Carl Paladino Can't Catch a Break, Even From GOP-Loving Murdoch

The Greater Murdoch Empire may be pumping millions into national Republican races, but it's working overtime to drive the GOP's Carl Paladino bananas.

Today, the Post gives a rare tip of the Murdoch hat to Sir Rupert's much-loathed rival, the Times, for its story yesterday about how Paladino allegedly short-changed his own aunt, handing her home over to his mistress at a below-market price. The Post popped Paladino yesterday about the story and got a "no comment," which was enough of a news peg to recycle the piece in today's paper.

Meanwhile, the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal for some reason paid a pollster a fair amount of money to ask New York City residents about their preferences in the race for governor. The unsurprising results are that the Tea Party champion from Buffalo barely registers in Gotham, with Andrew "Muscle Car" Cuomo swamping him to the tune of 73 percent to 12 percent.

The scary part will come next year when Murdoch presents the bill for this glorious coverage to the next governor. And you know it's going to be a fat one.

All this is clearly taking a toll on the Buffalo Bulldog. Last night he griped loud and long to Liz Benjamin on Capitol Tonight that they're coming at him from all sides: "There's just one gutter article after another coming out of the Post, the News, the Times," he said.

He then rolled out his favorite beef, about how the papers allegedly had gone to Buffalo City Hall last week to see if his pit bull "Duke" was licensed.

"It's getting ridiculous," groused Paladino. "He is properly licensed. He was a little bit upset about it, he's been home and he's been down in the dumps. He thinks that they are now going to interview the squirrel in the backyard that he's been chasing around for the past couple of years."

Actually, the Times pleads guilty to the inquiry, but claimed last week that it was just "a harmless and responsible journalistic task" meant to settle the issue as to what ethnic dog breed Duke stems from, not to find out if he was licensed.

What's really disappointing is that a candidate backed by Republican state chairman and Richard Nixon son-in-law Ed Cox, who is married to the lovely former Tricia Nixon, has failed to make this into the kind of turn-around moment that it provided for the then-vice presidential candidate back in 1952.

Back then, Nixon was under attack for having a secret slush fund and taking expensive gifts from corporate campaign backers. He pulled a classic (it's worth a look) when he told a TV audience about the little cocker spaniel that donors had sent the family:

"Our little girl Tricia, the six year old, named it Checkers. And you know, the kids, like all kids, love the dog. And I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we're going to keep it."

Now why didn't Roger "I Love Tricky Dicky" Stone write one like that for his man Carl?

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