Friday, July 8, 2011

I'm shocked, shocked to find that phone hacking is going on in here!

Rupert Murdock, the billionaire media mogul that has blessed us with FIX News, is in a bit of a pickle.

News Corp. (NWSA) Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch is heading to London to manage fallout from the phone-hacking scandal that forced the closure of the News of the World tabloid, said a person familiar with the situation.

Murdoch is being drawn into an ongoing scandal that the closure of the 168-year-old tabloid, announced earlier this week, has failed to put to rest. Journalists at News of the World, Britain’s best-selling Sunday newspaper, allegedly tapped the voice mails of crime victims and paid police officers for stories, leading to calls for the ouster of Rebekah Brooks, CEO of the News International publishing unit and an executive who is said to be close to Murdoch.

Now Murdoch, not known for journalistic integrity, is acting shocked and outraged that his newspaper/tabloid would stooped to this low.

Personally, I find that absurd - he owns supermarket tabloid The Star, New York Post - known for news sensationalism, and he gave Glen Beck a daily platform.

His behavior reminds me of the following famous scene in the classic movie Casablanca.

Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?
Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.
Captain Renault: Everybody out at once!

Murdoch has made billions off of garbage and now he appears to be surprised by how his minions troll around for such smut.

I'm not buying.

South Sudan becomes an independent nation

South Sudan has become the world's newest nation, the climax of a process made possible by the 2005 peace deal that ended a long and bloody civil war.

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon are among international dignitaries attending celebrations in the capital, Juba.

Sudan earlier became the first state to officially recognise its new neighbour.

The south's independence follows decades of conflict with the north in which some 1.5 million people died. read more

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Casey Anthony and American Injustice

Foreword: I have not been closely following the Casey Anthony case but, I was surprised the jury found her not guilty of murdering her infant daughter. With just my gut instinct, I believe Casey got away a crime and justice was not rendered.

And with that being said:

Where I work, a trusted and respected gentleman exclaimed in the aftermath of the Casey Anthony not guilty verdict:
This is the end of justice in our country and the end of our civilization; and it started with the OJ non-guilty verdict.

Familiar with my blog, he challenged me to blog about this issue - the miscarriage of justice in USA. The sub-topic of course would be how all this started with the OJ trial.

First, I quickly reminded him the tainted legacy of American justice was birthed long before OJ.

For example, there have been thousands (if not more) unpunished lynches from the word go, church bomb killing of four black girls that remain unsolved; the Rodney King verdict - that led to the LA riots; Abner Louima - the innocent Haitian who was forcible beaten and sodomized by NYPD; and Angel Alvarez, 24, an innocent man shot 23 times (and lived) by cops.

And you may recall the police sanctioned (ooops my bad we made a mistake) killing of innocent Amadou Diallo:

In February 1999, four New York City policemen searching for a rape suspect knocked on Amadou Diallo's door to question him. When he came to the door he reached inside his jacket, at which point the officers shot at him 41 times, hitting him with 19 bullets. The object Diallo was reaching for turned out to be his wallet.

My point:

To reiterate, outrage with justice has a long history. What is telling, is how Americans select certain cases to capture our national attention; and how certain other cases conveniently fly under the radar.

Dick Wald, professor of journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a former ABC News president comments:

"Pretty blond girl dies somewhere in a resort island in the Caribbean, and the whole world gets fascinated. You have to be blond and pretty and there have to be other interesting aspects. We are a society of people who look for novels in our general appreciation of life."

Need I say more?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tom Joyner Calls Out Tavis Smiley

Seems as if Tom Joyner has drawn the line in the sand regarding Tavis Smiley and Cornel West - The Anti-Obama Duet.

And I think I know why.

Every since President Obama nixed Smiley's State Of Black Agenda conference in the 2008 (remember while campaigning in Texas, Obama offered to send wife Michelle), Smiley has held a very personal grudge that has clouded his politics.

I used to enjoy watching the Tavis Smiley show on PBS but, these last couple of years it has been painful to watch. At times, he tries to goad his guest into his anti-Obama rhetoric and banter - although, most (like Harold Ford) deftly sidetrack Smiley's comments.

No, of course we should not be blind Obama cheerleaders. He should be held accountable for his tenure as president.

What is difficult to understand about the rants of Smiley and West is that considering the political climate - hostile GOP and Tea Party majority in the House of Legislators and slim Dem majority in the Senate (with a significant presence of conservative Blue Dog Democratic Senators) - what, realistically speaking, legislation do they propose the president promote.

Any new big legislation will require a 2012 re-election campaign mandate. Hence, as Russell Simmons stated, Stop The Moanin' And Get To Work.

But enuff of my two's Tom Joyner:

My New D-Word for Tavis and Cornel

By Tom Joyner

Before I get to Mark Halperin, let me give you a little background.
They say that if you’re angry with someone, you should write a letter, get all the mean stuff out, and then tear it up or delete it. When you’re a little more calm, you write another letter or confront the person face to face.

About a month ago, I wrote a blog about Tavis Smiley and decided to table it because I said some things I didn’t want to publish. You’re probably thinking I went too hard him, but no. In reality, I hadn’t gone hard enough – and I knew it. I said I’d wait until something pissed me off so bad that I would have the words harsh enough to express what I was really feeling about him and his side piece – I mean side kick – Cornel West.

Well, yesterday, when Mark Halperin – a well-respected journalist, employed by a well-respected magazine and a contributor to a well-respected news network – had the audacity to call the president of the United States a dick, that was all I needed.

While I am appalled at Halperin’s statement, I have no expectations of him as a man and know nothing about his character. I am appalled, however, that as editor-at-large of Time magazine, he is responsible for among other things, deciding what stories will be covered in that publication. As the person in charge of political content, it is upsetting to know that he probably has not been objective in his dealings with material I and so many people look forward to (until now) reading each week. Needless to say, I’ve cancelled my subscription to Time magazine and hope you will too.

But I’m even more disgusted with Smiley and West, two brothers who I did have expectations of – and thought I knew. These two have done much worse than what Halperin has done because they set the tone for it, opened the door to it, and must take much of the blame for creating a climate that would make a white, professional journalist feel comfortable verbally and vulgarly attacking the first black president of the United States.

When you think you know a person, when you’ve given a person a forum to present his views, when you’ve had a hand in a person’s success, you want to believe that he is the same person he always was.
Remember THAT Tavis – the one who could take any complicated political story that had an impact on black America and “break it down” for us every Tuesday and Thursday in less than five minutes. The one who coined the phrase “radio advocacy” and alerted us any time anyone – from a private business owner to a politician to a corporate giant – even thought about doing black folks wrong. The Tavis that loved black people so much that he would sometimes, during his commentaries, be moved to tears. Where is that guy? You know, the guy that would have been telling me, “Fly Jock, Halperin has got to go.” For a while, I thought he was still with us, even though people around me (and many of you) tried to convince me otherwise. “Tavis is a hater.” “Tavis is only about himself.” “Tavis is jealous of the president.” I wouldn’t believe any of it. I had so much respect for him before his primary goal became selling books, and, later, selling out.

As we approach the Fourth of July weekend, one that celebrates our freedoms, including freedom of speech, I wish someone would use that as a defense of what Tavis, Cornel and Mark Halperin have said against our president. When dangerous words incite and brew up hatred and violence, there is a line. And these three crossed it.

In case you believe I think Tavis and Cornel called the president an offensive name, I don’t. I think they did something even worse. Any black people with any sense know that racists on the job, at school, at church or on the bus wait for opportunities to feel comfortable enough to spew their evil thoughts. If a black person tells a racist joke in front of a racist or laughs at one, it won’t be long before the racist begins to fire off a couple of his own. Mark Halperin and others are no different. They hate the president because he is black, and Tavis and Cornel, by not having the sense to not give them the opening they waited for, went all in. And this is what we get.

So, yes, MSNBC, fire Mark Halperin. I hope he never works again. I’ve already fired Tavis and Cornel. There’s nothing either can ever do for me or with me again.

I’ve got a new D-word for the two of them: Done.