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Slots of Winners in Media Coverage

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The choice of Don Barden's PITG/Majestic Star casino for the North Side put us on an emotional rollercoaster we won't soon forget -- because local media won't soon let us. Some defining moments from an overly defined day:

Best use of Don Barden's money-shot by a local newspaper:

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who put Barden's single droplet of joy on the front page.

Runner up: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, who placed the teary tycoon from a slightly different angle on an inside page.

Best use of 9/11-worthy hyperbole by a television station Web site:

The Pittsburgh Channel, by WTAE-TV Channel 4: "The lucrative license to run Pittsburgh's first slot-machine casino was awarded to PITG Gaming on Wednesday morning, changing the landscape of the city forever."

Best tale of Barden's bootstraps:

The Trib: "In the span of three decades, Don Barden went from selling 45s at an Ohio record shop for 75 cents to selling his Detroit-based cable company to Comcast for a cool $100 million."

Runner-up: The Trib: "Barden ... still holds together his wallet with rubber bands, say those who know him."

On-the-spot spottiness award:

To either the P-G, which headlined Dec. 20, "Isle of Capri only Pittsburgh bidder to make a final pitch," or the Trib, which headlined on the same day, "Two slots applicants make closing arguments."

Fastest neighborhood change of heart:

The North Side: Trib headline on Dec. 20: "Slots selection delights North Siders"; and on Dec. 21: "North Siders wary, hopeful."

Best use of "win" by a winner:

Kimberly Ellis (a.k.a. Dr. Goddess), Hill District leader of a movement to keep a casino from the Hill, who called the Barden choice a "win-win-win" in the Trib.

Best folksy warning against sin:

Pirates' managing general partner Kevin McClatchy, in the P-G: "We're a pretty family-oriented business, and I don't think mom and dad are going to bring Boy Scouts down to swing by the casino and then go to a game."

Runner up: P-G letters page: "Gambling does not attract families; instead, it will lure late-nighters who bend their elbows while pitching money into a hole. Most likely 'ladies of the night' will want to be a part of this action, too."

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