The Magazine

FEMA kidz, Jimmy Carter, and more.

It's time for the FEMA Kidz rap.

Dec 26, 2005, Vol. 11, No. 15 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
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Good news for the coalition, good news for the Iraqis. Yet somehow--wonder of wonders--this story warranted zero coverage in both the Times and the Post. Okay, maybe it wasn't A1, above-the-fold material. But to not mention it at all? In fairness to the Times and the Post, most other major U.S. newspapers--including the Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times--ignored the story, too.

And they wonder why The Scrapbook has to watch its blood pressure.


Around this time of year, the Albany Times Union promotes its Holiday Fund to help senior citizens by profiling one in particular. A couple of weeks back, it featured Sam Patalino, 78, from Latham, New York, a one-time lounge singer and restaurateur. As staff writer Marc Parry told it, Patalino "says his rumba around the drums once made the girls scream." As for marriage, "That's something Patalino . . . never did."

Perhaps the editor's note added to the profile a day after it first ran can shed some light: "The man profiled in this Times Union Holiday Fund story is a registered sex offender. The newspaper learned of Sam Patalino's status after a reader called the newsroom. In response, the Times Union has announced changes in how it screens Holiday Fund profile candidates."

Patalino was arrested in 1991 for having sexual contact with a 10-year-old boy. We won't say the reporter should have seen it coming, but there was this odd little Santa's list at the end of the original profile: "There's another thing [Patalino] dreams about. Something that, compared with his Radio Shack tape recorder, is a little . . . well . . . extravagant. . . . Something that would let him make such music! As he put it, 'Oh boy.' A karaoke machine."

As the paper's editor noted, "I don't think our readers would want us to reserve our charity only for those who are without blemish." Indeed. And on that note, The Scrapbook wishes all its readers a very Merry Christmas.