Thursday, December 23, 2021

Lisa Hughes, Come Out From Hiding!

By Ralph Cipriano

It's been a couple of days since Big Trial dropped a bomb on The Philadelphia Inquirer, so yesterday I thought I'd check in with my old pal Lisa Hughes, to see what she had to say.

Dear Ms. Hughes:

As publisher and CEO of the Inquirer, I wonder if you have any comment on the lawsuit filed yesterday in Common Pleas Court regarding an alleged conspiracy by UPenn and the Inquirer to allegedly smear and retaliate against grad student Mackenzie Fierceton . . .

I know lawsuits can allege anything but as a former Inquirer reporter, I really don’t understand why the Inquirer pursued this story once it was confirmed that this student had been physically abused by her mother, and had been removed from her mother’s home by the state and placed in foster care. Also, Fierceton was a key witness in a wrongful death suit filed against Penn."

Wouldn’t those facts have made this student radioactive as far as the Inquirer was concerned? I also don’t understand why Mr. [Inquirer Editor Gabriel] Escobar injected himself into this story when he had previously stated that he had a conflict of interest, because of his wife’s job at Penn."

I’m also at a loss at how to square this episode with the Inquirer’s supposedly progressive views, usually on daily display at According to the original story the Inquirer ran on Fierceton winning a Rhodes Scholarship, the student “identified as queer.” 

As a witness in the wrongful death case, Fierceton was sticking up for the widow of a black student who died 16 months earlier, without knowing that the building where her husband had a seizure and cardiac episode in was a known safety hazard."

Shouldn’t the Inquirer have been sticking up for Fierceton, rather than trying to take her down?

Thanks for considering this request.

Ralph Cipriano

Guess what happened? Ms. Hughes invited me over for a private chat? She offered me a job because she's tired of seeing all of her eager young journos repeatedly scooped by an old geezer who should be in a rest home?

Nope. Instead, Hughes, who's allegedly in the communication business, has been stonewalling. So has Escobar, and former Inky reporter Wendy Ruderman, who's at the center of this controversy. 

At the Inquirer, that alleged champion of the First Amendment, they're all holding their breaths and hoping and praying that the Big Trial scoop doesn't spread like cancer to another media outlet.

I'm talking about the "pillow-talk" scandal, outlined in a recent lawsuit, that allegedly had the news director at Penn conspiring with the editor of the Inquirer, who also happens to be her husband, to destroy the reputation of a Penn grad student, and strip her of a Rhodes scholarship. 

It's the kind of scandal that should have a couple of big institutions in this town, Penn and the Inky, scrambling to do damage control. There's even a national hook, with the corruption at Penn allegedly going all the way to the top, with Penn President Amy Gutmann, currently President Joe Biden's nominee to become ambassador to Germany.

But because of what all too frequently happens in the pathetic Philadelphia media market, a Big Trial scoop lands with a thud as nobody else has the balls to run with the story.

In the old days, Philly mag would have been all over any Inquirer scandal. But when I glanced at their website this morning, I saw that Philly mag was far more concerned about the best places to dine out on New Year's Eve, as well as exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor.

That magazine, which I used to write for, has been flatlining since October 2020 when the owners decided to go woke and hire their first female editor, Kate Dailey, and their first black editor at large, Ernest Owens.

Dailey lasted a year before it was announced last week that in January, she'll be jumping to the Inquirer, to become their new assistant managing editor in charge of features.

In the Inky newsroom full of progressive but incredibly dull and predictable "wokesters," she should fit right in.

"I am delighted to announce that Kate Dailey, an accomplished journalist who has held executive leadership positions at Philadelphia Magazine and Vox, will join The Inquirer as Deputy Managing Editor for Features," Editor Gabe Escobar announced.

"Kate is currently the editor of Philadelphia Magazine, the region’s established lifestyle publication. Among other editorial innovations at the magazine, Kate implemented a successful digital strategy aimed at increasing engagement among repeat online readers and driving subscriptions . . . 

"Kate will start on Jan. 17. Please join me in welcoming her to The Inquirer."

As for Hughes, I previously wrote about her back in June, when she announced the launching of an insane new project, "A More Perfect Union," that's being financed by a $1.3 million grant from the Lenfest Institute for Journalism. 

That project has commissioned a team of woke journos to not only root out systemic racism at the Inquirer, Hughes wrote, but also at every major institution founded in Philadelphia that "contributed to historical indifference and antagonism toward Black, brown, and other underserved communities."

In a town that's going to hell right now, Lisa, it might make more sense to have your ace reporters start digging into what's going on right now, as we're about to set an all-time record for homicides of mostly black and brown people.

That would seem to be a far wiser allocation of resources as opposed to digging up 18th century graveyards.

By the way, Lisa, that pillow talk lawsuit isn't going away. It should provide more highly entertaining reading whenever we get around to interrogatories and depositions, and inevitably, more juicy leaks to 

So let's keep in touch, babe.


  1. I read the NY papers to keep current on what's going on in Philadelphia...just like Lisa Hughes!
    The Inquirer is so deficient.

  2. Lisa simply won't come to philly. It's so desperate, sad, and dangerous.
    LISA: we New Yorkers consider Philadelphia welll..."fly over country" Mississippi, Missouri, or Alabama. Where poor blacks and browns live in extreme hopelessness and neglect. Just like Alabama, Missouri, Mississippi. Lordy!

  3. I apologize for shifting gears here, but yesterday (December 30th) there was another 'incident' in Philadelphia's Germantown section where over 65 gunshots took place. Yes - 65, count the shell casings and bullet holes both in people and in parked cars.

    And yet Krafty Krasner wants everyone to feel safe while visiting Philly - while patronizing the restaurants and wearing best clothes and their mittens.

    But Lyin' Larry didn't mention the need for flak jackets or helmets.

    Philadelphia police showed 559 homicides going into the last day of 2021, the most recorded since the city began tracking in 1960.

    Philadelphia - like many big US cities - is just another democratically managed disaster.


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