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Bourdain’s Left-wing Tour of Pittsburgh

October 23, 2017

Since I’m from Pittsburgh and enjoy cooking, I will watch cable programs on chefs, cooking and Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain was a cook in a New York restaurant with a gift for writing. He parlayed one or two best sellers into a television series on CNN that tours the world for a look at cooking and the personalities of entrepreneurs in the restaurant business.

Since this is  CNN and Bourdain has Left-wing leanings, we got to see a couple of Bourdain’s visits to North Vietnam, one featured President Obama and Bourdain enjoying a meal in Hanoi. But, Bourdain’s shows seem uncluttered with his–and CNN’s Leftist biases.  Until last night.

Yesterday Bourdain visited Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that is experiencing a comeback of sorts after decades of economic decline, and an unbroken string of Democrat politicians first elected in the Great Depression. They bankrupted the City.  The City of Pittsburgh can’t break its ties to FDR’s New Deal, JFK’s New Frontier, LBJ’s Great Society and Barack Obama’s socialist policies.

Nevertheless, despite its bad politics, some interesting things are happening in “the Burgh.”  Carnegie Mellon University is attracting talented IT students who start new businesses. Google has bought into business in Pittsburgh and slowly the City of Pittsburgh is demonstrating that there are reasons to visit and live in Pittsburgh. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is a powerhouse providing healthcare and conducting medical research.

For decades people have been moving away from declining, failed, old industrial centers and there are tens of thousands of former Pittsburgh residents living far away from the Burg, but who are nostalgic about their old home town. They put Steelers bumper sticks on their cars, get daily e-mail feeds from the one local paper, the Left-wing Pittsburgh Post Gazette, and visit the Burgh when a relative dies or to see the Pirates, Penguins or the Steelers play.

So, I was looking forward to learning what might be going on in the restaurant scene in Pittsburgh. True to form, Anthony Bourdain took us on a tour of Left-wing Pittsburgh.

We saw Bourdain interview radical activist, Sala Udin, and got a glimpse of “the Hill District” and Braddock, a depressed City of 2,000 where the mayor runs a not-for-profit welfare program, and some interviews in a locale, thirty miles away, where the main attraction is bumper-car races.

There was nothing about the vibrant North Side “Strip District,” a recovering “South Side” where slums are being transformed by professionals who want to live in the City. And there was nothing about what’s up in Squirrel Hill, the East End, and East Liberty. Even when Bourdain went to visit Sala Udin, he missed Crawford’s Grill where some of the greatest jazz musicians in the 50’s and 60’s performed.

Instead, Bourdain strung together a list of Leftists and took his camera crew and us to a very boring series of interviews unrelated to the culinary theme of his CNN program.

During the last election, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette took an interest in Pat Toomey who served as a trustee of Yorktown University and I had the pleasure of talking to a reporter looking for dirt on Toomey. And in late August, a Post Gazetter reporter, An-Li Herring, wrote a story about  entrepreneurs that was so totally off base, I sent her this message.

Dear An-Li,

Several aspects in your story about entrepreneurs in the Allentown neighborhood on Pittsburgh’s South Side are interesting.

I was raised in Pittsburgh, went to Pitt, but never returned. When I left, the Burg had 50% greater population than today. The Burgers began moving to the Suburbs and away from problems of Pittsburgh city life and taxes seventy years ago.

It is interesting that there is any entrepreneurial activity in the Burgh, apart from CMU and incoming established High Tech companies (Google). I used to play in a park where Google now operates from a former biscuit factory.

But, you miss the real story about entrepreneurs—how they finance their companies. This report on how the SEC is stifling “crowdfunding” for investments is critical.

When the SEC was formed in 1935, it segregated Americans into two classes: accredited (millionaires) and non-accredited investors. “Segregation” is a word used to describe the effect of Jim Crow. That is what the SEC did to entrepreneurs at the birth of the “Nanny State.”

A startup may not take investments from non-accredited investors. That is why your focus on a not-for profit entrepreneur “Co-Op” stands out.

First, nonprofit financing business startups. Our security laws make it impossible to raise money legally from non-millionaires.

Second, your story reveals the inexperience or lack of knowledge about business of these “entrepreneurs.”

Third, the depressed area of the South Side is the result of the City of Pittsburgh one-Party system.

Fourth, your story mentions the attempt to raise money from banks—how stupid. Banks do not make investments, they lend money to established enterprises.

Fifth, your story tell about entrepreneurs running their “company” as a Co-Op. That is a ludicrous way to run a business and is about the way anti-capitalists think.

I used to criticize the Washington Post’s Business section because it read as if stories were written by sociologists.  That’s what your story reads like. The PG should assign you to do a story on real startups and their financing. I’ve CCed former commissioner Larry Dunn. Talk to him.

An-Li did not reply.

The Left University trains young journalists to ignore what’s in front of their eyes and to impose socialist aspirations on every story. Anthony Bourdain, CNN and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette are evidence of how very deep is the cultural rot afflicting American culture.



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