Murdoch examined, Harry Gross departs

    The character and impact of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is the subject of Will Bunch’s commentary on his Attytood blog, one of two noteworthy things from the Philadelphia Daily News today. Bunch is a man with a strong point of view, but every time I read something of his, I get insight.

    Murdoch is under fire for the shameful transgressions of his late British publication, News of the World, but Bunch takes him to task for his Fox News operation in the U.S:

    “It’s hard to believe in 2011, but there was a time a few years ago when a majority of Republicans, just like a majority of all Americans, believed that man-made global warming was real and needed to be addressed in some fashion. That was before a parade of global warming skeptics and outright deniers on Fox News Channel…A majority of Republicans now believe that climate change theories endorsed by 90 percent of the world’s leading climatologists are a hoax.”

    Read the rest of Bunch’s piece here.

    And I was saddened to see that today’s Daily News bears a farewell column from personal finance advisor Harry Gross. He’s a Philly legend, a true gentleman with a kind heart and a very sharp mind.

    When I was at the paper in 2009 I was working on a story of apparent misconduct by a political candidate that involved alleged manipulation of someone’s estate. Harry sat down with me and thought it through, giving me valuable insights into the case.

    Harry is 87. He opened his first CPA practice in 1949, and he’s been giving financial advice in the Daily News and on the radio for more than 30 years. The Daily News is changing things, and has decided to let him go.

    “At this point, for the first time since I was 12 years old, I’m unemployed,” Harry told me when I reached him at home. I asked how he felt about it”I have mixed emotions,” he said.

    I asked if he had a favorite caller or letter-writer over the years.

    “Oh, there are so many,” he said. “I had one lady who told me she talked to her stocks, the way some people talk to their plants. I said, `does it help?’ She said, `yeah, it does.'”

    Harry told me he answered every letter he got from readers wanting financial advice. If he didn’t use their questions in the column, he’d write them personally.

    I know a lot of those folks and many readers will miss him.

    Harry’s parting advice from today’s column:

    “Live beneath your means; and if it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true.”

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