Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Afternoon Music Club

Foo Fighters.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Equal pay for equal work

As the father of a daughter, this makes me happy.

President Barack Obama is signing into law an equal-pay bill that is popular with labor and women's groups and is expected to make it easier for workers to sue for decades-old discrimination.

Obama was to sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act on Thursday during an East Room ceremony, a move that effectively ends a 2007 Supreme Court decision that said workers had only 180 days to file a pay-discrimination lawsuit. Obama and fellow Democrats campaigned hard against the court decision and promised to pass legislation that would give workers more time to sue their employers for past discrimination.

"This bill will be a big step forward not just for women, but for families," the White House said in a statement announcing the bill signing. "It is not only a measure of fairness, but can be the difference for families struggling to make ends meet during these difficult times."
It's also nice to see Congress clean up one of the bigger, more repugnant messes made by the Supreme Court.

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Code stupid

This could be the most powerful argument against dress codes: They didn't help the Bush administration perform any better and, from all accounts, George enforced a dress code rather strictly.

Every time I read a memo or e-mail about the dress code at whatever company I happened to be working for at the time, I wondered who had enough time on their hands to worry (and write) about something that had nothing to do with the company's business. It always seemed like a waste of time to me. But then again, I never bought into the notion that workers were more capable, competent, talented or productive in Dockers than in blue jeans. As noted in a previous post on this subject, I'm hardly alone in thinking that.

I remember a company meeting with a particularly clueless owner. Business at the company was bad, and we were treated to a rambling speech about the big plans he had to grow the business each year for the next five years. Part of his plan was to do away with dress-down Friday, as if that additional weekly wave of khaki would be accompanied by an onslaught of new clients begging our business-casual representatives to take their business.

Needless to say, things have gotten worse for the better-dressed company, and there have been at least two rounds of layoffs. And with such competent management, more are all but certain.

The bottom line: Telling adults how they have to dress does not improve their work performance and is bad for morale. And any manager who relies on dress codes to improve productivity or profitability has probably run out of ideas.



Turns out the Peanut Corporation of America plant that shipped the tainted peanut butter knew the products it sent into the food supply were tainted.

An FDA inspection found that, on a dozen occasions, the company tested its product and found salmonella. But rather than destory the products, the company retested the products until they tested negative, and then sold them.

Oddly enough, that's illegal.

The Georgia food plant that federal investigators say knowingly shipped contaminated peanut butter also had mold growing on its ceiling and walls, and it has foot-long gaps in its roof, according to results of a federal inspection.

More than 500 people in 43 states have been sickened, and eight have died, after eating crackers and other products made with peanut butter from the plant, which is owned by the Peanut Corporation of America. More than 100 children under the age of 5 are among those who have been sickened.

The plant sells its peanut paste to some of the nation’s largest food manufacturers, including Kellogg and McKee Foods. As a result of the contamination, more than 100 products have been recalled, mostly cookies and crackers.

Officials from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traced the outbreak to the Peanut Corporation of America plant in Blakely, Ga. On Jan. 9, investigators descended on the plant for a thorough inspection, which was completed Tuesday.

The report from the inspection, first posted on the Internet by Bill Marler [See the inspection report here], a lawyer, cites 12 instances in 2007 and 2008 in which the company’s own tests of its product found contamination by salmonella.

In each case, the report states, “after the firm retested the product and received a negative status, the product was shipped in interstate commerce.”

It is illegal for a company to continue testing a product until it gets a clean test, said Michael Taylor, a food safety expert at George Washington University.
The company made the business decison to ship the tainted product instead of destroying it. Rather than eat the financial loss, it preferred to let people eat contaminated food, and let the companies it sells to handle the recall -- and shoulder its costs.

I will wait impatiently for the murder charges to be filed. Because if there aren't very serious consequences -- consequences that outweigh the costs that sometimes accompany doing business the right way -- this will happen over and over again.

And if you think this tragic, sordid episode is an argument in favor of greater regulatory oversight and less reliance on the self-regulation favored by Republicans, you're right.

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Dear Democrats

You can now stop bending over backwards and watering down legislation in order to win Republican votes, because you don't need them.

The House has passed H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, by a vote of 244 - 188. The House GOP fulfilled their pledge to mount “100
” opposition to the legislation.
Instead, you can concentrate on crafting legislation that will best lead this country and its people out of the mess that Republican rule has created.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The blame Bush crowd

Now look who has Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Well, I was a strong supporter of the President, but presidential unpopularity is bad for the president’s party. We suffered losses in 06 and 08. We wish President Bush well. But frankly, we will not have to be carrying that sort of political burden that we carried the last two elections.

Keep telling yourself that, Mitch: It's all George Bush's fault. Republican losses in the last two elections have nothing to do with the fact that Republicans -- including you -- supported Bush at every single turn over the last eight years as he marched this country down the road to ruin.

Of course, you did that because Bush was nothing more than the party's salesman, a blank slate who spouted conservative talking points and toed the Republican party line at every turn. So it's no surprise that as you blame Bush for your party's failures, you don't mention one issue, one decision, about which you disagreed with Bush.

The fact is that the GOP lost so badly in 2006 and 2008 because the American people have rejected conservatism in numbers so great that Republicans couldn't steal enough votes to close the gap.

But please don't listen to me. Please continue to believe that the Republican party's biggest problems are Geroge Bush and a public image damaged by the liberal media, not the fact that eight years of conservative rule have led to epic and unprecedented failure in every arena touched by government. Please continue pandering to your shrinking base and drifting farther from the mainstream. Please continue proving that you neither understand nor care about issues that affect people's lives in meaningful ways. And please please please support Sarah Palin in 2012.


Monday, January 26, 2009

GOP calls for end to human decency standards

Another in my very occasional series of public job applications to The Onion.

WASHINGTON – At a press conference at the Capitol today, Congressional Republican leaders called for the relaxing of the standards of basic human decency, saying the standards are bad for business and restrict the ability of American companies to compete in an increasingly global marketplace.

“American businesses have had their hands tied for too long by these unreasonable restrictions on how humans can treat one another,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. “The tobacco and healthcare industries have proven just how profitable businesses can be when operating outside of the bounds of human decency.”

Many business leaders see the standards as unnecessary.

“As it is, we are willingly working with delinquent homeowners to retool their mortgages in ways that allow them to stay in their homes and continue to make payments to us while residing in an asset of diminished value,” said Douglas Beckwith, vice president of America First Trust Bank. “And that’s without the punishing restrictions of enforced standards.

“Such standards will become especially burdensome when the real estate market recovers,” he added.

Republicans touted support for the proposal from some unexpected corners, including the consumer-advocacy group Consumers Union, which, according to its mission statement, works “for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves.”

“I suppose we are in agreement that the standards of human decency shouldn’t have to be enforced,” said Consumers Union President Jim Guest, according to a release McConnell’s office distributed after the press conference.

“The old business adage to ‘always remember you are dealing with people’ has caused many a business to take its eyes off the prize over the years,” said House minority leader John Boehner. “The cost to our economy is incalculable. It’s just not fair.”


Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Rev. Joseph Lowery.


The president’s inaugural speech

Thanks Susie for the image.

I am happy that I finally can stop using the title “president” ironically. And how nice to hear the word “nuclear” pronounced correctly.

There was much in President Obama’s speech repudiating the policies of the imbecile he succeeds, as there should be.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.


On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.


What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control - and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.
I wonder what Bush thought as he listened to Obama’s speech. Of course, I also wonder if he even listened to the speech, or if he gives a shit about the future of the nation and the world. After all, this mess is someone else’s now.

Also, I couldn’t help but wonder if George Bush looked out on the crowd (see post below) that braved the cold to witness Obama’s historic swearing in and thought back on his own inauguration in 2001.

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The crowd gathers


The end of an error

This one goes out to BushCo, and not a nanosecond too soon.

Goodbye and good riddance.

UPDATE: After President Obama’s inauguration, Bush and his wife boarded a Marine helicopter at the Capitol building.

From there, they flew to Andrews AFB and boarded a plane for their flight back to Texas and, hopefully, irrelevance.

I just thought it was important to have photographic evidence that they have indeed left.

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Monday, January 19, 2009


I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009


We stand on the threshold of a new era. In two days we finally will turn the page on a presidential administation that has damaged our great nation in so many ways and has brought so much fear, anxiety and outright suffering to so many. An administration that has fanned the flames of hatred, bigotry and ignorance for its own gain, hacking open a rift between our people that may take generations to heal.

As we say good riddance to the politics of fear, lies and exploitation, we swear in a man who won the presidency with a message of hope that this nation can be restored to its former glory. Once again the United States can be a symbol of freedom, equality and opportunity instead of a bully that treats its founding principles as nothing more than advertising slogans and protects its short-term interests at the expense of its long-term interests with threats, lies, bullets and bombs.

On Jan. 20, our nation will have the opportunity to begin to redeem itself in the eyes of so many of its own people and in the eyes of the world. Perhaps we, as individuals, also should seize this opportunity for redemption. January 20 can be Redemption Day, when we atone for our own missteps and make amends with those we have wronged, intentionally or otherwise; when we break the cycle of anger begetting anger and revenge begetting revenge. For any individual, this might mean making a difficult phone call, going to confession or performing community service. But we can let go of negativity in favor of reconciliation, peace, happiness and harmony.

And, of course, in that spirit, we can expand our capacity for forgiveness on that day and allow ourselves to be more receptive to the apologies and conciliatory gestures of others.

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. This passage in the Lord's prayer acknowledges that forgiveness is a two-way street, that we can't expect someone to let go of any ill will they may be feeling toward us if we can't do the same for someone else.

In short, you get what you give.

Every day, we have the opportunity to walk the walk, to show the grace and strength of character that it takes to forgive, to acknowledge our mistakes and to seek forgiveness. Perhaps if we set aside one day a year to recognize that opportunity, we will celebrate and use it more often.

It may not seem like one person's picking up the phone and saying "I'm sorry" or telling another person "I forgive you" and really meaning it would make much of a difference in the world, but what if it's not just one person? What if thousands of us did this? What if millions did? And even if it is just one person, replacing discord with harmony is a net gain.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

22 percent


President Bush will leave office as one of the most unpopular departing presidents in history, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll showing Mr. Bush's final approval rating at 22 percent.

Seventy-three percent say they disapprove of the way Mr. Bush has handled his job as president over the last eight years.

Mr. Bush’s final approval rating is the lowest final rating for an outgoing president since Gallup began asking about presidential approval more than 70 years ago.
That’s worse than Richard Nixon’s 24 percent approval rating when he left office – and Nixon resigned in disgrace.

The only difference is that Bush isn’t resigning. The disgrace part is the same. And on Monday, we’ll find out if Bush and Nixon have something else in common: a pardon.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Movin’ Out

Drink it in, folks: the sweet image of the Bushes packing their shit and getting the fuck out. You may never see a more beautiful photo of a moving truck.

Naturally, Dana Perino lied about this last week. Can’t help herself, I guess.

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TSA in Toyland

The newest aid in public obedience training.

No word on when the Gitmo with Real Working Waterboard® playset will be released. (Warning: The included water contains lead. Do not drink.)

As troubling as this toy is, the comments on Amazon are equally comforting. And hilarious. Go read.

H/T Noz, by way of Susie.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Farewell speech

Is there any excitement, enthusiasm or even perceptable interest out there at all surrounding George Bush’s farewell address tonight? I mean, other than the joy that, at last, we have reached the end of a long and shitty road, that the national global nightmare is almost over?

(I realize that “global nightmare” lacks the satisfying alliteration of “national nightmare,” but it is more accurate.)

I stopped watching Bush’s prepared speeches years ago because I was certain that he was lying every time he gave one. The SOTU addresses were particularly unbearable.

Eventually, I stopped listening every time Bush spoke, which is remarkable because, until recently, even a president who was full of shit was still the leader of the most powerful nation on earth and for that reason was still influential. He might not have known what he was talking about and might have been lying through his teeth, but when such a leader spoke, it still had consequences. It still mattered.

It used to be that when a president planned to address the nation in prime time, there was a buzz, and people made sure they didn’t miss it. But tonight, as Bush prepares to give his final address to the nation, nobody seems to care. That could be because Bush’s speeches have been devoid of substance and adhered predictably to conservative talking points for so long that it’s unreasonable to expect anything significant or surprising to come out of this. Or it could be that everyone knows this is going to be nothing more than the last stop of the Legacy Tour, and nobody wants to watch Bush polish his figurative turd on prime-time TV. There are so many more constructive ways to spend your time – like polishing literal turds, for instance.

So, is anyone interested in what history’s lamest duck has to say? Does anyone even care?

What are you going to do instead?


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Douchebag of the Week

U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., who offered his view of the conflict in Gaza.

"To misquote Shakespeare, something is rotten in Gaza and now it's time to take out the trash," Kirk said.

Here's hoping that voters in Illinois' 10th District take out the trash in 2010.

UPDATE: The runner-up.

Former head of the Justice Department's voting rights section and class act John Tanner.

Voting Section Chief John Tanner sent an e-mail to Schlozman asking Schlozman to bring coffee for him to a meeting both were scheduled to attend. Schlozman replied asking Tanner how he liked his coffee. Tanner’s response was, “Mary Frances Berry style - black and bitter.” Berry is an African-American who was the Chairperson of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from November 1993 until late 2004.

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Monday, January 12, 2009


Imagine, some people look at this and see another BushCo failure.

President Bush has presided over the weakest eight-year span for the U.S. economy in decades, according to an analysis of key data, and economists across the ideological spectrum increasingly view his two terms as a time of little progress on the nation's thorniest fiscal challenges.

The number of jobs in the nation increased by about 2 percent during Bush's tenure, the most tepid growth over any eight-year span since data collection began seven decades ago. Gross domestic product, a broad measure of economic output, grew at the slowest pace for a period of that length since the Truman administration. And Americans' incomes grew more slowly than in any presidency since the 1960s, other than that of Bush's father.


"It's sad to say, but we really went nowhere for almost ten years, after you extract the boost provided by the housing and mortgage boom," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's, and an informal adviser to McCain's campaign. "It's almost a lost economic decade."
Well, if Zandi can't see the forest for the giant shitpile, he's just not trying hard enough.

The president's current aides say they are proud of their economic record. They note, for instance, that they attempted to rein in the growth of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the housing finance companies whose vast expansion they see as a central cause of the financial crisis. Independent analysts generally view them only as contributors to the crisis.

"It does look like a great eight years, aside from the last quarter, unfortunately," Edward P. Lazear, chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, said in a recent interview. "In the long term, things look good. The reason things look good is this economy will rebound, and it will rebound strongly. ... We expect things to turn around, and I would say early in President Obama's administration."

Even excluding the 2008 recession, however, Bush presided over a weak period for the U.S. economy. For example, for the first seven years of the Bush administration, gross domestic product grew at a paltry 2.1 percent annual rate.
Lazear's comments tell us two things: Like any Kool Aid drinker, he doesn't let facts interfere with an opinion, of course, but also that the Bushies plan to take credit if and when Obama gets things headed in the right direction.

That economic record would be devastating to an administration that was trying to improve the financial situation of most Americans, or even gave a shit about the financial situation of most Americans. But BushCo's only operating principle was enriching the wealthy people who put them in power in the first place. And by that measure, they have been successful.

The richest 1 percent of Americans currently hold wealth worth $16.8 trillion, nearly $2 trillion more than the bottom 90 percent. A worker making $10 an hour would have to labor for more than 10,000 years to earn what one of the 400 richest Americans pocketed in 2005.
So the problem is that we're measuring this administration's performance by the wrong metric. They haven't improved the economy for most Americans because they weren't trying to improve the economy for most Americans. In fact, they couldn't care less about most Americans.

UPDATE: Meet the wealth gap here.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Union busting

One last “fuck you” to people who work for a living from the Bush administration.

A little-noticed provision buried in the Bush Administration's $13.4 billion loan package to General Motors will prohibit the United Auto Workers from launching a strike as long as the company receives funds from the federal government.

Not only that, but a strike would give the federal government the power to call in their loan -- putting the loan in default and forcing GM into bankruptcy. The government now has the power to force a bankruptcy if “any labor union or collective bargaining unit shall engage in a strike or other work stoppage.”
January 20 can't get here fast enough.

UPDATE: Some truth, courtesy of Rachel Maddow's Lame Duck Watch.

H/T Susie.

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Friday Afternoon Music Club

Black Sabbath.

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Friday news dump

Pretty much what you have come to expect from Republican "leadership."

The nation's unemployment rate bolted to 7.2 percent in December, the highest level in 16 years, as nervous employers slashed 524,000 jobs. The labor market is expected to remain weak as mass layoffs continue.

The Labor Department's report, released Friday, underscored the terrible toll the deepening recession is having on workers and companies, and highlights the hard task President-elect Barack Obama faces in resuscitating the flat-lined economy.

For all of 2008, the economy lost a net total of 2.6 million jobs. That was the most since 1945, when nearly 2.8 million jobs were lost. Although the number of jobs in the U.S. has more than tripled since then, losses of this magnitude are still being painfully felt.

With employers throttling back hiring, the nation's jobless rate averaged 5.8 percent last year. That was up sharply from 4.6 percent in 2007 and was the highest since 2003.


The unemployment rate, meanwhile, rose from 6.8 percent in November, to 7.2 percent last month, the highest since January 1993. Economists were expecting the jobless rate to rise to 7 percent.
Fun fact: The president who left office in January 1993 is the current president's father.

So for all of you who were taking back breath to argue that this economic train wreck is the result of George W. Bush's failed policies and not failed Republican policies, don't bother. They are one and the same.

Meanwhile, the legacy campaign continues.

After eight years of days carved into five-minute increments, each begun with an update on mortal threats to the nation, President George W. Bush said Thursday that he's eager for a more carefree life in Dallas.
Given that Bush is now filling his days with turd polishing while the United States circles the drain, it's hard to imagine how his life could get any more carefree.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009


It's not just people feeling the strain.

Electronic unemployment filing systems have crashed in at least three states in recent days amid an unprecedented crush of thousands of newly jobless Americans seeking benefits, and other states were adjusting their systems to avoid being next.

About 4.5 million Americans are collecting jobless benefits, a 26-year high, so the Web sites and phone systems now commonly used to file for benefits are being tested like never before.

Even those that are holding up under the strain are in many cases leaving filers on the line for hours, or kissing them off with an "all circuits are busy" message. Agencies have been scrambling to hire hundreds more workers to handle the calls.
That's job creation, conservative-style. The last time conservative economic principles created this much work may have been for Sheriff's Deputy Fred Ross in "Roger and Me."


Monday, January 05, 2009

Coming attractions

Expect to see more of this as unemployment rises and employers can take their pick of applicants who don't have temerity to actually use their insurance benefits -- you know, people who are older, sick, injured or have children.

Tony Dewitt was not going to win his battle with prostate cancer. He knew it. His wife, Phillis, knew it. The people at the hospital where she worked knew it.

But still, Phillis was taken aback when her supervisor asked whether Tony planned to seek hospice care.

"He's not ready to give up," Dewitt said she responded.

When her boss raised the subject again a few months later, Dewitt realized executives were monitoring Tony's soaring medical bills. "He still wants to fight," she explained, feeling defensive.

Months later, Proctor Hospital suddenly fired Dewitt over an allegation of insubordination. Dewitt, whose employment record was spotless, has another explanation: "They got rid of me because of his medical expenses."

Now the former nurse manager is locked in a high-profile legal battle with the Peoria hospital, which vigorously disputes her charge. A trial is set for this year after the 7th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago reversed a lower court's decision to dismiss the case.

Tony Dewitt died in August 2006, feeling betrayed by an institution he depended on for scans and emergency medical services.

Experts say more conflicts of this kind are likely as economically stressed employers confront escalating health-care costs and the reality that a small number of sick employees or family members account for the vast majority of medical expenses.

"With the economic crisis and the health-care crisis, individuals with employer-provided health care are extremely vulnerable," said Paul Secunda, an employment law specialist and associate professor at Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee.

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Friday, January 02, 2009

Friday Afternoon Music Club

What's so funny 'bout peace love and understanding?

Elvis Costello.

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Thursday, January 01, 2009

Douchebag of the Week

It's been a while, but I think this week's winner deserves to be recognized for his handling of a shooting story: Jim Armstrong of the Faux News Boston affiliate, with "his take" on a shooting at a movie theater in Philadelphia on Christmas Day.

Here's what I've attempted to post to Armstrong's blog in response, in case Boston's Fox25 decides not to publish it:

Your explanatory post above is almost -- ALMOST -- as dumb as your original spin on this story.

Exactly what about a man being shot in front of his family do you find funny? Or was it your idiot editors who told you to give the story this treatment? Given your weak attempt to justify your take (and backpedal slightly) in the blog post above, I think at least some of the blame is yours.

Before you insult your viewers/blog readers by saying you didn’t find the story funny, realize as we do that you could have treated this story as seriously as any other shooting but you chose to treat it as a funny, “oddball” story.

Also, that angle is probably the only reason you covered the story at all. What relevance does a shooting in Philly have to viewers in Boston? According to the FBI, there were 21,180 violent crimes in Philadelphia in 2007, and 22,883 in 2006. How many of those did you cover for the local TV news in Boston? And how many of them made you and your colleagues laugh?

I’ve worked in newsrooms long enough to recognize that some journalists take a certain amount of unspoken pride in being hardened and insensitive to the violent stories they cover, as though they are veterans who “have seen it all” from their post, which is actually much farther from “the action” than they would care to admit. And you let that fantasy trickle out of the newsroom and onto the air.

Insensitivity is neither an admirable nor useful trait in journalists. Or anyone else, for that matter.

It’s no wonder nobody takes TV news seriously anymore. Especially Fox.

Your cavalier take on a story about a violent crime is a disservice to your viewers, the family of the shooting victim and to news organizations in general. I hope you have enough brains to be embarrassed professionally and ashamed personally. You and your station owe your viewers and the victim’s family an apology.

UPDATE: They've decided not to publish my comment on Jimbo's blog. You know, journalistic standards and integrity and stuff.

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Happy New Year

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, Bush-free 2009.