Archive for April, 2009

RE: NYCLU Suit Against NYPD For Cops Accosting Yankee Fan Who Needed to Relieve Himself

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

“Yankees Shouldn’t Be Enforcing Patriotism at Park”

By Tim Dahlberg, AP National Sports Columnist
Published: April 18, 2009
Write to him at

RE: NYCLU Suit Against NYPD Regarding Yankee Fan Who Needed to Relieve Himself

Tim Dahlberg writes near the end of his piece: “The bottom line is, we all love our country. A lot of us love baseball, too.” I think a better bottom line is from another paragraph in his piece published in the NY Times: “Paying good money to see a ballgame is one thing. Being forced to engage in an act of faux patriotism when you really, really, have to go, is quite another.”

Everybody say amen.

A Tempest in a Teapot Is a Tempest No Less – Part 2

Friday, April 17th, 2009

“Hi Aronsonians,  I am forwarding a note from Gregg Morris, who teaches journalism at Hunter and who has raised concerns about the Aronson student undergraduate prize. Separating his concerns from how he states them would be a good thing. Most Film and Media dept. faculty know that Gregg can raise issues in ways that are contentious.”  [– Blanca Vasquez, Adjunct Instructor]

So, what’s the skinny on this teapot?

A Tempest in a Teapot Is a Tempest No Less

Friday, April 17th, 2009

“Most Film and Media dept. faculty know that Gregg can raise issues in ways that are contentious.” Blanca Vasquez, Adjunct Instructor.

Before she embarked on a path to ingratiate herself into D:F/M – or perhaps before I knew she had embarked – Blanca Vasquez and I commiserated occasionally about some of its sordid features. For example, the reputation of a College Lab Technician known for his dedication to students and his technical smarts inspired a fully tenured professor who, flushed in villainy and stealth and paranoia, orchestrated the demise of the CLT as a member of D:F/M.

I kid you not.


News Media About Obama’s Puppie: Couchie Couchie Coo. Animal Rights Activist Mary Max: President Obama, How Could You?

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

10:53 a.m. April 16: Google reports 4,376 news articles about Obama’s Portuguese Water puppie. This is how Animal Rights Activist Mary Max responded to the news in her newsletter: “I’m just flabbergasted, sick to my stomach, and disheartened. How could he do this?”


A Lesson in Spin: NYCLU Sues NYPD on Behalf of Baseball Fan Ejected From Yankees Stadium During God Bless America

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Everybody Say Amen!


April 15, 2009 NYCLU Press Release — The New York Civil Liberties Union today filed a federal lawsuit against the NYPD on behalf of a Queens man who was ejected from the old Yankee Stadium last August after trying to use the restroom during “God Bless America.”

The lawsuit maintains that Bradford Campeau-Laurion, a 30-year-old lifelong baseball fan and resident of Astoria, was the victim of religious and political discrimination on Aug. 26, 2008 when police officers forcibly restrained and ejected him from Yankee Stadium after he tried to walk past an officer during the playing of “God Bless America.”

The Spin: New York Yankees + NYPD + Nature Calls + God = 281 articles, according to Google, as of 6:47 p.m. April 15.

A News Sampling:


A WORD Special Project

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Six days. One-hundred-sixty writers.

It’s spring break but several of the WORD’s best writers were emailed to see if any were interested in covering the event. So far, Hannah M. Levine, who writes for the WORD and is the Arts & Entertainment Editor for the Envoy and blogs at, has accepted. She wants to cover the PEN cabaret.   

Media Matters for America Says It Has Proof That Fox News Is the Slumdog of America News Media

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

This week, Media Matters for America released a new report that it says documents Fox New promoting anti-Obama “tea party” protests across the country for April 15.

It reports that Fox News has frequently aired segments encouraging viewers to get involved with tea-party protests, which the news network has often described as primarily a response to President Obama’s fiscal policies.

Sharp Decline in Black Incarceration For Drug Offenses

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

This was an embargoed heads-up sent to me by WORD Senior Writer/Producer Kisha Allison: From The Sentencing Project – 

 WASHINGTON, DC- For the first time in 25 years, since the inception of the “war on drugs,” the number of African Americans incarcerated in state prisons for drug offenses has declined substantially, according to a study released today by The Sentencing Project. It finds a 21.6 percent drop in the number of blacks incarcerated for a drug offense, a decline of 31,000 people during the period 1999-2005.

 The study, The Changing Racial Dynamics of the War on Drugs, also documents a corresponding rise in the number of whites in state prison for a drug offense, an increase of 42.6% during this time frame, or more than 21,000 people. The number of Latinos incarcerated for state drug offenses was virtually unchanged.

“The unparalleled growth in the U.S. prison population is directly related to policies that prioritized enforcement and harsh punishments for low-level drug offenses,” said Marc Mauer, Executive Director of The Sentencing Project and author of today’s study. “This domestic ‘war on drugs’ was fought on the doorsteps of African American communities, but its disparate impact on these communities may finally be waning.” 

More later, depending on what Allison wants to do.


Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

For all those who wrote the President and the Secretary of State about Lori Berenson’s fate, check this out.