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Bless Their Hearts

A FOIA fracas, Murdoch's misery, and more crap on Ken



An Explanation: If you have lived for a spell in Charleston, you know what it really means when a genteel Southern belle or country gentleman says, "Bless your heart." The meaning is something to the effect of "You poor fool" or "How embarrassing for your kin." Sometimes, that is exactly the reaction we have to the news.

• Different states have different versions of the Freedom of Information Act, a law designed to make government more transparent. South Carolina's is among the stronger ones in the country. But at S.C. State University, certain officials are saying phooey to FOIA. As reported in The Post and Courier, the Board of Trustees voted last Tuesday to keep embattled President George Cooper's next evaluation private. But Cooper's $144,911 salary is paid for by our taxes, so FOIA ensures the public's right to know how he measures up. We are especially interested because Cooper has, after all, been fired before.

• Speaking of executive scandal, Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation keeps getting lowered into hotter and hotter water. The company is under investigation for allegedly hacking into the voicemail accounts of 9/11 victims, celebrities, and the very police officials who were investigating the alleged hacking. The epicenter of the hot mess is News of the World, a British tabloid that had to close up shop after more than 165 years in print, but the aftershocks are being felt worldwide. Recently, Wall Street Journal publisher Les Hinton stepped down, several News of the World executives were arrested, and numerous British police officials have announced their resignation.

• Back in South Carolina, Lt. Gov. Ken Ard might be facing mo' money problems. S.C. Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian said Friday that his team of crack investigators had found even more discrepancies in Ard's campaign filings. Ard has already paid $50,000 in ethics fines for spending campaign contributions on, among other things, women's clothing, his wife's cell phone bill, travel to the SEC football championship, and a PlayStation.

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