Which is creepier, child molestation or new Congressional districts?

    Even with Hanukkah in full swing and Christmas approaching, it’s not a slow news day.

    The Philadelphia Daily News’ Pulitzer prize-winners Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman teamed up with reporter Jason Nark for a major follow on the allegations of child abuse against Hall of Fame sportswriter Bill Conlin.

    They have the icky-est  account yet of his alleged molestations.

    And Nancy Phillips of the Inquirer, whose investigation revealed the alleged molestation, has a story today of another alleged victim who chose to remain nameless.

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    We’re calling Conlin’s attorney George Bochetto every day to ask about his plan to bring “the facts forward to vindicate (Conlin’s) name.” I don’t mean that sarcastically.

    As I wrote yesterday, because there’s no criminal case or civil suit here, there’s no official fact-finder in this mess, at least so far. It will be fought out in the court of public opinion.

    Apart from Bochetto’s statements, the only thing we’ve heard from Conlin’s side is his assertion to a writer for the website Deadspin that the most prominent of his accusers, his niece Kelly Blanchet, held a family grudge against him.

    I’ve been writing a fair amount about Pennsylvania’s new Congressional redistricting plan, denounced as a shameless gerrymander by Democrats (look at the map for the 7th District and it’s kind of hard to disagree).

    Yesterday I produced a radio feature on Philadelphia Democratic party chairman, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady’s support for the plan.

    One of the really interesting aspects this is that Republicans in the Lehigh Valley are ticked off about the way the plan fractures representation of that area, where civic leaders have worked hard to create and promote a regional identity for the Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton areas.

    Here’s a good news piece on the subject and a column from the Allentown Morning Call, which to my mind is a shining example of a daily paper doing great work in a challenging media environment. Note, for example that the Morning Call has a Washington correspondent (and a good one), while the Philadelphia Inquirer has none.

    Speaking of the Inquirer, a hearty welcome back from paternity leave to Matt Katz, their Trenton guy who writes an entertaining blog about Chris Christie (okay, he has plenty to work with there).

    In his latest post, read about the 12 year-old who complained to Christie about the Jewish people running his school board, and why Christie said he didn’t want teachers to have to sleep with their principals.

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