by Andrew Walden
Is it a ‘job security’ endorsement?
The Advertiser today announced its endorsement of Ed Case for Congress in the May 1-22 Special Election. The Advertiser Editors called Case “heroic” for showing up to vote in Congress and for holding lots of constituent meetings back home. They also said he was a Democrat. But it is what they didn’t say that raises questions about the Advertiser's ethical standards.
The Advertiser is being bought out by Black Press, owner of the Star-Bulletin. Among Black’s local partners is Ed Case’s uncle, Dan H Case.
Six hundred Advertiser employees are on tenterhooks waiting to see if they will be rehired by the new entity. Their new bosses are still running the Star-Bulletin as the purchase passes through various procedural hoops. Who will stay and who will go depends on the good will of Dan H Case, Black Press, and the other members of the Star-Bulletin Editorial Board.
As the Star-Bulletin’s Craig Gima explained back in February:
Black's purchase of the Advertiser, announced Thursday, would likely leave the Canadian businessman and local investors Jeffrey and Lynn Watanabe, Duane Kurisu, Larry and Claire Johnson, Island Holdings Inc., Dan Case and C.S. Wo & Sons Ltd. with the only daily newspaper in Honolulu.
As corporate attorney for Grove Farm, Dan H. Case played a controversial role in the 2001 purchase of Grove Farm by his son, AOL founder Steve Case.
Ed Case’s 2006 Primary challenge to Sen Dan Akaka benefitted from an April, 2006 Time Magazine portrayal of Akaka as one of the nation’s “Five Worst Senators”. Many observers were quick to point out the relationship between AOL Time Warner’s Steve Case and his cousin, Ed Case.
Are the Cases now making another media-related power play? Given the Case family history, could Advertiser employees hang their hopes for a job at the new Star-Advertiser on any other conclusion?
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