television news.

Another network is debuting the program “Anchorwoman” – a reality show based upon a station in Tyler, Texas hiring Lauren Jones. She is a former swimsuit model with no journalistic experience and her co-stars are the real life anchors, reporters and producers at the CBS station in Tyler.

As you might imagine, her hiring has caused quite a firestorm among those in the world of broadcast news. Some say her hiring is making a mockery of those who legitimately worked their way up the often treacherous ladder of TV news to get to where they are today. Some of the griping might be legitimate, some might be jealously — though I think there would be controversy if she wasn’t a blond swimsuit model.

I have not seen the show – or the woman at the center of it – but just like the Don Imus case I believe the public should decide. If people prefer their news from experienced people, the ratings will let you know. If they prefer pretty people with little news background, the ratings will reflect that as well.

TV news has always had to strike an uncomfortable balance — serious journalism with presenting a visually pleasing broadcast and part of that formula has always included attractive men and women. This latest experiment takes it to an extreme but shows what many think television is all about – looks.

Look folks, I’ve never considered myself a “journalist”. I think the term is too stuffy what I do. I’m a reporter who goes out and tells stories and I’m an anchor who gets on the set and tries to convey information in a manner viewers can digest and understand.

I’m not angered or upset – after all, “Anchorwoman” is a reality show and that’s the way it’s being presented. Also, performance in front of the camera is a crucial component of what we do as broadcasters and if someone has a natural talent in front of the lens, I think that should be considered a positive. I just hope that after people she this program, they don’t think that a;; we do is read a TelePrompTer. Then again, some probably think that already.

Notes from the Open
June 13, 2007

This week will be tough for me to blog because of my work on the coverage of the U.S. Open at Oakmont.

What I have quickly discovered from the course is that many people are there not to see golf, but to see Tiger Woods. He has become a rock star and turned a game that was once seen as elitist into a sport for the masses – much like Arnold Palmer did four decades earlier.

As for Mr. Palmer, he will be named honorary chairperson today — and I could not be happier. What a very nice and generous man .. and I had the chance to play with him a few years ago at Laurel Valley. Truly a career highlight for myself.

Saw Mario Lemieux walking the course Tuesday .. and just to give you a sense at how many big stars are on the course .. I think I was the only person to recognize #66 in his golf attire.

I have also noticed that there is very little traffic in downtown Oakmont – much to the surprise of business owners there hoping to cash in on the Open. Instead, with fans being bused in from Hartwood Acres and points beyond, downtown Oakmont has become a ghost town – except for the residents and the players who may be staying the community.

I will be talking more about golf — and what I’m seeing at the Open — in my daily video blog in the U.S. Open section of this website. Then, I promise to get back to my more mundane musings when things get back to normal next week.

One last note: I do appreciate your comments and insights regarding my blogs, but I would appreciate if some of you could keep the offensive language to a minimum. This is a family blog here and I don’t want any cursing. As your teacher might tell you, cursing just shows how limited your vocabulary truly is. Of course, this is the exception. For the most part, people have been so kind and supportive in their responses that I enjoy writing.

See you from the Open!

On the Job for One Year
June 12, 2007

Folks, I have to run out to the Open at Oakmont, so unfortunately my blogs this week will have to be quick ones.

Today is my anniversary – one year on the job ( and they said it wouldn’t last ). I started this trip into TV news on June 12th 2006 – a day I will always remember because of an incident that took place around 12pm that day. There’s little doubt you will forget what happened my first day as well.

As one writer put it, this was Pittsburgh’s version of the Kennedy Assassination – the Ben Roethlisberger motorcycle accident. What began as a reported cycle crash turned into a vigil that would last for weeks, a media crush like none this city has ever seen and a football season gone sour.

I was there for the beginning – joining Michelle Wright and Sally Wiggin for three hours of breaking news coverage. I guessed we were fortunate as a news organization that morning that a former sports guy – just three days removed from his last sportscast – was there to talk about Ben and keep the story moving. I was able to use my contacts to speak with Steelers coaches and players – in essence being the first to tell them what had happened.

It was a day I will never forget – and I doubt many of you will either. People still tell me they remember where they were when it happened. I know I do. It was just my first day on the job.

Time I Will Never Get Back
June 11, 2007

When I reach the end of my days – which hopefully is many years from now — I will still be upset when it’s time to take the big dirt nap. That’s because no matter what happens, I will never get back the hour of my life I lost last night watching HBO’s “The Sopranos”.

If you didn’t see it last night and have it on TiVo, the following paragraphs might spoil it for you. Then again, you will feel a whole lot better than I do — having to sit through and watch one major player get whacked — and then tuning in for an ending that left me completely unsatisfied. Paraphrasing the theme song: “Woke this morning .. .got myself a gun ” .. ready to blow my brains out after that horrible ending.

All you need to know is that inside the diner at the end, the tension was so great that you figured Tony – or Carmella – or A.J. was going to be killed just as Meadow was walking in. Instead, just before Meadow enters — the screen goes black! I thought my cable went out at the most inopportune time. Instead, they went to credits and there was nothing after that.

I was so mad — and felt so cheated. I know it’s a television show, but when you sink your heart into a program and watch faithfully for nine years, you expect more than this. I thought it was great and compelling television for years – and while this season lacked excitement – I still expected a pay-off at the end – not a tease.

I’m so mad, I’m telling people that instead of anchoring the news this morning, I stayed home because I would let my frustrations go on the air. That’s not true, but that is how I feel. I do plan to write HBO and try and get a refund for the last nine years of cable I’ve paid for, but I doubt it will do much good.

OK, I’m done venting. See you Tuesday at the Open — which should bring us high drama and not cut to black on the final hole.

Hilton Checks Out
June 8, 2007

I try not to write about Paris Hilton because I really do not think she is worth it. I mean I admire this woman has taken her massive fortune and used it to achieve a goal — in this case being famous for nothing. She has become a celebrity celebrated for accomplishing absolutely nothing.

Still, Hilton is worth a few moments in my blog after what may be the biggest miscarriage of justice since the O.J. verdict. OK, stay with me on this one. This woman is sent to prison for 23 days for violating her probation. 23 days. Three days into her stay in jail – in which see enjoyed her own cell – Hilton suddenly is allowed to go home, citing “medical reasons”. When the truth comes out, we learn she has suffered crying jags and refuses to eat prison food. Hilton cannot handle the emotional strain of prison and her high-priced lawyer gets her out early.

I know Paris does not read my blog, but if she did I would have this advice for her: Paris – it’s prison. It’s supposed to be unpleasant. It’s supposed to be emotionally trying and just because you are crying, it doesn’t mean you get to go home and serve the rest of your sentence in a minimum security mansion where you have access to all your toys.

Well, that is exactly what happened to Hilton. She is now home – under house arrest. That’s like you and I skipping school because we are supposedly sick and staying home all day to justify our decision to stay home. That’s no kind of sentence.

There is a sense that the justice system often favors those of a certain racial and economic background. That money and privilege can buy you a break from punishment. Those in the legal world say it’s not true. However, how else can you explain Paris Hilton’s sentence being lessened because she essentially threw a hissy fit?

There is talk this morning that Hilton might lose her”get out of jail free” card. Whether she does or she does not, the damage has been done and the proof is there. Justice maybe blind, but she it’s not immune to celebrity — or cash.