Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the United Nations to Wall Street to the Inner City

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Follow us on TWITTER

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis



ICP on YouTube

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

Did WFP Cousin's "Chicago Friend" at DIA Pull Ads from Paper, As WFP Denies?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 4 -- After the spending of the World Food Program's executive director Ertharin Cousin, on housing and a Thanksgiving trip to Chicago were profiled last November by Inner City Press, the agency's spokesman Steve Taravella declined to answer Press follow up questions, for example about the Palm in Dubai.

   But there was, apparently, follow up.

The Italian Insider, the only English language daily in Italy, picked up Inner City Press' story. Then a funny thing happened. A planned ad campaign for an Italian tour by a band sponsored by the Detroit Institute of Arts was pulled from the Italian Insider.

The go-between for the band, called The Flutter and Wow, e-mailed the Italian Insider:

----- Messaggio Inoltrato -----
Da : theflutterandwow.gigs
A :
Oggetto : Re: Payment Processed and Contract Signed
Data : Fri, 4 Jan 2013 06:21:47 +0100

we have a HUGE problem. One of the Board members of the DIA read on your website an article about the head of something called the food program and is fuming mad. They are close friends from Chicago. I have been summoned for a meeting tomorrow and I sense there are some very pissed off people at DIA.

There was more -- after his meeting with DIA, the go-between asked the Italian Insiders' editor if he was "a right winger" or British. The editor surmises that Ertharin Cousin's "friend from Chicago" on the DIA board viewed even a pick-up for the story about her spending as "right wing."

It took two days to get an answer from WFP, but when it came it was absolute denial:

   WFP spokesman Steve Taravella replied to Inner City Press, "As to the Detroit Institute of Arts, the executive director has had no interactions with this organization, and has not been able to determine whether she has met any member who serves on its board. She has no knowledge of the actions you describe."

  Why would the band's go-between pull the advertising citing a DIA board member who is a "close friend" of Ertharin Cousin? Why would this go-between as reflected by multiple e-mails push to get the pick-up of Inner City Press' article taken down, or the belated comments of WFP spokesman Taravella played up?

 Here is a list of the Detroit Institute of Arts (large) board.

Inner City Press asked WFP some other questions, not only about Ertharin Cousin's trip tomorrow to the University of Georgia but also about the Central African Republic. Here are those answers:

-Central African Republic: In December 2012, three WFP warehouses were looted, with the loss of more than 400 metric tons of food. Some staff were temporarily relocated and operations were briefly suspended. In January UNHAS flights (managed by WFP) resumed, and WFP resumed food distributions. On 22 Jan., WFP distributed 80 metric tons to approximately 5,000 Congolese refugees in the Zemio camp. Deliveries and regular activities are ongoing.

-Executive Director Ertharin Cousin has been invited to speak at the University of Georgia Law School while she is in the United States on other business next week. The university is picking up her travel costs from New York, as well as her lodging expense.

-South Sudan: Access remains a key issue and WFP supports the UN in advocating and negotiating for access to areas controlled by the SPLM-North in both South Kordofan and Blue Nile. In South Kordofan in 2012, we reached more than 172,000 people with emergency food rations in nine locations. About 73,000 of those came from SPLM-North areas. In Blue Nile in 2012, we provided monthly food vouchers to some 2,700 people in the capital Damazine.

Share |

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-253, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2012 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]