Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Why I Won't Be Part Of The Inquirer's 'More Perfect Union' Project

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

In case you haven't heard, The Philadelphia Inquirer is now engaged in a year-long crusade to expose systemic racism at every historic institution in town, starting with the Inquirer itself. 

The project dubbed "A More Perfect Union" is being financed by a $1.3 million grant from the Lenfest Institute for Journalism. 

As part of the project to write about "issues of race" in Philadelphia, Wesley Lowery, a distinguished Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, CBS correspondent and author, emailed me Sunday and politely asked if I, as a former Inky staffer and current Inky critic, would be interested in being interviewed about the newspaper. 

I said thanks but no thanks. 

"I just don’t think indicting the Inquirer for decades-old racism is going to accomplish anything positive," I wrote back. "How does this help today’s residents?"

I then suggested that if Black Lives really mattered, instead of digging up 18th century graveyards, the Inquirer could put its resources to far better use by launching a full-fledged investigation of District Attorney Larry Krasner, instead of constantly covering for him. 

That's our "reform" D.A. whose soft-on-crime policies have resulted in a skyrocketing murder rate. In 2017, the year before Krasner got elected, the city had 315 murders. Last year, that number jumped to an all-time record of 562 murders, of which 84% of those victims were black.

While Krasner's been in office four years, the murder rate has jumped 78%. Meanwhile, Krasner and the Inquirer continue to maintain that the D.A.'s policies of routinely giving armed and dangerous criminals light sentences -- or just plain instantly letting them out scot-free so they wreak more havoc -- have nothing to do with the skyrocketing number of shootings and murders.

Predictably, the response so far to my suggestion to investigate Krasner has been crickets. 

Instead, the Inquirer is busy ferreting out systemic racism in the birthplace of democracy, which, according to their leaders, is lurking everywhere.  

Inky Publisher & CEO Lisa Hughes and Inquirer Editor Gabe Escobar have previously described A More Perfect Union as a "year-long, multi-platform project that explores the racist origins, practices, and consequences of American institutions that were born in Philadelphia — as well as the path forward and push toward solutions."

"We envision a series of chapters -- presented prominently and told in engaging and innovative ways across our digital, print and experiential channels -- that examine how the Inquirer and other Philadelphia institutions contributed to historic indifference and antagonism toward Black, brown, and other underserved communities, as well as what solutions exist for healing and equity."

"Philadelphia is the birthplace of many of these power institutions: the first hospital, the first university, the first public library, the department store, the first stock exchange, the first prison, the first U.S. government, and the list goes on," the Inky's top officials wrote. 

And as far as the Inky braintrust is concerned, it's high time for "the biggest institutions in American life -- from media organizations to the justice system -- to acknowledge  and start to redress the systemic racism that is baked into their culture, business models and traditions."

I know they're just starting their project, but does that rhetoric sound to you as though the Inquirer has already made up its mind about what they're going to find out there?

In turning down an interview with Lowery, I wrote that from my own personal observation, "the Inquirer has simply lost its mind over race. And its constant obsession with that topic will do nothing more that exacerbate tensions and promote disunity."

This is the newspaper after all that Publisher Hughes has already branded as racist and fired its former top editor, a designated white fall guy, for publishing a "Buildings Matter Too" headline that Hughes said committed the "grievous and unpardonable offense" of offending the corrupt, profiteering Marxists at Black Lives Matter.

This is the newspaper that introduced an "antiracism workflow guide" for all newsroom staffers to follow at every stage of when they're reporting and writing a story. 

The same newspaper that's trained staffers and managers on how to "recognize and avoid culture bias." 

The newspaper that keeps setting more lofty diversity goals for hiring and promoting so that the Inquirer can become even more diverse. While daily cranking out a steady diet of stories about race that not even The Philadelphia Tribune can match. 

"Sadly, I believe that by constantly condescending and pandering, the liberal progressives at the Inquirer aren’t advancing society, but merely continuing to oppress so-called people of color by not treating them as equals," I wrote.

When I asked Lowery what good the series would accomplish, he wrote back, "If the goal of an institution moving forward is to operate in ways that are equitable and not harmful, it's unquestionably valuable to understand the institution's history."

"Operating from a place of historical blindness about the institution, and how it has treated Black Philadelphia as well as its own staff members of color, does not seem to be a recipe for improvement moving forward," Lowery wrote.

I suggested that this task might best be performed by dispassionate historians, instead of a pack of remarkably like-minded woke journalists. But Lowery wasn't buying it.

"Seems a mistake to fetishize 'dispassionate' historians and to assume that a lack of passion indicates a lack of bias," he wrote back. 

As part of my goal to always be constructive when dealing with young journalists, I suggested to Lowery that if the More Perfect Union gang was really interested in rooting out racism, they should check out the current Inky management. 

"For my money, one of the biggest racists in town right now — even though she allegedly still lives in New York — is Inquirer publisher Lisa Hughes," I wrote. 

"By her public pronouncements, she appears to be the type of hard-core white liberal racist that Malcolm X warned about."

"The type of racist who believes that blacks and other minorities are inferior children who require the assistance of white enlightened liberals like herself to get ahead. Otherwise, they can’t make it by themselves."

"It’s the same type of thinking that Samantha Melamed regularly displays in print in stories that I have exposed on my blog," I wrote, referring to Krasner's most loyal and prolific apologist at the Inquirer. 

I then suggested that the racism the Inquirer's More Perfect Union team is hunting for may be lurking right under their collective noses.

"Only racists who are blind would continue to support Larry Krasner in his campaign to destroy the criminal justice system, as well as the minority community," I wrote, "in the face of a mountain of facts that show what a disaster he has been." 


  1. Asking for a friend. How long is Krasner going to enable some of his top paid staff to continue to commit tax fraud by living in the suburbs and in NJ??? Feds what are u waiting for? Also Insurance Fraud????

    1. For as long as they can.
      Well, they don't want to live in Philadelphia. It's so dangerous and violent.
      We can't truly blame them.

  2. "I just don’t think indicting the Inquirer for decades-old racism is going to accomplish anything positive," I wrote back. "How does this help today’s residents?"

    Ralph: Your are wise. Such a project's only aim is to bolster incompetent white politicians, like Jim Kenney, who serve the rich tax avoiding developer and the vile institutions like the University of Pennsylvania.
    As we know, the mostly white staffed Inquirer is neither interested or cares about racism. If they did care, they would reflect and report on the shameful legacy of the Annnenberg family, who used the paper to protect and grow their own financial interest, protect their friends (like Frank Rizzo and Shafer) and punish their enemies, like Milton Shapp.

    The Inquirer has proven itself corrupt and incapable of doing any good, save for the 1%.

    The Inquirer: Funded by Billionaires to Serve Oligarchs.

  3. The lovely Jim Kenney will be the first edition's centerfold!
    Then Police Chief Pretty Feet & Hands will be on the spread.
    Followed by that little minx Krasner.

  4. Good work, Ralph. You put principle over money. I am not optimistic about the city or the country in general. There is far too much subjugation of many ugly truths to the candyland of leftist political ideology. The facts that such people conveniently ignore are so obvious that their denials cannot simply be blamed on stupidity but the rancid creed of the failed international left. Its penetration into our society has caused many serious problems, well personified by Philly's current DA, a disgraceful human being. So the slaughter continues while the Inquirer defiles it's own name. Pathetic. Seriously, I don't know how you stay with your efforts to expose this nonsense, my compliments.

  5. What this being practiced on Inquirer employees is akin to humiliating them for Crimea they didn't do.

    Ìf the Inky continues with this self examination so well practiced in Cambodia where 2M people were bulgeoned to death.

  6. 'Institutional racism'? Just another WOKE myth.


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