Shortly after joining the U.S. Senate and while enjoying a surge in income, Barack Obama bought a $1.65 million restored Georgian mansion in an upscale Chicago neighborhood. To finance the purchase, he secured a $1.32 million loan from Northern Trust in Illinois. …WaPo reported the Obamas obtained the loan at a below-market rate and with costly fees such as loan origination and points waived. The story also reported:
When the Obamas secured the loan, their income had risen dramatically. Obama assumed his Senate seat in January 2005, with an annual salary of $162,100. That same month, Random House agreed to reissue an Obama memoir, for which it originally paid $40,000, as part of a $2.27 million deal that included two future nonfiction books and a children's book.Today the liberal/leftist Raleigh News & Observer’s front page headlines above the fold:
Around the same time, the University of Chicago Hospitals promoted Michelle Obama to a vice president and more than doubled her pay, to $317,000. ...
Mary Easley's NCSU pay soarsThe WaPo story’s here; the N&O’s here.
The first lady, an executive-in-residence at the school, gets an 88 percent raise to $170,000 a year
I’ve just sent N&O public editor Ted Vaden the following email with a copy to executive editor for news John Drescher.
Regarding today’s lengthy, front page story concerning Mrs. Mary Easley’s hefty pay raise awarded by N. C. State University, I’ve no problem. Easley’s pay raise, which the university says is justified based on new duties, involves public money. And Mary Easley's the governor’s wife.
It’s important for citizens to know about the situation; and it’s appropriate for the N&O to ask questions and report prominently what it learns.
But I’m concerned there’s a double standard evident in the N&O’s treatment of Mary Easley’s situation and a strikingly similar one involving Mrs. Michelle Obama which, as far as I know, the N&O has not reported in any detail.
I’m referring to Michelle Obama’s promotion by the University of Chicago’s Hospitals about the time her husband was elected a U. S. Senator. WaPo reported yesterday that with the promotion “her pay was more than doubled to $317,000.”
Like N. C. State, the University of Chicago Hospitals receive many millions in state and federal funds.
Why would the N&O not report on Michelle Obama’s promotion and pay raise with the same prominence and detail you’ve devoted to Mary Easley’s promotion and pay raise?
I thought about the possibility it might be because Michelle Obama is not a local or state figure.
But it’s hard to accept that explanation when you recall all the prominent and positive coverage you gave to her and her campaign appearances here during the primary.
Shouldn't readers expect the N&O to cover Michelle Obama’s promotion and pay raise with at least the same attention detail and prominence you’ve devoted to Mary Easley’s?
Michelle Obama may very possibly be America’s next first lady.
I’ll publish your response in full.
This links to the WaPo story.
Have a nice Fourth of July.
John in Carolina
Cc: John Drescher