Influence peddling

LinkedIn, the career-focused social network, has formed a panel of high-profile “influencers” who will dispense advice to the service’s 175 million members.

The panel will include Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. It’s good to know that someone on LinkedIn will be getting a job later this fall.

Unseated: American Airlines says it’s expanding an investigation into why rows of seats keep breaking loose on Boeing 757s in mid-flight.

If American can’t solve the problem, perhaps it could market it as a “Remembering Air Travel in the Soviet Union” promotion, in which terrified customers would watch rivets pop loose from the fuselage, and then be served watery beet soup and cans of warm beer by scowling flight attendants in gray smocks.

Best friends forever: There are two great debates scheduled this week: The one tonight and the one set for Saturday between Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly.

Turns out Poppa Bear and the “Daily Show” funnyman genuinely like and respect each other. Not sure we can say the same about those guys on TV tonight.

— Mark Carlson, Herald staff