Legendary wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin has a couple of great taglines both of which are easily transferable to Slabbed. For example Slabbed 3:16 means we just cyber whipped your ass and DTA means Don’t Trust Anyone. When it comes to dealing with the media in greater New Orleans I’ve found that last bit of advice particularly salient, especially when it comes to the TeeVee news in NOLA and the big three media outlets, Channels 4, 6 & 8 and the web sites affiliated with them. But alas this post isn’t about the plants, puppets and tools such as Eric Paulsen or WWL-TV “pundit”/Gambitman Clancy Dubos though the refresher helps set up this post. This post is all about radio pundit Garland Robinette, a Grover Norquist parrot that got wayyyyyy too much post Katrina media face time IMHO. In particular Slabbed broke Robinette’s involvement in the landfill portion last December though we did not mention him by name. But eventually I did name his name in the same post that tagged Gambitman in March that is worth revisiting in part:
And this brings us to Channel 4 editorialists and Gambit man Clancy Dubos, who I think has revealed himself as a Fred Heebe waterboy when he checked in with this missive on how River Birch has a new PR firm that is somehow kicking ass. (I swear you can’t make this stuff up). The truth here is that River Birch has pretty much gotten its ass kicked in the PR arena despite throwing big money out on full-page ads, hired gun economists and the like. After reading Clancy’s story I was left with the impression Loren Scott was a PR shill instead of an economist but we already figured that out for ourselves. I can’t wait until Scott’s work product is produced by River Birch as I suspect we’ll have a copy for everyone to examine here on Slabbed once it becomes part of the court record. A deposition of Loren Scott is likely also in order and maybe we’ll all find out how much money Scott’s wife at Blue Cross made underwriting insurance for Tim Whitmer to sell River Birch.
Finally, I also now wonder who else Team River Birch was paying as consultants, especially other members of the local media whose land dealings with Team Heebe have been the subject of federal subpoena.
All I know is with all the events that are unfolding……
There’s no controlling the unrolling of your fate, my friend,
Who knows what’s written in the magic book.
I can not lie I knew something big was coming this week as I sensed a disturbance in the force. This morning Paul Rioux over at the Times Picayune solves the mystery for us in a story that shows exactly how Heebe was pulling the strings of his media puppet Garland Robinette. It is a must read folks. Here is a snippet as we welcome back our old Slabbed fav Dane Ciolino:
WWL talk radio host Garland Robinette received $250,000 from the owner of the River Birch Landfill in October 2007, after Robinette routinely used his show to criticize the reopening of the rival Old Gentilly Landfill to dispose of Hurricane Katrina debris, his attorney confirmed. Federal authorities investigating River Birch flagged the monetary transfer and interviewed Robinette several times late last year, said Robinette’s attorney Dane Ciolino, who said the money was a loan.
A loan indeed. Garland has some property to sell and Heebe was there to help. If memory serves there was a total of 5 real estate transactions look at by Team Fed where ol’ Garland was associated in one way shape or fashion and Rioux expertly fills in the details as we continue:
“They asked him a lot of questions, and he has cooperated fully,” Ciolino said Friday. “He has been told that he is not a subject or target of the investigation.”
Embattled River Birch owner Fred Heebe loaned Robinette the money through a company Heebe owns, Ciolino said.
“Fred Heebe is a personal friend of Garland’s” he said, “and it was a personal loan.”
Ciolino said the loan was to be repaid once Robinette and his wife sold a vacant lot they own in St. Tammany Parish. He said he believed Robinette, an avid painter, used the money to build an art studio.
Ciolino said he did not know whether Robinette has repaid the loan or whether he has been paying interest.
The disclosure involving one of New Orleans’ most prominent media figures is the latest development in the 20-month investigation of River Birch, which allegedly paid $460,000 in bribes to a former state official to lobby for closing Old Gentilly.
Like I said folks the entire story is well worth reading as lots of details on how Heebe came to own segments of the local media are laid bare, including the T-P’s own Gorden Russell, the man who gave Slabbed its first MSM hat tip for our Perdigao coverage. In fairness to Russell he claims to have not received a dime from Team Heebe and I think we can take him at his word on that folks. Frankly I’m happy to see the T-P tackle this aspect of the story head on Slabbed style as Garland is MIA hiding behind Ciolino, who may be interest conflicted here due to his representation of Tim Whitmer, one of the major players in the corruption scandal.
And this brings us to my favorite subject, Slabbed. Since we began covering news in metro New Orleans it has come to my attention there is a veritable cottage industry engaged in speculation as to this blog motivations, recently encapsulated by an incredibly ignorant remark left on NOLA recently that Slabbed was Anne Marie Vandenweghe’s “alter ego”. What Slabbed is in reality is the distillation of a variety of sources that often have divergent opinions. In fact I seek out and listen to this select group of folks precisely because of that fact. The political classes think people are not paying attention to their looting of the local treasuries and sadly they are correct that most folks are tuned out. But most is not everyone and the fact is there are some people in New Orleans I do trust such as the very helpful person who got me those real estate abstracts for example. Along those lines I’ve never hidden the fact I’ve spoken with AMV as she is a great source and frankly given the skins we’ve hung on this topic I hope that fact is self-evident. Even more important than the information I distill from a diverse group of observers, Slabbed is really about the commenters and an illustration of the true power of community sourcing. As always there are no sacred cows as we’re going to get to the “truth” behind the corruption scandal no matter where it leads.
Oh yeah, Garland, welcome to Slabbed.
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